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It is well known that Austenitic Stainless Steels cannot be through hardened, so whilst they remain a preferred choice of Stainless Steel for many applications they are very susceptible to wear and galling. One common treatment used to increase the surface hardness of such steels and to minimise galling is to Nitride the steel by Plasma or Salt Bath Nitriding. This provides a very hard (>1000Hv) surface however there is an associated loss of corrosion resistance in the nitride layer.
The Kolsterising process is marketed in the UK by Bodycote S3P Group (www.bodycote.com, S3P@bodycote.com). Kolsterising improves the wear resistance of stainless steel part surfaces, without degrading their corrosion resistance. There are no additions of chemical elements to the steel during the process.
Bead and shot-blasted finishes produced by the impact of a hard, inert medium onto the steel surface result in non-directional, uniform matt surfaces with low reflectivity.