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Nitrocarburizing is a variation of the nitriding process. It is a thermochemical diffusion process where nitrogen, carbon, and to a very small degree, oxygen atoms diffuse into the surface of the steel part, forming a compound layer at the surface, and a diffusion layer. Nitrocarburizing is a shallow case variation of the nitriding process. Advantages of the process include the ability to harden materials which are not prehardened, the relatively low temperature of the process which minimizes distortion, and relative low cost in comparison to carburizing or other case hardening processes. This process is done mainly to provide an anti-wear resistance on surface layer and to improve fatigue resistance.

An additional advantage is that nitrocarburizing can be applied to the same materials as is nitriding, as well as unalloyed materials, where good wear resistance and some improved fatigue resistance are needed at a low cost. It is widely used for stampings, as an alternative to hard plating or even carbonitriding.


  • Improved wear properties
  • Corrosion resistance
  • Improved fatigue strength


  • Gears and pinion shafts
  • Plastic injection molding screws and barrels, up to 22' long
  • Piston rings
  • Aluminum extrusion dies
  • Forging and forming dies
  • Spindles for grinding machines
  • Gun barrels
  • Springs
  • Crankshafts and camshafts
  • Other wear components


Gas Nitriding/Nitrocarburizing (900° - 1200°F)

  • Pit Furnace - 144" Diameter by 96" High
  • Pit Furnace - 180" Diameter by 144" High
  • Pit Furnace - 24" O.D. x 36" High
  • Bell Furnaces (4) - 72" Diameter by 84" High
  • Pit Furnace (2) - 54" Diameter by 180" High
  • Pit Furnace - 36" O.D. x 268" High

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Metlab | Heat Treating | Surface Treatment | Metallurgical Consulting