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Advantages of Surface Engineering | Disadvantages of Surface Engineering

This page covers advantages and disadvantages of Surface Engineering and its basics. It mentions benefits or advantages of Surface Engineering and limitations or drawbacks or disadvantages of Surface Engineering.

Introduction: Surface of solid materials interact with surroundings which result into its degradation over time. This degradation is caused by various factors such as wear, tear, fatigue, corrosion, creep etc. In order to prevent the degradation of materials, its surface properties are altered.

What is Surface Engineering ?

The surface engineering is the sub domain of material science which is related to solid surfaces. In semiconductor manufacturing, it is applicable to mechanical, chemical and electrical engineering.

Various processes are followed in surface engineering to change the surface properties in order to enhance quality and performance of the solids.

Surface engineering classification

The figure depicts classification of surface engineering into various processes and techniques. Following are the major processes involved in surface engineering.
• Surface transformation techniques such as laser, induction hardening etc.
• Chemical treatment techniques such as conversion coatings etc.
• Coating methods such as vapour deposition, plating, spraying, painting etc.
• Surface composition such as ion implantation, thermochemical treatment etc.
• Mechanical treatment techniques such as shot blasting, peening etc.
• Surface activation such as etching and plasma treatment of materials such as polymers etc.

Benefits or advantages of Surface Engineering

Following are the benefits or advantages of Surface Engineering:
➨It offers quality, performance and life cycle cost benefits to the products.
➨It offers resistance to oxidation and various forms of corrosion.
➨It helps to produce tools, appliances and machine components using materials with lower properties and lower costs. This delivers surface improvement qualities to them.
➨It improves reliability of tools, appliances and components resulting into reduction to number of failures.
➨It increases component life as it improves resistance to corrosion.
➨It reduces frequency of replacement and maintenance of tools and parts.
➨It reduces energy consumption which results into reduction of environment pollution.

Drawbacks or disadvantages of Surface Engineering

Following are the limitations or drawbacks or disadvantages of Surface Engineering:
➨Coating requires more time. Moreover it varies based on coating methods used.
➨Requires vacuum during its operation.
➨It produces hazardous X-rays during interaction between surface and electron beam.
➨Work piece should be ferrous with sufficient amount of carbon and its size is limited to vacuum chamber size.
➨Mass of upto 8times that of volume to be hardened is needed around and below of heated surfaces.
➨Electron beam used in the technique gets deflected in the already magnetized work pieces.

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