Characterization and Wear Performance of Borided AISI 304 and UNS S31254 Stainless Steels

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Materials Performance and Characterization

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Austenitic stainless steels form the largest family of alloys in terms of number and applications. They are characterized by having good toughness, weldability, cold formability, and corrosion resistance in various situations. However, because they cannot harden by heat treatment, they exhibit low wear resistance. Suitable coatings can increase their wear resistance and expand their usability range. Boride coatings, with their high hardness and wear resistance are a good candidate for this purpose. In this work, samples of stainless steels, AISI 304 and UNS S31254, were subjected to liquid boriding at 950°C for 2 and 4 h. Optical microscopy (OM), scanning electron microscopy (SEM), X-ray diffraction (XRD), and Vickers hardness tests were performed, along with tests for micro-adhesive wear (fixed-ball type). The boriding treatment resulted in the formation of layers with high hardness, in the range of 1800 to 2000 HV, which is typical for boride layers. Micro-adhesive wear tests demonstrated the great increase in wear resistance obtained through this treatment.



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