Microwave Plasma Carburization of Steel Alloys at Atmospheric Pressure 2005-01-0989
Microwave plasmas at atmospheric pressures can be utilized for carburization of steel alloys. Due to their high frequencies, microwaves ionize and dissociate molecules with great efficiency and provide carbon for carburization by dissociating hydrocarbons that are introduced in the plasma. Also, conventional carburization techniques are not very energy efficient, as much of the heat generated is not utilized for the heating of the parts. Microwave plasmas are highly energy efficient due to very high coupling of microwaves to the plasma and then transferring of heat to the parts. Since plasma surrounds the part uniformly, heating rates over the part surface are also uniform. Preliminary results are presented for carburization of steel alloy 8620H by atmospheric microwave plasma process using acetylene as the source gas. Possible effects of application of pulsed DC bias to the parts are also discussed.