The process is usually performed on fully finished components which, in many instances, require no additional operations prior to assembly.
Usually nitriding is only used on alloy steel. These have a carbon content of 0.3 to 0.4%. It is possible to nitride other materials such as stainless steel, titanium and nickel alloys, however the preferred nitriding route for those materials is Plasma Nitriding.
The resulting layer is relatively thin, so that changes in shape cannot be changed afterwards by grinding. However, the changes in shape during nitriding are comparatively very small. Stress relieving should be carried out beforehand. In this way it can be achieved that the material is free from stresses, which in turn reduces the risk of shape changes.
This process is most useful for components such as Crankshafts, Gears and a multitude of other parts in tough environments (especially oil & gas, energy, aerospace, etc).