Practical Nitriding and Ferritic Nitrocarburizing
Chapter 7: Control of the Compound Zone or White Layer
The compound zone that forms on the surface of nitrided steels is often called the white layer. When the nitrided sample is sectioned through the case, and then polished and etched with a standard solution of nital (2 to 5% nitric acid and alcohol), the immediate surface etches out as white in appearance above the nitrided case. This chapter focuses on the methods to control the compound zone, or white layer. It first provides information on a test to determine the presence of the white layer, and discusses the processes involved in the reduction of the compound zone by the two-stage process. Next, it describes other methods for controlling compound zone formation, and, finally, reviews the factors related to the determination of case depth in nitriding.
Control of the Compound Zone or White Layer, Practical Nitriding and Ferritic Nitrocarburizing, By David Pye, ASM International, 2003, p 65–70, https://doi.org/10.31399/asm.tb.pnfn.t65900065
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