On occasion, unique and handcrafted applications come through our commercial heat treating shop that are worth mentioning. Pictured above is a Handpan, a musical instrument played with hands and fingers and consisting of 2 metal hemispheres resembling a UFO. The top hemisphere has various concave indents of different depths and diameters, and the bottom hemisphere has an opening designed to act as a resonance box.

How does a Handpan benefit from Nitreg® nitriding? While hardening the metal surface is generally the main purpose of nitriding, its benefits in this case are far greater. Compressive stress within the nitrided case of the steel modify its resonance and musical properties. Another property of the nitrided case is improved corrosion resistance. According to Bobby DiSilva of HandPan.org, “Nitriding has enhanced the resonance characteristics of our Handpans, making the ethereal notes sound richer and more textured. The cobalt blue finish is not only swanky, but also provides a functional advantage that preserves the surface and protects it from rust caused by the moisture present on the musician’s hands.”

Thanks to a modified Nitreg® nitriding process with controlled post-oxidation, new color finishes like blue, gold and purple are now available, including neutral colors like black and grey.