F.A.Q - What you need to know
about the Expanite hardening processes
Which materials and alloys can be treated/hardened?
Most stainless steel grades incl. austenitic, martensitic, duplex and ferritic. Titanium incl. but limited to Grade 2 and 5. Selective nickel-based alloys.
Which surface hardness values can be achieved?
Generally, it depends on the material/alloy. With SuperExpanite on stainless steel typically 1200HV0.05. With ExpaniteHigh-T on martensitic and ferritic alloys typically 650 to 900HV0.05. With ExpaniteHard-Ti on titanium typically 900HV0.05.
Does the high hardness cause brittleness?
Generally, no, as the hardness layer is relatively thin compared to overall part wall thickness and the core material remains ductile. In very thin-walled components (less than 0.5 mm) there might be a risk for increased brittleness.
Is the corrosion resistance affected?
Corrosion resistance is depending on many elements; the selection of alloy, machining, hardening, application, etc. In many cases, Expanite hardening is improving corrosion resistance compared to alternative hardening processes, and in many cases also compared to a non-hardened reference. Generally, corrosion resistance is not reduced.
Which diffusion depths can be achieved?
For the Low-T part of SuperExpanite, between 5 and 30µm and for ExpaniteHigh-T up to 2mm but typical 3-500µm. ExpaniteHard-Ti on titanium, in the range 10 to 80µm.
What are the maximum treatable dimensions and weights?
A:1m is the maximum length we can handle at the moment. Maximum single piece weight is 300kg.
What are the minimum treatable dimensions and weights?
No limitations regarding minimum dimensions and weights.
Is the whole surface area treated?
Yes. The hardening gasses stubbornly gets everywhere and as a consequence every exposed surface gets hardened.
Is bulkware treatment possible?
Yes, as all Expanite processes are gas-based, and the gas truly gets everywhere, parts can be treated as bulkware. Single-piece handling is naturally available if required for sensitivity reasons.
Is a selective treatment of certain partial surface areas possible?
No – the gasses will go everywhere. However, as there is neither a risk for embrittlement nor are Expanite processes affecting the corrosion resistance like traditional technologies – in many cases even increasing corrosion resistance – there is no need to treat parts only on certain areas.
What is the delivery time?
The standard delivery time for serial production is 6-9 working days counting from when parts arrive at Expanite, but since processing is an overnight event, lead times down to 2-3 working days can be offered against express fees.
Will the color change?
The color of the part is not changing, but the surface becomes slightly rougher which affect the light reflection, thereby causing the appearance to be more dull and/or greyish.
Is it possible to get documentation?
Yes, we have excellent lab facilities and can provide you with detailed laboratory reports with hardness measurements and micrographs if needed.
Are you ISO certified?
Yes, Expanite’s sites are all ISO-certified according to ISO 9001:2015 and ISO 14001:2015.
Does Expanite offer FDA compliant treatments?
Yes. Analyses done by external research institutions confirm that SuperExpanite on austenitic AISI 316 is compliant with FDA regulations.
Do you treat other materials than stainless steel and titanium?
If you don’t count nickel-based alloys as stainless steel, then YES but apart from that Expanite is focusing primarily on hardening and heat treatment of stainless steel and titanium.
Can you handle uncleaned items?
Yes, we have delicate cleaning equipment to handle cutting oils etc.
What’s the price for a test?
Typically, trials start with min. €300-500 incl. lab work – but it depends on your specific requirements.
What´s the price for running production?
In order for us to make a formal quotation we need to understand your parts (via a drawing), your requirements and batch sizes or yearly volume.
How do I select the most appropriate treatment for my application?
Our expert team will make sure that your parts get the right treatment – just let us know what material/alloys you are using as well as information on your application and potentially any specific requirements.
What are the unique benefits of Expanite?
Most importantly, Expanite processes have faster lead-times, better corrosion performance and are typically competitive in price compared to alternative stainless steel hardening processes available on the market.
Does anyone else offer an equivalent to the Expanite processes?
No – you can only get Expanite hardening processes from Expanite. Most of our processes are patented and we have 10+ years on know-how built into our technology.
Do I need to pre-clean my parts prior to sending them to Expanite for surface treatment?
Yes, please. Expanite can offer to clean/wash your parts prior to hardening but all quotations/pricing is assuming that parts are delivered cleaned to Expanite unless agreed differently.