Plasma source ion implantation of ammonia into electroplated chromium Page: 4 of 8
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U.S. industry currently uses wet chemical baths to produce protective chrome layers on process
equipment to enhance wear and corrosion resistance. Currently, environmental regulations are
increasing the cost of chrome electroplating. An environmentally acceptable technology which
would reduce or eliminate the need for chrome plating would not only benefit the environment,
but would also strengthen U.S. industrial competitiveness.
Nitrogen ion implantation of chromium has demonstrated the ability to dramatically increase
the surface hardness and decrease the wear rate[1-13]. As shown in Fig. 1, implantation of
nitrogen ions into a draw die, electroplated with Cr, dramatically increases the field tested
service life. It is thus possible that nitrogen implantation could increase the service life of
electroplated chromium resulting in waste stream reduction. Advantages of ion implantation
over other surface modification techniques include its ability to provide implanted atomic
concentrations above limits imposed by chemical solubility at low temperature without causing
However, conventional beamline implantation requires expensive particle accelerators,
magnetic mass filtering, beam rastering, beam masking and target manipulation. In addition,
implantation of geometrically complicated surfaces requiring target manipulation is especially
difficult for large and/or heavy components.
Plasma Source Ion Implantation (PSII), is a non-line of sight technique capable of producing a
more economical, uniform and effective implant. PSII can extend chrome plating lifetime
thereby reducing the demand, and concomitantly reducing the waste stream. In certain
applications PSII can replace hard chrome plating by producing a low-friction, high-strength,
corrosion resistant surface on the
uncoated base material. A recent cost
study has shown that PSII can be an
order of magnitude less expensive than tir m
present low current beamline
implantation . d F .,
In this paper results are presented for
nitrogen PSII of electroplated chromium.
The implantation is performed using an
ammonia plasma. The characterization
of implanted samples includes high
energy resonant ion back-scattering,
nanoindentation, pin-on-disk wear
testing, and numerical calculation of the
implanted profile using TAMIX. From
analysis of these results, the suitability of
ammonia PSII to increase the wear life
of electroplated chromium is determined
and suggestions for optimizing ammonia
PSII processing are made.
Plasma Source Ion Implantation
In PSII, the target to be implanted is
immersed in a plasma and repetitively
pulsed to a high negative voltage (see
Fig. 2). An expanding boundary layer
(sheath) forms around the target during
the voltage pulse. The electric field
within this expanding sheath accelerates
ions toward all target surfaces
Figure 1. Ion implantation dramatically improves
the wear lifetime of a chrome plated industrial steel
draw die .
Plasma Source Chamber Positive Ions Stri
All Surfaces at
Figure 2. Schematic of the non-line of sight,
Plasma Source Ion Implantation process.
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Scheuer, J.T.; Walter, K.C.; Rej, D.J.; Nastasi, M. & Blanchard, J.P. Plasma source ion implantation of ammonia into electroplated chromium, report, February 1, 1995; New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc668038/m1/4/: accessed September 21, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.