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Low-temperature carburization hardens the surface of austenitic stainless steels through the diffusion of interstitial carbon without the formation of carbides. This article provides an overview on austenitic stainless steels and low-temperature carburization. It reviews the competing technologies and commercial application of low-temperature carburization. The article discusses several processing parameters, including activation of the surface, proper surface preparation, selection and condition of the alloy to be carburized, treatment temperature, and carburizing atmosphere for successful low-temperature carburization of austenitic stainless steels and other chromium-containing alloys. It describes the performance properties of the low-temperature carburized layer: fatigue resistance, wear resistance, erosion resistance, and corrosion resistance.

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