Surface hardening

laser surface hardened workpiece

Surface layer hardening or surface hardening

Surface hardening, also referred to as surface hardening, includes four different processes: 

  • Laser hardening
  •  Inductive hardening
  •  Flame hardening and
  •  Case-hardening and nitriding.

As is aptly described in the name, this process is aimed at hardening only the surface layers, i.e. the outer layers of metallic workpieces.

As in all hardening processes, the structure of the outer layer is martensitically transformed in surface layer hardening. At the same time, the interior of the hardened piece remains unchanged and continues to be tough and resistant to fractures or cracks. The outer layer is deep-hardened in the range of 0.1 to approx. 2mm in laser hardening.

Surface layer hardening has several advantages:

  • It provides excellent wear protection, because the surface is protected against friction wear along with fatigue resistance of the workpiece. These advantages are particularly welcome in mechanical engineering, since the downtimes for replacing machine tools are reduced.
  • The hardened surface permits grinding.
  • The hard case which has become static increases the stiffness of the workpiece.
  • The vibration resistance is also increased, because internal compressive stresses develop in surface layer hardening.
gear with laser hardened flanks

Riwalas specialises in the surface layer hardening process of laser hardening. This type of surface hardening is exceptionally quick and precise. In comparison with the other methods, cooling with a quenching medium is not required. The extremely quick heating of the material by the laser beam prevents the interior of the workpiece from heating up. In addition to self-quenching, this process has the exclusive advantage that no deformation or only low deformation occurs.

We successfully harden gear wheels, swivel joints, cutters, cutter tips, punches, dies, honing stones, bearing seats, raceways, guide rails, shafts, inner diameters, underparts of claws, nozzle inserts, ball studs, mounting flanges, trim knives, main spindles, rotors, compressor shafts and tool moulds precisely and quickly…(examples).

Our location in southern Germany (Stuttgart-Vaihingen near the airport) means that we are within easy reach of companies from Austria and Switzerland.