SBIR Phase I: Plasma Enhanced Nanostructures for Improved Tribology of Gray Cast Iron stamping dies
National Science Foundation
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Small Business Information
Advanced Heat Treat Corp.
2825 MIDPORT BLVD, Waterloo, IA, 50703-9708
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractThis Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project aims to use nitrocarburizing plasmas to generate nanostructured layer on top of nitride case on cast iron surfaces of cast iron dies used in the stamping of high-strength-steel sheets. To deposit nanostructured coatings, reactive carbo-nitro-hydride ion species will be created by using low deposition pressures and temperatures in industrial size equipment. The deposited coatings will be evaluated for their mechanical properties and tribological performance under conditions replicating those in actual stamping operations. The broader/commercial impact of this project will be the potential to provide high-hardness and low-friction nanostructured coatings on the nitride to significantly enhance the tribological performance of the cast iron dies surfaces, realizing significant savings for the stamping industry. Cast iron dies are extensively used in the stamping of automotive body parts. Recently, the service lives of these dies have decreased substantially with the introduction of advanced high strength steels (AHSS) and ultra high strength steels (UHSS) in stamping operations. This has led to costly downtimes and significant die repair costs. This technology is expected to dramatically improve the tribological performance of duplex surfaces, thus extending the lifetime of cast iron dies.
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