Nb Carbide is an environmentally-friendly material. Investigations of Nb carbides (NbC and Nb2C) characteristics and properties demonstrate such positive properties of such materials as high melting temperature (~3500°C), extreme hardness and high corrosion resistance.
Nb Nitride is also an environmentally friendly material. This type of ceramic coating is mostly used currently as a superconductor at low temperatures, as a detector for infrared spectrum and as a reflective coating. However, these coatings have many other interesting and useful properties, such as chemical inertness, excellent mechanical properties, high electrical conductivity, high melting point (2573°C), high hardness (~2400 Hv25) and wear resistance.
Currently existing methods of generating NbN protective coatings are very complicated, cumbersome and marginally effective technologies, which include Chemical Vapor and Physical Vapor depositions (CVD and PVD respectively), metallo-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD), magnetron sputtering, etc. All these methods usually generate very thin surface coatings, in the range of 0.5-1.8 microns. Furthermore, these are adhesive coatings and must have a strong bond with the component surface to be effective, which is usually impossible to achieve.
Thorough research powered the development of SANOVA's new custom treatment technology LINTERNIOBIUM-N1, which will facilitate creation of durable diffusion protective Nb nitride surface layers on Nb components manufactured from commercially-pure Nb and Nb alloy C-103. Resulting microstructures and comprehensive results of this technology development effort are presented below and can be discussed with interested parties.