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1. INTRODUCTION
Diffusion Surface hardening (DSH) is a popular technique used to enhance the surface properties of the steel by adding the atoms of carbon, nitrogen, boron or combination of the mating surface. DSH gives a hard outer case with a soft tough core. The increased hardness of outer case improves the wear resistance of the steel part which in turn improves the service life of the part. Carburizing is one of the commercial and extensively used surface hardening techniques in engineering industries for its simplicity and cost-effectiveness[1]. Many researchers studied the effect of carburizing process in various materials[2-8] and it was revealed that carburizing improves the surface properties of steel namely hardness[2, 9-13],wear resistance[2, 3, 5, 9, 14],fatigue[7, 15, 16]and corrosion resistant[8, 12]. Limited investigations studied the effect of post treatment in carburizing process namely tempering and cryogenic treatment. It was observed that post treatments improve the wear resistance [14, 17-20]. Some researchers studied the influence of carburizing process parameters namely carburizing temperature, soaking time, type of quenching and gas flow rate. It was found that carburizing temperature and soaking time affect the hardness and case depth of the steel. Higher hardness of the surface obtained in high carburizing temperatures and case depth increases with increase in soaking time.[2, 6, 13, 21]. In this investigation, gas carburizing technique is selected for its advantages of cleanness, less thermal distortion and other process parameters like case depth and gas flow rate can be easily controlled when compared with pack carburization and it is being generally preferred for batch production.
Sliding wear occur...

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...e of increase in temperature due to sliding wear is dominant and the temperature varies from room temperature to 150oC approximately. The wear behaviour of hardened steel at this moderate temperature range is of industrial importance and a need arises to study the sliding wear in this temperature range.
The investigations on sliding wear concentrated mainly on the influence of various parameters qualitatively. Taguchi technique could be employed to study the impact of selected parameters and their influence on sliding wear. For reasons unknown, such studies are scarce for sliding wear of diffusion hardened steels[40]. This work deals with the study of parameters namely normal load, sliding distance and temperature on sliding wear behaviour of carburized steel using Taguchi experimental design and a prediction model is also developed by employing regression analysis.

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