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Gear grinding is one of the most expensive and least understood aspects of gear manufacturing. But with pressures for reduced noise, higher quality and greater efficiency, gear grinding appears to be on the rise.
Grinding in one form or another has been used for more than 50 years to correct distortions in gears caused by the high temperatures and quenching techniques associated with hardening. Grinding improves the lead, involute and spacing characteristics. This makes the gear capable of carrying the high loads and running at the high pitch line velocities required by today's most demanding applications. Gears that must meet or exceed the accuracy requirements specified by AGMA Quality 10-11 or DIN Class 6-7 must be ground or hard finished after hear treatment.
It isn't for everyone, but... Within the installed base of modern CNC gear profile grinding machines (approximately 542 machines worldwide), grinding from the solid isn't frequent, but a growing number of gear profile grinder users are applying it successfully using CBN-plated wheels.
For over 50 years, grinding has been an accepted method of choice for improving the quality of gears and other parts by correcting heat treat distortions. Gears with quality levels better than AGMA 10-11 or DIN 6-7 are hard finished, usually by grinding. Other applications for grinding include, but are not limited to, internal/external and spur/helical gear and spline forms, radius forms, threads and serrations, compressor rotors, gerotors, ball screw tracks, worms, linear ball tracks, rotary pistons, vane pump rotators, vane slots, and pump spindles.
The latest machines, tooling and technology for gear grinding were featured at IMTS 2012.
This machine concept facilitates highly productive profile grinding for large workpieces. The range for external and internal gears comprises models for manufacturing workpieces up to 2,000 millimeters – for industrial gear units, wind power, and marine propulsion applications
In the quest for ever more exacting and compact commercial gears, precision abrasives are playing a key production role - a role that can shorten cycle time, reduce machining costs and meet growing market demand for such requirements as light weights, high loads, high speed and quiet operation. Used in conjunction with high-quality grinding machines, abrasives can deliver a level of accuracy unmatched by other manufacturing techniques, cost-effectively meeting AGMA gear quality levels in the 12 to 15 range. Thanks to advances in grinding and abrasive technology, machining has become one of the most viable means to grind fast, strong and quiet gears.
Previews of manufacturing technology related to gears that will be on display at IMTS 2012.
When designing hardened and ground spur gears to operate with minimum noise, what are the parameters to be considered? should tip and/or root relief be applied to both wheel and pinion or only to one member? When pinions are enlarged and he wheel reduced, should tip relief be applied? What are the effects on strength, wear and noise? For given ratios with enlarged pinions and reduced wheels, how can the gear set sized be checked or adjusted to ensure that the best combination has been achieved?
New freedom of motion available with CNC generators make possible improving tooth contact on bevel and hypoid gears. Mechanical machines by their nature are inflexible and require a special mechanism for every desired motion. These mechanisms are generally exotic and expensive. As a result, it was not until the introduction of CNC generators that engineers started exploring motion possibilities and their effect on tooth contact.
Grinding is a technique of finish-machining, utilizing an abrasive wheel. The rotating abrasive wheel, which id generally of special shape or form, when made to bear against a cylindrical shaped workpiece, under a set of specific geometrical relationships, will produce a precision spur or helical gear. In most instances the workpiece will already have gear teeth cut on it by a primary process, such as hobbing or shaping. There are essentially two techniques for grinding gears: form and generation. The basic principles of these techniques, with their advantages and disadvantages, are presented in this section.
Because of the better thermal conductivity of CBN abrasives compared to that of conventional aluminum oxide wheels, CBN grinding process, which induces residual compressive stresses into the component, and possibly improves the subsequent stress behavior. This thesis is the subject of much discussion. In particular, recent Japanese publications claim great advantages for the process with regard to an increased component load capacity, but do not provide further details regarding the technology, test procedures or components investigated. This situation needs clarification, and for the this reason the effect of the CBN grinding material on the wear behavior and tooth face load capacity of continuously generated ground gears was further investigated.
Power train designs which employ gears with cone angles of approximately 2 degrees to 5 degrees have become quite common. It is difficult, if not impossible, to grind these gears on conventional bevel gear grinding machines. Cylindrical gear grinding machines are better suited for this task. This article will provide an overview of this option and briefly introduce four grinding variation possibilities.
