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Hobs, broaches, shaper cutters, shaver cutters, milling cutters, and bevel cutters used in the manufacture of gears are commonly made of high speed steel. These specialized gear cutting tools often require properties, such as toughness or manufacturability, that are difficult to achieve with carbide, despite the developments in carbide cutting tools for end mills, milling cutters, and tool inserts.
Users of gear-cutting tools probably do not often consciously consider the raw material from which those hogs, broaches or shavers are made. However, a rudimentary awareness of the various grades and their properties may allow tool users to improve the performance or life of their tools, or to address tool failures. The high-speed steel from which the tool is made certainly is not the only factor affecting tool performance, but as the raw material, the steel may be the first place to start.
This article examines the dry hobbing capabilities of two cutting tool materials—powder metallurgical high-speed steel (PM-HSS) and cemented carbide. Cutting trials were carried out to analyze applicable cutting parameters and possible tool lives as well as the process reliability. To consider the influences of the machinability of different workpiece materials, a case hardening steel and a tempered steel were examined.
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.
Recently, a new type of hob with carbide inserts has been introduced, providing higher cutting speeds, longer tool life and higher feed rates when compared to re-grindable, high-speed steel hobs. But with this kind of hob, new challenges occur due to positional errors of the cutting edges when mounted on the tool. These errors lead to manufacturing errors on the gear teeth which must be controlled. In this paper, the tooth quality of a gear manufactured by hobs with different quality classes is analyzed using a simulation model in combination with Monte Carlo methods.
Plane strain fracture toughness of twelve high-carbon steels has been evaluated to study the influence of alloying elements, carbon content and retained austenite. The steels were especially designed to simulate the carburized case microstructure of commonly used automotive type gear steels. Results show that a small variation in carbon can influence the K IC significantly. The beneficial effect of retained austenite depends both on its amount and distribution. The alloy effect, particularly nickel, becomes significant only after the alloy content exceeds a minimum amount. Small amounts of boron also appear beneficial.
The manufacturing process to produce a gear essentially consist of: material selection, blank preshaping, tooth shaping, heat treatment, and final shaping. Only by carefully integrating of the various operations into a complete manufacturing system can an optimum gear be obtained. The final application of the gear will determine what strength characteristics will be required which subsequently determine the material and heat treatments.
Surface-hardened, sintered powder metal gears are increasingly used in power transmissions to reduce the cost of gear production. One important problem is how to design with surface durability, given the porous nature of sintered gears. Many articles have been written about mechanical characteristics, such as tensile and bending strength, of sintered materials, and it is well-known that the pores existing on and below their surfaces affect their characteristics (Refs. 1-3). Power transmission gears are frequently employed under conditions of high speed and high load, and tooth surfaces are in contact with each other under a sliding-rolling contact condition. Therefore it is necessary to consider not only their mechanical, but also their tribological characteristics when designing sintered gears for surface durability.
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.
The complete Industry News section from the August 2014 issue of Gear Technology.
Technology investments lead to product innovation at gear materials suppliers.
Industry battles it out for World's Largest Gear title.
Sivyer Steel Corporation, Bettendorf, IA, an ISO-9002-certified casting specialist, is familiar with tackling tough jobs. The company has built an international reputation as a supplier of high-integrity castings, especially those which require engineering and/or full machining. Its not unusual for Sivyer's customers, especially those in the mining, recycling, power generation, valve and nuclear fields, to ask the foundry to produce a one-of-a-kind casting - often something revolutionary - but AnClyde Engineered Products' request was a special challenge, even for Sivyer.
QuesTek Innovations LLC is applying its Materials by Design computational design technology to develop a new class of high-strength, secondary hardening gear steels that are optimized for high-temperature, low-pressure (i.e., vacuum) carburization. The new alloys offer three different levels of case hardness (with the ability to “dial-in” hardness profiles, including exceptionally high case hardness), and their high core strength, toughness and other properties offer the potential to reduce drivetrain weight or increase power density relative to incumbent alloys such as AISI 9310 or Pyrowear Alloy 53.
The newer profile-shifted (long and short addendum) gears are often used as small size reduction gears for automobiles or motorcycles. The authors have investigated the damage to each cutting edge when small size mass-produced gears with shifted profiles are used at high speeds.
The power of high speed gears for use in the petrochemical industry and power stations is always increasing. Today gears with ratings of up to 70,000kW are already in service. For such gears, the failure mode of scoring can become the limiting constraint. The validity of an analytical method to predict scoring resistance is, therefore, becoming increasingly important.
For a high-speed gearbox, an important part of power losses is due to the mesh. A global estimation is not possible and an analytical approach is necessary with evaluations of three different origins of power losses: friction in mesh contact, gear windage and pumping effect between teeth.
The main theme of this article is high-capacity, high-speed load gears in a power transmission range between 35 MW and 100 MW for generators and turbo-compressors driven by gas or steam turbines.
To meet the future goals of higher productivity and lower production costs, the cutting speeds and feeds in modern gear hobbing applications have to increase further. In several cases, coated carbide tools have replaced the commonly used high speed steel (HSS) tools.
The performance of carburized components can be improved simply by changing the alloy content of the steel.
Corus Engineering Steels' formula for its new gear steels: Maintain achievable hardness while using fewer alloys, thereby cutting steel costs for gear manufacturers.
This article summarizes results of research programs on RCF strength of wrought steels and PM steels.
This is part II of a two-part paper that presents the results of extensive test programs on the RCF strength of PM steels.
Natural resources—minerals, coal, oil, agricultural products, etc.—are the blessings that Mother Earth confers upon the nations of the world. But it takes unnaturally large gears to extract them.
This study quantified the performance of a new alloy and has provided guidance for the design and development of next-generation gear steels.