Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science in Chemical Engineering - (M.S.)


Chemical Engineering

First Advisor

C. L. Mantell

Second Advisor

Saul I. Kreps


An attempt was made to carburize steel using cracked methane, industrial terminology for methane burned in air over a catalyst to give carbon monoxide and hydrogen, as the carburizing agent. Initial tests in a laboratory scale furnace using steel in chip form showed that, the feasibility of this method was excellent. These tests also indicated that a good method of control of the carburizing would be by a system that could measure the dew point of the gases introduced into the furnace. The next step was to apply the method of carburizing to small production size lots of bearing components. The first result was satisfactory. It was necessary to try to improve the surface carbon concentration to a more acceptable level since in this test only the lower limit was attained. Several more trials were run under varying conditions and limited success was met. Before the ideal results were obtained the furnace had a major breakdown and could not be repaired. Thus the project had to be discontinued.



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