Analysis of helical involute gears by tooth contact analysis shows that such gears are very sensitive to angular misalignment leading to edge contact and the potential for high vibration. A new topology of tooth surfaces of helical gears that enables a favorable bearing contact and a reduced level of vibration is described. Methods for grinding helical gears with the new topology are proposed. A TCA program simulating the meshing and contact of helical gears with the new topology has been developed. Numerical examples that illustrate the proposed ideas are discussed.
When a customer needed gears delivered in three weeks, here’s how Brevini Wind got it done.
For two days in Saline, Michigan, Liebherr's clients, customers and friends came together to discuss the latest gear products and technology. Peter Wiedemann, president of Liebherr Gear Technology Inc., along with Dr.-Ing. Alois Mundt, managing director, Dr.-Ing. Oliver Winkel, head of application technology, and Dr.-Ing. Andreas Mehr, technology development shaping and grinding, hosted a variety of informative presentations.
For maximum life in carburized and ground gearing, I have been advised that fully grinding a radius into the root gives maximum resistance against fatigue failures. Others have advised that a hobbed and unground radius root form is best. Which is best, and why?
The honing of gears - by definition - facilitates ease of operation, low noise and smoother performance in a transmission. Honing also contributes to reduced friction in the powertrain. Both the intense cutting (roughing process) as well as the functionally fine- finishing of transmission gears can be performed in one setup, on one machine.
The hobbing and generation grinding production processes are complex due to tool geometry and kinematics. Expert knowledge and extensive testing are required for a clear attribution of cause to work piece deviations. A newly developed software tool now makes it possible to simulate the cutting procedure of the tool and superimpose systematic deviations on it. The performance of the simulation software is illustrated here with practical examples. The new simulation tool allows the user to accurately predict the effect of errors. With this knowledge, the user can design and operate optimal, robust gearing processes.
One process for hard finishing gears is generating gear grinding. Due to its high process efficiency, generating gear grinding has replaced other grinding processes such as profile grinding in batch production of small- and middle-sized gears. Yet despite the wide industrial application of generating gear grinding, the process design is based on experience along with time- and cost-intensive trials. The science-based analysis of generating gear grinding demands a high amount of time and effort, and only a few published scientific analyses exist. In this report a thermo-mechanical process model that describes influences on the surface zone in generating gear grinding is introduced.
Liebherr is well-known as one of the world’s largest privately owned companies — a titan in heavy industry specializing in cranes, trucks and mammoth earth moving and mining equipment.
When Dr. Hermann J. Stadtfeld speaks, people tend to listen. Considered one of the world’s foremost experts on bevel gears, Stadtfeld, the vice president of bevel gear technology at Gleason, recently revealed several cutting-edge advancements that the company has been working on.
The complete Industry News section from the July 2014 issue of Gear Technology.
Gleason 350GMS helps put higher quality, more reliable gears into its next-generation TC10 automatic transmission.
Much of the existing guidelines for making large, high-performance gears for wind turbine gearboxes exhibit a need for improvement. Consider: the large grinding stock used to compensate for heat treatment distortion can significantly reduce manufacturing productivity; and, materials and manufacturing processes are two other promising avenues to improvement. The work presented here investigates quenchable alloy steels that, combined with specifically developed Case-hardening and heat treatment processes, exhibits reduced distortion and, in turn, requires a smaller grinding stock.
Whether you spent time at Gear Expo in Indianapolis or EMO in Hannover, there was certainly new technology attracting attention. Machine tools are faster, more efficient and can integrate numerous functions in a single setup. Grinding technology is turning science upside down and inside out with high-speed removal rates and increased throughput.
Every so often manufacturing is jolted out of its inertia by a transformative technology – one that fundamentally changes not only the way products are made, but also the economics of the business.
Cubitron II wheels are put to the test in this case study.
Dressable vitrified bond CBN grinding tools combine the advantages of other common tool systems in generating gear grinding. Yet despite those technological advantages, there is only a small market distribution of these grinding tools due to high tool costs. Furthermore, scant literature exists regarding generating gear grinding with dressable CBN. This is especially true regarding the influence of the grinding tool system on manufacturing-related component properties. The research objective of this report is to determine the advantages of dressable CBN tools in generating gear grinding.
