Nd:YAG laser surface hardening of AISI 431 stainless steel; mechanical and metallurgical investigation

Ali Khorram, Akbar Davoodi Jamaloei, Abed Jafari, Mahmoud Moradi

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In the present study, Nd:YAG laser surface hardening of AISI 431 stainless steel was performed. The effect of process parameters was investigated on the geometrical dimensions of the hardened zone, micro hardness distribution, and microstructure of AISI 431 stainless steel. The results reveal that increasing the laser frequency and the pulse width causes more heat input. Therefore, the geometrical dimensions of the hardened zone rise. On the other hand, more heat input causes to increase the prior austenite grain size which contains the martensitic phase. So, the hardness value of laser treated region decreases. When the scanning speed and the focal plane position increase, the heat input decreases. Hence, the geometrical dimensions of the hardened zone reduce. The average hardness value increases by reducing the scanning speed due to the increase of the martensitic phase and the decrease of retained austenitic phase in the microstructure. Also, decreasing the heat input induced by increasing the focal plane position causes the grain size reduces and the hardness value increases. The structure consists of three regions (hardened zone, heat affected zone, and base metal). The microstructure of the hardened region consists of delta ferritic phase, martensitic phase and a small amount of retained austenitic phase. The best laser hardening condition is at the laser frequency of 17 Hz, the pulse width of 18 ms, the scanning speed of 20 mm/min, and the focal plane position of 7.5 mm. The hardness, the depth and the width of the hardened layer for the optimum sample are 650 Hv, 330 µm and 2020 µm, respectively.
Original languageEnglish
Article number105617
JournalOptics and Laser Technology
Early online date12 Jun 2019
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

NOTICE: this is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Optics and Laser Technology. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Optics and Laser Technology, 119 (2019) DOI: 10.1016/j.optlastec.2019.105617

© 2019, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/


  • AISI 431 stainless steel
  • Laser surface hardening
  • Micro hardness
  • Microstructure
  • Nd:YAG pulsed laser


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