The effect of low energy Ti irradiation of stainless steel substrates is studied at elevated sample temperatures and high current densities. The studies which are performed are on a laboratory scale as well as field tests in the industrial practice for improved adhesion of protective coatings. A Ti rich surface layer is found to be formed with a thickness of up to 1500 Å. The formation of this gradient layer is explained by overheating of the surface, which enables the indiffusion of Ti, in competition with surface sputtering. It is found that Ti gradient layers of a thickness as high as 6000 Å can be grown by alternating Ti irradiation and deposition.