Physical Features of Anodic Plasma Electrolytic Carburising of Low-Carbon Steels

  • S. Yu. Shadrin
  • P. N. Belkin
  • I. V. Tambovskiy
  • S. A. KusmanovEmail author
Original Paper


This study considers some aspects of electrolytic plasma in the process of anodic carburising of steel, including the nature of the glow in a vapour gaseous envelope, its thickness under various hydrodynamic conditions; it also examines the formation patterns of a hardened layer after carburising along with quenching in the same electrolyte. The glow in a vapour gaseous envelope was examined with a spectrometer; its profile and thickness were determined by solving energy and mass balance equations in a pre-anode area. The structure of the carburised layer and hardness distribution were explored with an optical microscope and a microhardness tester. Carbon concentration in the carburised layer was determined by means of optical emission spectroscopy. The investigation has revealed that the glow in a vapour gaseous envelope under carburising is a continuous emission from heated bodies—vapour gaseous phase and the sample without any electric discharges. It has been theoretically derived, that in laminar approximation the layer has maximal thickness under certain hydrodynamic conditions. This conclusion has been confirmed by homogeneous distribution of current density throughout the surface of the sample during its carburising under condition of force hydrodynamics, i.e. the sample being flowed round with cooled electrolyte. Aerated stirring in electrolyte does not provide homogeneous current density distribution, which falls in vertical direction. Anodic carburising of steel in a glycerol electrolyte followed by quenching results in the formation of a martensitic layer up to 200 μm in thickness, within 5-min treatment, with maximal microhardness 1000 HV.


Plasma electrolysis Glow spectrum Envelope thickness Anodic carburising 



This work was financially supported by the Russian Science Foundation (Contract No. 18-79-10094) for Kostroma State University.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Yu. Shadrin
    • 1
  • P. N. Belkin
    • 1
  • I. V. Tambovskiy
    • 1
  • S. A. Kusmanov
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Kostroma State UniversityKostromaRussia

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