Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Richard D. Sisson, Jr., Advisor

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Satya S. Shivkumar, Committee Member

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Diran Apelian, Committee Member

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Emilia Wołowiec-Korecka, Committee Member

Faculty Advisor or Committee Member

Olga K. Rowan, Committee Member




"The CHTE surface hardening simulation tools, CarboNitrideTool© and CarbTool© have been enhanced to improve the accuracy of the simulation and to predict the microstructure and microhardness profiles after the heat treatment process. These tools can be used for the prediction of both gas and low pressure carburizing processes. The steel alloys in the data base include 10XX, 48XX, 51XX, 86XX, 93XX and Pyrowear 53. They have been used by CHTE members to design efficient carburizing cycles to maximum the profit by controlling the cost and time. In the current software, the model has successfully predicted the carbon concentration profiles for gas carburizing process and many low pressure carburizing processes. In some case, the simulation toll may not work well with the low pressure carburizing process, especially with AISI 9310 alloy. In the previous simulation, a constant carbon flux boundary condition was used. However, it has been experimentally proven that the flux is a function of time. The high carbon potential may cause soot and carbides at the outer edge. The soot and carbides will impede the diffusion of carbon during the low pressure carburizing process. The constant carbon flux cannot be appropriately used as the boundary condition. An improved model for the process is proposed. In the modeling, carbon potential and mass transfer coefficient are calculated and used as the boundary condition. CarbonitrideToolⒸ has been developed for the prediction of both carbon and nitrogen profiles for carbonitriding process. The microstructure and hardness profile is also needed by the industry. The nitrogen is an austenite stabilizer which result in high amount of retained austenite (RA). RA plays important role in the hardness. The model has been developed to predict the Martensite start temperature (Ms) which can be used for RA prediction. Mixture rule is used then to predict the hardness profiles. Experiments has been conducted to verify the simulation. The hardness profile is also predicted for tempered carburized alloys. Hollomon-Jaffe equation was used. A matrix of tempering experiments are conducted to study the Hollomon Jaffe parameter for AISI 8620 and AISI 9310 alloy. Constant C value is calculated with a new mathematical method. With the calculation result, the hardness profile can be predicted with input of tempering time and temperature. Case depth and surface hardness are important properties for carburized steel that must be well controlled. The traditional testing is usually destructive. Samples are sectioned and measured by either OES or microhardness tester. It is time consuming and can only be applied on sampled parts. The heat treating industry needs a physics based, verified simulation tool for surface hardening processes to accurately predict concentration profiles, microstructure and microhardness profiles. There is also a need for non-destructive measurement tool to accurately determine the surface hardness and case depth. Magnetic Barkhausen Noise (MBN) is one of the promising way to test the case depth and hardness. MBN measures the pulses generating by the interaction between magnetic domain walls in the ferromagnetic material and the pinning sites such as carbides, impurities and dislocation. These signals are analyzed to evaluate the properties of the carburized steel. "


Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Degree Name



Materials Science & Engineering

Project Type


Date Accepted



Restricted-WPI community only


Carburizing, Carbonitriding, Modeling, Nondestructive testing, Barkhausen Noise, Hollomon-Jaffe Equation