Date of Award


Publication Type

Master Thesis

Degree Name



Mechanical, Automotive, and Materials Engineering

First Advisor

Derek Northwood

Second Advisor

Xichen Sun


Materials science




This research is focused on using nitriding to enhance the wear resistance of austempered ductile iron (ADI), ductile iron (DI), and gray iron (GI), and 4140 steel. Three gas nitriding processes, namely "Gas nitriding + nitrogen cooled down to 800°F (Blue)", "Gas nitriding + cooled down to 300°F (Gray)", and "Gas nitriding + oil quenched (Oil)" were used for the cast irons. Three salt bath nitriding processes, namely Isonite, QP (Quench, Polish) and QPQ (Quench, Polish, Quench) were used for the 4140 steel. This study was carried out through optical metallography, roughness measurements, microhardness, and SEM. The ball-on-disc wear tests were conducted under lubricated conditions. It was found that COF for all materials in all nitrided conditions was small (< 0.045). The best wear performance was seen for ADI processed using the Gray and Oil gas nitriding processes. For the 4140 steel, The surface microhardness of the ISONITE specimen was around 1400HV. QP and QPQ processes produce a surface microhardness of 2000-2200HV, which suggests that they may show improved wear behaviour compared to ISONITE- treated steels.