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Titanium nitride (TiN) is an extremely hard material with excellent wear resistance and corrosion resistance. This makes it very useful as a coating material to protect metal surfaces from wear and tear. It is used as a coating on tools, implants and many other products. It is also used as an ingredient in some plastics such as PET flasks, to improve their physical properties.
Titanium Nitride is formed as a byproduct in many steel forming operations because of its low enthalpy of formation and lack of solubility in austenite, the face centred cubic phase that most steel exists in at the high temperatures forming takes place at. It is also intentionally produced in many steels because it reduces the temperature at which Ostwald Ripening occurs, which would otherwise destroy the grain structure.
It has very good abrasion resistance, making it ideal for use in metal machining applications such as cutting and grinding. It is also very biocompatible, which means that it is safe to use in medical equipment such as scalpels and bone saws. It is also very hard, with a surface that can be compared to that of diamond.
Titanium nitride coating can be applied to many materials using the chemical vapor deposition process. This involves delivering titanium carbide, nitrogen and hydrogen into a furnace at an elevated temperature where they react to create TiN. This is then deposited onto the surface of various materials such as stainless steel. Titanium nitride is also commonly used in the production of surgical and dental tools, as well as in medical implants. It has been shown that it can improve the longevity of medical implants, by preventing the release of metallic ions into the body during prolonged periods of time.