Strengthening the Working Surface of Low-Carbon Alloy Steel by Electrolyte-Plasma Treatment
A technology has been developed for hardening the working surface of the tie-down dies of wedge columns made of low-carbon alloy steel by the method of electrolytic plasma processing (EPP). Coarse-grained pearlite-ferritic microstructure of low-carbon steel after electrolytic-plasma treatment turns into a microstructure of acicular martensite. The optimal processing modes are determined, a mathematical model describing the EPP processes is compiled, and a regression formula is derived. Scanning elemental analysis of the treated cathode surface showed that, along with hardening, chemical modification of the surface layer of the part material occurs during EPP. The value of microhardness in the cross section of the machined area of the surface of the part material is estimated. An increase in microhardness relative to the initial state from 1.5 to 2 times was established. The advantage of the hardening method based on the EPP method is low energy consumption at high hardening rates, the possibility of local processing of surface areas, especially large parts with a complex shape. Analysis of the effectiveness of the application of hardening technology based on the EPP method with modification of the surface layer of low-carbon alloyed steel products will reduce energy costs and labor intensity relative to traditional technology.