Abstract

17-4PH stainless steel is used as the material of leadscrew in the reactor control rod drive mechanism (CRDM) in nuclear power plants (NPP). To improve the poor tribological properties without affecting corrosion of 17-4PH stainless steel in-service, the wear and general corrosion properties of low-temperature plasma nitrided 17-4PH stainless steel with a work-hardened sublayer were investigated. Low-temperature plasma nitriding for specimens with work-hardened sublayer was carried out at 390 °C for 1 h, 30 h. The wear test and the general corrosion test were conducted in flowing water at 280 °C and 13 MPa. The general corrosion test was carried out for 2000 h. The results show that the wear volume of the un-nitrided specimen with a work-hardened sublayer varies slightly compared to the unnitrided specimens with a polished surface (without a work-hardened sublayer), but the weight loss of general corrosion is greatly reduced (by a factor of about 3). The wear volumes of the 390 °C / 1 h treated specimen and the 390 °C / 30 h treated specimen are reduced by 3.8 and 4.4 times compared with the non-nitrided specimens (with a work-hardened sublayer), respectively, but the weight loss of general corrosion increases by 1.56 and 1.66 times, respectively.

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