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A CrN coated restrike punch was made of WR-95 (similar to H-11), which was fluidized bed nitrided. The coated punch was used on hot Inconel at about 1040 deg C (1900 deg F). However, a water-soluble graphite coolant was used to maintain the punch temperature at 230 deg C (450 deg F). Visual and binocular inspection at 64+ revealed presence of cracks and complete washout of coating in the working area of the failed punch. Comparison of metallographic cross sections of used and unused punches revealed a significant microstructural transformation in case of the used punch. Presence of a yellow porous layer was clearly evident between the nitrided layer and the coating, in case of the used punch. Cracks were observed to propagate from the outer surface into the bulk. Oxidation was evident along the cracks. The microstructural transformation observed in the case of the used punch was a clear indication of high temperature exposure (due to insufficient cooling) during application. The most probable cause of failure was thermal fatigue.

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Suranjeeta Dhar, Fameeda Mohammed, Laura Xu, Raymond Fontana, Thermal Fatigue Failure of a CrN-Coated Restrike Punch, ASM Failure Analysis Case Histories: Machine Tools and Manufacturing Equipment, ASM International, 2019,

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