What is Kolsterising®?

Hardened, corrosion resistant stainless steel? No problem.
Kolsterising® is an industry-proven, surface hardening technology for grades of stainless steel, cobalt and nickel-based alloys, providing ultimate hardness and improved mechanical and wear properties with no loss of corrosion resistance.

Offered exclusively by Bodycote, Kolsterising® is part of Bodycote’s Specialty Stainless Steel Processes (S³P) family, a group of technologies designed specifically to provide value-adding metallurgical treatment tailored to the unique challenges of stainless steel.

Kolsterising® and other Bodycote S³P treatments have been successfully implemented for over 20 years in a wide variety of industries. Many technical publications have reported impressive results that demonstrate considerable improvements in the mechanical properties of steel surfaces treated by S³P.

Galling… gone
Stainless steel alloys are commonly used in corrosive environments for their superb corrosion resistance. Unfortunately these alloys exhibit poor galling and wear resistance limiting their life or range of application. This is why many industrial applications rely on Kolsterising® to eliminate galling. Kolsterising® not only overcomes the galling phenomenon, but also dramatically improves wear resistance and fatigue strength.Galling Comparison

In the untreated condition a threshold galling stress of 45.5 MPa (6.6 KSI) was measured. Following Kolsterising® treatment, galling was completely eliminated. At a load setting of 842.5 MPa (122.2 KSI) the compressive yield strength of the material was exceeded, yet no galling was observed.

Working harder

A comparison of surface hardness before and after Bodycote’s Kolsterising® (S3P) treatment. S3P treated materials show higher levels of hardness, resulting in improved wear resistance.


Properties & Advantages

Surface hardness range 900-1300 HV0.05

Improved resistance to surface wear environments such as sliding


Improved fatigue strength

Consistent diffusion depth

No post treatment necessary

No change in color or dimensions

Corrosion resistance maintained

Increased abrasive wear and cavitation erosion resistance

Elimination of galling and fretting

Exceptional scratch resistance

Magnetic properties unaffected

Diffusion process – no risk of delamination

Bulk processing to individual large components



Any industry which uses stainless steel has an application for Kolsterising®.

Food and beverage applications

Stainless steel sets the industry standard for demanding hygienic applications in food production, although poor mechanical properties are a challenge for designers and engineers. Kolsterising® results in hardened production parts that resist galling and offer improved wear characteristics while maintaining the base material’s corrosion resistance. Safe in contact with food, with no delamination or peel-off. For applications in the food and beverage sector, an FDA master file is available.

Industrial fluid handling

Treatment with Kolsterising® results in non-galling, wear and corrosion resistant industrial pumps, valves and fittings.


Kolsterising® treatment for industrial and consumer fasteners ensures corrosion resistance, with non-galling and wear resistant properties, allowing smooth assembly and disassembly.

Marine applications

Wear and scratch resistant parts and fasteners that maintain corrosion resistance in marine and sour gas applications.

Medical devices

Kolsterising® can be applied to various grades of stainless steel and cobalt-chromium alloys, providing an optimum solution for treatment of medical grade materials that require corrosion, wear and fatigue resistance, whilst maintaining a hard, sharp edge. Due to the diffusion characteristics of the Kolsterising® process, the risk of delamination and metal debris is virtually eliminated. For applications in the medical sector, an FDA master file is available.

Consumer goods

Stainless steel is often chosen for its aesthetic appeal for consumer goods. Kolsterising® provides a tough, exceptionally scratch and wear resistant surface with no change in colour or dimensions.

Automotive components

New fuel and efficiency challenges in today’s automotive applications require corrosion resistant, hardened components that resist wear and provide longer part life.





Kolsterising® was developed to increase surface hardness and wear resistance of austenitic, martensitic, ferritic and duplex stainless steels as well as nickel-based and cobalt-chromium alloys. Bodycote has experience working with over 100 alloys…

Austenitic Grades

  • 301
  • 304/ 304L
  • 316/316L
  • 316LVM
  • 904L

Precipitation Hardened

  • 17-4PH
  • 13-8Mo
  • 15-5
  • A286

Duplex and Super-duplex

  • SAF2205
  • SAF2507

Cobalt Based Alloys

  • 670
  • Stellite 6
  • MP35N
  • BioDur CCM Plus

Nickel Based Alloys - Inconels

  • 625
  • 718
  • 725
  • 825

Nickel Based Alloys - Hastelloy

  • C-276



We have a library of literature and test results available for specific industries and applications.

Please click here to view all of our other Brochures

Contact our technical specialists to discuss the material requirements for your application, and discover the best solution to your stainless steel challenges.

Brochure – Specialty Stainless Steel Processes – S3P
Download Here   Brochure - Specialty Stainless Steel Processes – S3P

Brochure – Surface Hardening Processes for Medical Grade Material
Download Here   Brochure - Specialty Stainless Steel Processes – S3P

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