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High-speed machining using carbide has been used for some decades for milling and turning operations. The intermittent character of the gear cutting process has delayed the use of carbide tools in gear manufacturing. Carbide was found at first to be too brittle for interrupted cutting actions. In the meantime, however, a number of different carbide grades were developed. The first successful studies in carbide hobbing of cylindrical gears were completed during the mid-80s, but still did not lead to a breakthrough in the use of carbide cutting tools for gear production. Since the carbide was quite expensive and the tool life was too short, a TiN-coated, high-speed steel hob was more economical than an uncoated carbide hob.
Except for higher-end gear applications found in automotive and aerospace transmissions, for example, high-performance, sintered-steel gears match wrought-steel gears in strength and geometrical quality. The enhanced P/M performance is due largely to advances in powder metallurgy over last two decades, such as selective surface densification, new materials and lubricants for high density and warm-die pressing. This paper is a review of the results of a decade of research and development of high- performance, sintered-steel gear prototypes.
Bevel gears have been the standard for several decades in situations where power transmission has to occur between shafts mounted at a given angle. Now a new approach has been developed that challenges the bevel gear's de facto monopoly in such applications. The concept is based on the principle of the crown gear; i.e., a cylindrical pinion mates with a face gear. Crown Gear B.V. in Enschede, Holland, is the developer of these specialty gear teeth, which are marketed under the trade name Cylkro.
Ausforming, the plastic deformation of heat treatment steels in their metastable, austentic condition, was shown several decades ago to lead to quenched and tempered steels that were harder, tougher and more durable under fatigue-type loading than conventionally heat-treated steels. To circumvent the large forces required to ausform entire components such as gears, cams and bearings, the ausforming process imparts added mechanical strength and durability only to those contact surfaces that are critically loaded. The ausrolling process, as utilized for finishing the loaded surfaces of machine elements, imparts high quality surface texture and geometry control. The near-net-shape geometry and surface topography of the machine elements must be controlled to be compatible with the network dimensional finish and the rolling die design requirements (Ref. 1).
Itís happened to most manufacturers at one point or another. A defective product comes back from a customer in need of repair. Perhaps a bearing or a gear drive has failed, and the customer simply needs a replacement. Upon further examination, the company realizes it was never one of its products in the first place, but a fabricated copy that snuck into the market. The manufacturing community has been dealing with counterfeit products for decades, but used machinery dealers and Internet shoppers seem to continuously get hit by scam artists.
The complete and accurate solution t the contact problem of three-dimensional gears has been, for the past several decades, one of the more sought after, albeit elusive goals in the engineering community. Even the arrival on the scene in the mid-seventies of finite element techniques failed to produce the solution to any but the most simple gear contact problems.
AGMA has started to replace its 2000-A88 standard for gear accuracy with a new series of documents based largely on ISO standards. The first of the replacement AGMA standards have been published with the remainder coming in about a year. After serving as a default accuracy specification for U.S. commerce in gear products for several decades, the material in AGMA 2000-A88 is now considered outdated and in need of comprehensive revision.