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MELONITE is a surface treatment designed to improve wear resistance and provide corrosion resistance to ferrous materials. The pr ocess is generically known as s alt bath ferr itic nitrocarburizing. During the Melonite process, high concentrations of nitrogen, c arbon and oxygen are diffused into t he surface of a work piece. The diffusion of these three elements produce a solid, primarily, single phase epsilion nitride layer commonly referred to as the compound zone or white layer. Below this layer, nitrogen is at lower concentrations and can be found in solid solution. This region is referred to as the diffusion zone. A thin oxide layer is also formed at the surface of the compound zone which provides improved c orrosion resistance on iron, plain carbon, and alloy steels. The oxide layer also yields an aesthetically pleasing dark black surface color.

QPQ (Quench Polish Quench) is an optional process that may be performed after Melonite is complete. The QPQ p rocess consists of m echanically polishing Melonite processed parts to enhance their surface finish. The polishing is then followed by reheating and requenching the p arts in oxidizing s alts. This process producess the best corrosion resistance possible along with a smo oth s hiny surface fin ish t hat impr oves th e ov erall appearance. An additional benefit is increased lubricity of parts due to a reduction in the coefficient of friction.

The compound z one is c omprised alm ost e ntirely of si ngle phase epsilon iron nitride. Compound zone hardness ranges from 55 to 65 HRC depending on the alloy composition of the steel. This high hardness, thin layer produces improved wear resistance and anti-seizing properties. Compound zone depths can be specified from .0002 up to .0015. A typical process range is .0004 to .0010.

Epsilon Nitride Compound Zone

High Hardness / Wear Resistance Uniform Depth of Layer Anti seize (Galling Properties) Good Ductility of Compound Zone Compound layer diffused in surface will not spall or flake off parts Improved Fatigue Properties Tensile and Yield Strength Increase in Modulus of elasticity Elongation Maintained Residual Compressive Stress Uniform Black Finish Polished Finish (with QPQ) Uniform Growth ~30% of Compound Zone Layer Depth No Transformation on Cooling Low Temperature Process Low Distortion Processing is often performed on finish machined parts Steel, tool steel, cast iron, and stainless steel applications Retention of core properties Compound layer properties may be customized for optimal performance Short Treatment Times High Volume Production Reduced Overall Cost

Solution Hardened Diffusion Zone

Surfaces Finishes Dimensional Control

Compound Zone at surface of Melonite processed part

Since Melonite is a diffusion process, the compound zone forms in the su rface of the work pie ce. Th e result is a high inte grity metallurgical bond not subject to flaking or peeling. The diffusion zone lies benea th the co mpound zone an d consists of nitrogen in solid solution. Depth of the diffusion zone can reach up to .020. The hardness of the diffusion zone is dependant on the base alloy selected. Alloys with nitride forming elements such as C r, Al , Mo , V, W, and Ti are capable of forming diffusion zones with near surface hardness in excess of 50 HRC. Nitrogen in solid solution imparts compressive stress into the surfac e o f a work pi ece resulting in improv ed fatigue properties.


Low Total Cost

For more information contact: 16167 W Rogers Drive New Berlin, WI 53151 Phone: (262) 782-5553 Fax: (262) 782-5660 www.bodycote.com



MELONITE can be a pplied to m ost ferro us alloy s includ ing carbon, alloy, tool, and stainless steels. Many grades of cast iron can be successfully processed. In many applications, low carbon steel can replace expensive alloy steels as a result of the improved properties imparted by the Melonite process.

MELONITE has be en s uccessfully a pplied to a wide ran ge o f parts from a single plast ic inject ion m o l d i n g tool, to dental probes, sliding gate valve components, and hand tools, through high-volume automotive engine valves, t ransmission clutch plates, windshield wiper components, ball-valve stems, water pump shafts, and shock absorber rods. In ma ny c ases, M ELONITE is selected as a cost-effective engineering alternative with superior dimensional control to conventional heat t reat processes that c reate unacce ptable distortion or growth. While growth and distortion are not entirely eliminated, they are reduced by an order of magnitude. Dimensional changes are typically controlled to less than .0005 per surface. In some applications, post grinding and plating operations have beeneliminated. MELONITE/QPQ has a lso been successfully applied t o p arts that require corrosion resistance pro perties along with hig h surface hardness and wear resistance. MELONITE/QPQ has proven t o be very s uccessful in me eting corrosion r esistance requirements for parts that require it. MELONITE/QPQ has also be en use d as a decorative finish for some applications where physical and metallurgical properties are not even considered. A few of our MELONITEsuccesses are listed below. Automotive Engine Valves: Require high surface wear resistance to prevent failure in the engine. These parts are also subject t o h igh heat a nd corr osive environments. Melonite provides the optimum combination of wear resistance and corrosion protection for this application. Plastic Injection Mold / Diecast Tooling: Melonite provides wear properties to dies used in molding and diecasting. Melonite improves the life of this tooling that is exposed to highly abrasive liquid metal and plastics flowing over the tooling under pressure. Clutch Plates: Melonite provides wear resistance to these parts that are exposed to friction in service. These thin stampings could not be carburized without warping the parts beyond use . Melonite yields dimensional stability that allows these distortionprone parts to be processed and maintain critical dimensional tolerances.
Automotive engine valves after Melonite processing

For more information contact: 16167 W Rogers Drive New Berlin, WI 53151 Phone: (262) 782-5553 Fax: (262) 782-5660 www.bodycote.com