In Focus

A study disproving some of the most deeply rooted beliefs about ion nitriding

Plasma is often defined as the “fourth state” of matter, very similar to the aeriform one (such as a gas) but different from the latter because it consists of a set of electrons and ions (even if globally neutral, i.e. with a no total electric charge). A plasma is often formed by an electric discharge inside a gas, accompanied by the formation of light called glow discharge (glow) which, in the case of nitriding, is an ionized H2-N2 mixture involving the use of a pulsed voltage source.The free electric charges thus formed allow the plasma to be a good conductor of electricity and to respond strongly to electromagnetic fields  (the plasma is affected by the magnetic field formed by the same current that flows through it): this feature allows the charged particles to be oriented and forced to follow precise trajectories. The knowledge of this phenomenon leads us to the possibility of directing our nitrogen ions (necessary for nitriding) onto any exposed surface, even those commonly considered impossible to treat with plasma nitriding technology.

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