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The paper studies the penetration of nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, carbon, argon and krypton into copper, nickel, molybdenum, titanium, aluminum, iron and different steels under the action of spark discharges in various media based on radioactive indicators using step-by-step radiometric analysis, macro-, micro-, electron-microscopy and activation autoradiography, Mössbauer and Auger spectroscopy, secondary ion-ionic emission, X-ray diffraction and X-ray microanalysis. The study describes distribution features of penetrating atoms and their concentration profiles. Phase composition of near-surface layers is also determined. It is shown that supersaturated solid solutions of iron in copper and copper in iron are formed during simultaneous iron and oxygen penetration in copper and spinel (Fe6Cu3O4)4. Diffusion of iron and carbon results in supersaturated solid solutions of iron and carbon in copper, copper and carbon in iron, graphite and cementite. Inert gases and nitrogen form solid solutions with copper. Phase composition of near-surface layers in Fe is determined. Iron dioxide FeO, a carbon solid solution in iron with fcc lattice γ-Fe, tetragonal martensite and cementite, two iron (III) hydroxide FeOOH modifications, a supersaturated solid solution of nitrogen and nitride Fe4N, solid solutions of inert gases in iron are formed in the diffusion zone. Simultaneous interaction of molybdenum with iron (the anode material) and various gases results in the formation of substitutional solid solutions of iron in molybdenum and molybdenum in iron, a small amount of interstitial solid solutions of nitrogen and carbon in molybdenum and nitrogen in iron, interstitial phases: molybdenum nitrides and carbides and traces of nitrides of iron (Fe4N, Fe2N) and Fe1,9Mo (λ) phases in the form of needles. Treatment of nickel with a nickel anode in the nitrogen medium promotes formation of a solid solution of nitrogen and nitride Ni3N in the matrix with preserved hexagonal symmetry and lattice parameters that are characteristic of this phase under equilibrium conditions. Atoms of oxygen, nitrogen, carbon and argon are present in the interstitial solid solutions in treatment of nickel in ambient air; however, oxides are not found even on the surface (in the layer ~200 nm). Interaction of titanium with atmospheric gases leads to formation of a solid solution of nitrogen, oxygen, carbon, hydrogen and argon in titanium and titanium nitride Ti2N (ε). Simultaneous saturation of the titanium surface with nickel and nitrogen in the interaction zone causes formation of phases in the following order: nickel nitride; a solid solution of nitrogen and titanium in nickel and a solid solution of both alloying elements in titanium.
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