capabilities > Heat Treating > Carbonitriding


Carbonitriding is an ideal process for low-carbon, low-alloy steels that need case hardening.

Case Hardening with Carbonitriding.

Carbonitriding is a case hardening method that is carried out at temperatures between 1,550 and 1,650°F, which is slightly lower than the temperature used for carburizing (around 1,700°F). Carbonitrided parts are usually then oil quenched, which helps reduce the risk of distortion. The case formed by carbonitriding generally measures between 0.13 mm and close to 1 mm. Surface hardness in carbonitrided parts can range from 55–62 HRC.

Benefits of Carbonitriding

The key benefit of carbonitriding is to produce a hard and wear-resistant case on steel parts. It allows steels with relatively low hardenability to achieve the hardness characteristics of higher grade materials. To sum up, here are the main benefits of carbonitriding:

  • Greater case depth when compared to nitrocarburizing
  • Increased fatigue strength
  • Enhanced wear resistance
  • Parts can maintain hardness at elevated temperatures

Carbonitriding Applications

Carbonitriding is used to harden surfaces of parts made of cost-effective and easily-machined steels, such as:

  • Automotive stampings
  • Wood screws
  • Gears and shafts
  • Pistons
  • Tooling and dies
  • Rollers and bearings

Carbonitriding at Paulo

We measure the composition of the atmosphere in our belt furnaces at multiple locations within the furnace throughout the carbonitriding process, specifically to ensure that parts are exposed to the proper amount of nitrogen. When too much nitrogen is present during carbonitriding, it can cause porosity, which degrades the value of the parts and negatively impacts the hardness. The results of all hardness tests we perform are also automatically captured, and data is stored in our PICS system. This lends greater visibility and traceability to the quality of your parts when you choose Paulo as your carbonitriding provider. 

Trust your parts to Paulo.

Are you facing challenges with your current carbonitriding provider or have a new project coming up? We’re ready to help. Connect with a Paulo expert today!

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