Plasma nitriding introduced for IGW Rail’s couplings

23 August, 2022

Recently, IGW Rail announced the move of their couplings to Brno. With this move also came some changes in the production process, with a new surface treatment for our couplings being the most mentionable: plasma nitriding.

A new process

In the new production line for the couplings in Brno, gas nitriding will be replaced with plasma nitriding. This surface treatment method uses a glow discharge technology to introduce nitrogen into the metal surface. The nitrogen is thereby diffused into the material.

Example of how plasma nitriding looks during the process (Image © Thermal Processing Magazine)

Plasma nitriding offers multiple advantages over gas nitriding:

  • Only non-toxic gases are used, unlike the use of ammonia that comes with gas nitriding
  • There is no toxic waste
  • Plasma nitriding has a substantially lower gas consumption than gas nitriding
  • Plasma nitriding opens the opportunity for partially treating components
  • Through plasma nitriding, stainless steel can be nitrided without chemical activation

These benefits make our production process for our couplings more efficient, but also more sustainable.

IGW Brno is so far the only plant in the rail division to provide this service and is only applied to our couplings. We are excited to see that moving our couplings to one location does not only lead to better efficiency and benefits in regards to infrastructure and logistics, but also leads to further improving the production process of our couplings.