Technical and White Papers

Whether you're an engineer looking for in-depth technical articles on nitriding or heat treat, or just need some general process info. on what each one will do to your material, our extensive collection of white papers and technical articles give a great overview of the benefits and comparisons of many surface treatments.

White Papers and Case Studies Written by the AHT Team (Click on the title to be taken to the download page):

Ten Tips for When to Use Gas Nitriding

With the variety of surface treatments available today, it can get confusing trying to decide which one is best for your application. Gas nitriding is becoming more and more popular since it is environmentally-friendly, while also offering significant benefits.

Case Study: Steel Mill Turns to UltraOx® to Fight Corrosion

Advanced Heat Treat Corp. was recently approached by one of the premiere steel makers in the southeastern United States. The steel producer was having issues with corrosion in the hot working section of their mill. The high corrosion rate was attributed to two factors; heat and process water. 

Retaining Corrosion Resistance in Stainless Steels with S-phase Nitriding

Advanced Heat Treat Corp. has been providing solutions for customers that need to retain the corrosion resistance in their stainless steels by using UltraGlow® technology for numerous years. This is now a very well-developed process that can be carried out by either carburizing or nitriding; such processes produce a so-called “S-phase.”

Ion (Plasma) Nitriding Titanium Alloys

Titanium use continues to increase across many industries and applications due to its excellent properties, its light weight, high temperature strength-to-weight ratio and excellent corrosion resistance. In spite of the positive characteristics, titanium has poor abrasion resistance and is susceptible to fretting and galling when in contact with mating components. A high coefficient of friction often limits its use.

Why You Should Protect Your Parts with a Compound Zone Instead of a Coating

While there are many surface coatings available to protect parts from wear and corrosion, they are more susceptible to pitting, flaking and peeling from the surface. When this happens, the part either needs to be scrapped, or the surface needs to be stripped and re-coated; in some circumstances, this requires the disposal of hazardous chemicals. This is not only time-consuming, but can be very costly for the manufacturer.

Pros/Cons and Similarities of Gas and Ion (Plasma) Nitriding

While every surface treatment has its advantages and disadvantages, gas and ion (plasma) nitriding are often compared when engineers decide what is best for their application. Both processes increase surface hardness based on nitrogen diffusion into the product, increasing usable life span, wear resistance and/or fatigue strength, depending on the alloy. Since neither process is a coating on top of the product, there’s no need to worry about delaminating of coatings.

Firearms Manufacturers experience TRIPLE the life of their UltraOx®'d barrels! 

Firearm manufacturers have enough to think about these days-their surface finish shouldn’t be one of them-but since it’s such an important factor in the look and functionality of each piece, it’s a critical decision. There are a number of finishes to choose from; each having various advantages and disadvantages. One of the newest surface treatments available to firearm manufacturers, trademarked by Advanced Heat Treat Corp., is called UltraOx®. UltraOx® combines the controllable ferritic nitrocarburizing (FNC) process with post-oxidizing and a proprietary sealant.

Case Study: Plasma (Ion) Nitriding Provides Perfect Solution for Automotive Clutch Hub Housing

Plasma (ion) nitriding is an excellent application to build into your parts longevity and operational flow. Not only can you build protective wear resistance, lubricity and fatigue strength, but you can streamline operations to accommodate the process into what fits your needs.

How to Streamline Your Process for Heat Treat Success

In every major industry companies are taking notice of the positive effects that streamlining can have on their internal processes, and economic returns. Through these continuous improvement efforts, companies see cost reductions in categories such as turnaround time, reduction of defects, and elimination of waste, to name just a few. While these concepts are just getting a foothold in industries such as retail and medical, they have an established history in manufacturing. The heat treat industry, and specifically the ion/gas nitriding subset, is not an exception.

Nitriding Tips for New Users

If you are new to nitriding or just want a refresher-this is for you! This paper addresses questions such as:

  • What materials can be used for nitride?* Alloy steels, carbon steels, cast irons, tool steels, stainless steels, inconel and titanium.

  • What type of results can be expected?* The metallurgical results will vary based on the material selected.

Induction Hardening: Benefits and Limitations

What is induction hardening? A method of quickly, selectively hardening the surface of a metal part. A copper coil carrying a significant level of alternating current is placed near (not touching) the part. Heat is generated at, and near the surface by eddy current and hysteresis losses. Quench, usually water based with an addition such as a polymer, is directed at the part or it is submerged. This transforms the structure to martensite, which is much harder than the prior structure.

Ion (Plasma) Nitriding and Ion Nitrocarburizing (Ferritic Nitrocarburizing-FNC) Definition and Benefits

UltraGlow® Ion Nitriding (also known as Pulse Plasma Ion Nitriding) is widely used in manufacturing because of its numerous advantages. The use of UltraGlow® Ion Nitriding in various industries, including automotive, agricultural, military, aerospace, energy, and off-highway equipment, to name a few, has shown great potential for solving problems related to design, production, and material.

Why Your Long Parts Should be Ion (Plasma) Nitrided in a Vertical Vessel

Various heat treat methods are available to enhance wear resistance and provide surface hardening on long parts such as screws, shafts and rolls. Choices are often restricted due to process equipment size limitations. Flame hardening or induction hardening are often chosen but frequently cause distortion due to the high temperatures used and the fact that most are processed horizontally. Additional straightening operations are then required after the processing, in addition to post heat treat machining.


Dr. Edward Rolinski (Dr. Glow)

Dr. Edward Rolinski graduated from the Warsaw University of Technology Department of Mechanical Manufacturing Engineering with a Master of Science and specialization in the Physical Metallurgy and Heat Treatment of Metals. He received his Doctorate of Philosophy in 1978 and Doctor of Science degree in 1989 for his thesis and scientific work on the application of the cold plasma/glow discharges to the surface treatment of solids. Before moving to the United States, Rolinski worked as an Associate Professor at the Warsaw University of Technology teaching physical metallurgy and surface engineering. He took three sabbatical leaves during his academic career. He spent these sabbaticals conducting research on the plasma nitriding of titanium alloys at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and working on the plasma/gas nitriding of various iron alloys at the University of Newcastle upon Tyne, England. He also taught Physical Metallurgy at the University of Melbourne in Australia. His industrial experience in the United States includes working as a Metallurgist for Peterson Engineering Company and as Director of Research and Quality Control for Advanced Metallurgical Corp. Rolinski joined Advanced Heat Treat Corp. in February of 1994 and currently holds the position of Vice President of Technology. He has published over 50 scientific and technical papers and coauthored a book. In 2010 he spoke on the role of reactive sputtering in plasma nitriding at the 2nd Edition of Nitriding Symposium.

Gary Sharp

Gary Sharp earned his Bachelor of Science in Science and Chemistry at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa. After graduation, he spent fifteen years working for the leading agricultural manufacturer, John Deere, where he held a variety of positions including Chemical Engineer, Project Manager and Marketing and Sales. In 1981, Sharp branched off from John Deere to establish Advanced Heat Treat Corp. (AHT). Since then, AHT has grown into a multimillion dollar company. Sharp continues to serve as AHT's President and CEO and his dedication to the company plays a key role in its success as a global leader and provider of heat treat services. He is a member of ASM Heat Treat Society, Metal Treating Institute (MTI) and the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). Sharp has also spoken at numerous conferences and has authored multiple scientific and technical articles.