Under conditions which prevent denitrogenation it is possible to obtain good carbonitrided layers having increased hardness and residual austenite containing nitrogen.
The presence of an increased amount of nitrogen in the carbonitrided layers transforms the system Fe−C−N into the region having a higher solubility of nitrogen in iron. The total concentration of nitrogen and carbon in the solid solution increased to 1.8%, and there is a simultaneous increase in the amount of carbonitride phases based on the nitride of the alloying elements.
The total amount of carbon and nitrogen in the carbonitrided layers and the temperature of the final zone of the furnace has a significant effect on the concentration of nitrogen in the solid solution.
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Gyulikhandanov, E.L., Semenova, L.M. & Shapochkin, V.I. Structure of carbonitrided layers containing increased concentrations of nitrogen. Met Sci Heat Treat 32, 326–330 (1990). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00700035
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