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The design requirements for mechanical shafts, pinions, and gears often call for features with very hard surfaces (to resist wear) based on a softer core (to avoid brittle fracture). This chapter explains how to selectively harden steel by diffusing carbon and nitrogen atoms into the outer surface layers. It discusses several such surface-hardening processes, including carburizing, nitriding, carbonitriding, and nitrocarburizing.

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