Micro-texturing method has grown up to be one of the most promising procedures to form micro-lines, micro-dots and micro-grooves onto the mold-die materials and to duplicate these micro-patterns onto metallic or polymer sheets via stamping or injection molding. This related application requires for large-area, fine micro-texturing onto the martensitic stainless steel mold-die materials. A new method other than laser-machining, micro-milling or micro-EDM is awaited for further advancement of this micro-texturing. In the present paper, a new micro-texturing method is developed on the basis of the plasma assisted nitriding to transform the two-dimensionally designed micro-patterns to the three dimensional micro-textures in the martensitic stainless steels. First, original patterns are printed onto the surface of stainless steel molds by using the dispenser or the ink-jet printer. Then, the masked mold is subjected to high density plasma nitriding; the un-masked surfaces are nitrided to have higher hardness, 1400 Hv than the matrix hardness, 200 Hv of stainless steels. This nitrided mold is further treated by sand-blasting to selectively remove the soft, masked surfaces. Finally, the micro-patterned martensitic stainless steel mold is fabricated as a tool to duplicate these micro-patterns onto the plastic materials by the injection molding.
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