It is important to understand the differences in nitrogen-bearing atmospheres from a cost and qualitative benefits standpoint. The cost of generated atmospheres depends on different generation process factors such as centralized and decentralized generators, energy consumption, capital investment and maintenace downtime.
Nitrogen gas is used primarily as a carrier gas that protects powder-metal components from oxidation and excessive decarburization during the sintering process. Most atmospheres currently used in sintering parts in continuous belt furnaces contain nitrogen as a primary constituent of the atmosphere, which offers stability, safety and reliability in the process. It is important to understand how different nitrogen-bearing atmospheres compare with respect to cost and other qualitative benefits.