The grinding/abrasives market is rapidly changing, thanks to new technology, more flexibility and an attempt to lower customer costs. Productivity is at an all-time high in this market, and it’s only going to improve with further R&D. By the time IMTS 2014 rolls around this September, the gear market will have lots of new toys and gadgets to offer potential customers. If you haven’t upgraded any grinding/abrasives equipment in the last five years, now might be a good time to consider the investment.
The quality of a gear and its performance is determined by the following five parameters, which should be specified for each gear: Pitch diameter, involute form, lead accuracy, spacing accuracy, and true axis of rotation. The first four parameters can be measured or charted and have to be within tolerance with respect to the fifth. Pitch diameter, involute, lead, and spacing of a gear can have master gear quality when measured or charted on a testing machine, but the gear might perform badly if the true axis of rotation after installation is no longer the same one used when testing the gear.
This article investigates fillet features consequent to tooth grinding by generating methods. Fillets resulting from tooth cutting and tooth grinding at different pressure angles and with different positions of grinding wheel are compared. Ways to improve the final fillet of the ground teeth with regard to tooth strength and noise, as well as the grinding conditions, are shown. "Undergrinding" is defined and special designs for noiseless gears are described.
Flexibility and productivity are the keywords in today’s grinding operations. Machines are becoming more flexible as manufacturers look for ways to produce more parts at a lower cost. What used to take two machines or more now takes just one.
This paper initially defines bias error—the “twisted tooth phenomenon.” Using illustrations, we explain that bias error is a by-product of applying conventional, radial crowning methods to produced crowned leads on helical gears. The methods considered are gears that are finished, shaped, shaved, form and generated ground. The paper explains why bias error occurs in these methods and offers techniques used to limit/eliminate bias error. Sometimes, there may be a possibility to apply two methods to eliminate bias error. In those cases, the pros/cons of these methods will be reviewed.
The fundamental purpose of gear grinding is to consistently and economically produce "hard" or "soft" gear tooth elements within the accuracy required by the gear functions. These gear elements include tooth profile, tooth spacing, lead or parallelism, axial profile, pitch line runout, surface finish, root fillet profile, and other gear geometry which contribute to the performance of a gear train.
Instances of damage to discontinuous form ground and surface-hardened gears, especially of large scale, have recently increased. This may be attributed partly to a faulty grinding process with negative effects on the surface zones and the surface properties.
In order to grind gears burn-free and as productively as possible, a better understanding of the process is required.
The GS:TE-LM thread grinder from Drake Manufacturing is fitted with a robot load/unload system that provides maximum throughput for high-volume production of ground threads.
When gears are case-hardened, it is known that some growth and redistribution of stresses that result in geometric distortion will occur. Aerospace gears require post case-hardening grinding of the gear teeth to achieve necessary accuracy. Tempering of the case-hardened surface, commonly known as grinding burn, occurs in the manufacturing process when control of the heat generation at the surface is lost.
This paper presents the results of a study performed to measure the change in residual stress that results from the finish grinding of carburized gears. Residual stresses were measured in five gears using the x-ray diffraction equipment in the Large Specimen Residual Stress Facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
This article shows the newest developments to reduce overall cycle time in grinding wind power gears, including the use of both profile grinding and threaded wheel grinding.
Non-uniform gear wear changes gear topology and affects the noise performance of a hypoid gear set. The aggregate results under certain vehicle driving conditions could potentially result in unacceptable vehicle noise performance in a short period of time. This paper presents the effects of gear surface parameters on gear wear and the measurement/testing methods used to quantify the flank wear in laboratory tests.
The benefits of ground gears are well known. They create less noise, transmit more power and have longer lives than non-ground gears. But grinding has always been thought of as an expensive process, one that was necessary only for aerospace or other high-tech gear manufacturing.
The bevel gear grinding process, with conventional wheels, has been limited to applications where the highest level of quality is required.
Recent breakthroughs in profile grinding software are helping Anderson Precision Gears and others meet wind power’s insatiable appetite for faster production of large, high-quality gears.
