Surface engineering such as surface treatment, coating, and surface modification are employed to increase surface hardness, minimize adhesion, and hence, to reduce friction and improve resistance to wear. To have optimal tribological performance of Physical Vapor Deposition (PVD) hard coating to the substrate materials, pretreatment of the substrate materials is always advisable to avoid plastic deformation of the substrate, which may result in eventual coating failure. The surface treatment results in hardening of the substrate and increase in load support effect. Many approaches aim to improve the adhesion of the coatings onto the substrate and nitriding is the one of the best suitable options for the same. In addition to tribological properties, nitriding leads to improved corrosion resistance. Often corrosion resistance is better than that obtainable with other surface engineering processes such as hard-chrome and nickel plating. Ability of this layer to withstand thermal stresses gives stability which extends the surface life of tools and other components exposed to heat. Most importantly, the nitrogen picked-up by the diffusion layer increases the rotating-bending fatigue strength in components. The present article reviews mainly the tribological advancement of different nitrided-coated steels based on the types of coatings, structure, and the tribo-testing parameters, in recent years.
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