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In this work, plasma-nitrided AISI 316L
stainless steel samples were performed by ion nitriding process under pulsed
direct current (DC) discharge at different current densities (1 to 2.5 mA/ cm2).
The effect of nitriding current density on the size of crystalline coherently
diffracting domains (crystallite size) and strain grade was investigated using
X-ray diffraction (XRD) coupled with Williamson-Hall method. Additionally,
hardness and wear resistance of the nitriding layer were characterized using a
Vickers indenter and pin-on-disk technique respectively. Results showed a
decrease in crystallite size from 99 nm for untreated samples to 1.4 nm for
samples nitrided at 2.5 mA/cm2 promoted both: an increase in hardness from 226
HV25g to 1245 HV25g, and a considerably decrease in volume loss by wear effect.