When you push 850 horsepower and 9,000 rpm through a racing transmission, you better hope it stands up. Transmission cases and gears strewn all over the racetrack do nothing to enhance your standing, nor that of your transmission supplier.
New machine promises DIN 2 accuracy and unique features at low cost.
Tom Lang of Kapp Technologies shares his views on the trends affecting ground gears.
A considerable improvement in the performance of the machining of hard to grind materials can be achieved by means of CBN wheels.
Borazon is a superabrasive material originally developed by General Electric in 1969. It is a high performance material for machining of high alloy ferrous and super alloy materials. Borazon CBN - Cubic Born Nitride - is manufactured with a high temperature, high pressure process similar to that utilized with man-made diamond. Borazon is, next to diamond, the hardest abrasive known; it is more than twice as hard as aluminum oxide. It has an extremely high thermal strength compared to diamond. It is also much less chemically reactive with iron, cobalt or nickel alloys.
Until recently, form gear grinding was conducted almost exclusively with dressable, conventional abrasive grinding wheels. In recent years, preformed, plated Cubic Boron Nitride (CBN) wheels have been introduced to this operation and a considerable amount of literature has been published that claim that conventional grinding wheels will be completely replaced in the future. The superior machining properties of the CBN wheel are not disputed in this paper.
In conventional gear grinders, grinding wheels with Alundum grains and a hardness of about 2000 HV have been used for finishing steel gears with hardnesses up to about 1000HV. In this case, the accuracy of the gears ground is greatly affected by wear of the grinding wheel because the difference in hardness is comparatively small when the gears are fully hardened.
Modern manufacturing processes have become an ally of the product designer in producing higher quality, higher performing components in the transportation industry. This is particularly true in grinding systems where the physical properties of CBN abrasives have been applied to improving cycle times, dimensional consistency, surface integrity and overall costs. Of these four factors, surface integrity offers the greatest potential for influencing the actual design of highly stressed, hardened steel components.
Hard Gear Finishing (HGF), a relatively new technology, represents an advance in gear process engineering. The use of Computer Numerical Controlled (CNC) equipment ensures a high precision synchronous relationship between the tool spindle and the work spindle as well as other motions, thereby eliminating the need for gear trains. A hard gear finishing machine eliminates problems encountered in two conventional methods - gear shaving, which cannot completely correct gear errors in gear teeth, and gear rolling, which lacks the ability to remove stock and also drives the workpiece without a geared relationship to the master rolling gear. Such a machine provides greater accuracy, reducing the need for conventional gear crowning, which results in gears of greater face width than necessary.
Machine tool companies are expanding capabilities to better accommodate the changing face of manufacturing. Customers want smaller-sized equipment to take up less valuable floor space, multifunctional machines that can handle a variety of operations and easy set-up changes that offer simplified operation and maintenance.
Modern gearboxes are characterized by high torque load demands, low running noise and compact design. In order to fulfill these demands, profile and lead modifications are being applied more often than in the past. This paper will focus on how to produce profile and lead modifications by using the two most common grinding processes—threaded wheel and profile grinding. In addition, more difficult modifications—such as defined flank twist or topological flank corrections—will also be described in this paper.
Bevel gear manufacturers live in one of two camps: the face hobbing/lapping camp, and the face milling/grinding camp.
Guidelines are insurance against mistakes in the often detailed work of gear manufacturing. Gear engineers, after all, can't know all the steps for all the processes used in their factories.
Hofler Rapid 6000 Makes North American Debut at Highway Machine Company.
This paper acknowledges the wide variety of manufacturing processes--especially in grinding--utlized in the production of bevel gears...
This paper intends to determine the load-carrying capacity of thermally damaged parts under rolling stress. Since inspection using real gears is problematic, rollers are chosen as an acceptable substitute. The examined scope of thermal damage from hard finishing extends from undamaged, best-case parts to a rehardening zone as the worst case. Also, two degrees of a tempered zone have been examined.
The merits of CBN physical characteristics over conventional aluminum oxide abrasives in grinding performance are reviewed. Improved surface integrity and consistency in drive train products can be achieved by the high removal rate of the CBN grinding process. The influence of CBN wheel surface conditioning procedure on grinding performance is also discussed.