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Rotary gear honing is a crossed-axis, fine, hard finishing process that uses pressure and abrasive honing tools to remove material along the tooth flanks in order to improve the surface finish (.1-.3 um or 4-12u"Ra), to remove nicks and burrs and to change or correct the tooth geometry. Ultimately, the end results are quieter, stronger and longer lasting gears.
Users of gear-cutting tools probably do not often consciously consider the raw material from which those hobs, 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.
Quality gear manufacturing depends on controlled tolerances and geometry. As a result, ferritic nitrocarburizing has become the heat treat process of choice for many gear manufacturers. The primary reasons for this are: 1. The process is performed at low temperatures, i.e. less than critical. 2. the quench methods increase fatigue strength by up to 125% without distorting. Ferritic nitrocarburizing is used in place of carburizing with conventional and induction hardening. 3. It establishes gradient base hardnesses, i.e. eliminates eggshell on TiN, TiAIN, CrC, etc. In addition, the process can also be applied to hobs, broaches, drills, and other cutting tools.
The cutting tool industry has undergone some serious changes in the last couple of years in both technology and the way the industry does business. The emerging technology today, as well as for the foreseeable future, is dry cutting, especially in high volume production settings. Wet cutting continues to be as popular as ever with lubrication advances making it more economical and environmentally friendly. There has also developed a process called "near dry cutting." this process offers many of the benefits of fluids while eliminating many of hte associated problems.
In order to increase the load carrying capacity of hardened gears, the distortion of gear teeth caused by quenching must be removed by precision cutting (skiving) and/or grinding. In the case of large gears with large modules, skiving by a carbide hob is more economical than grinding when the highest accuracy is not required.
Booth previews from exhibitors showing products and services for the gear industry.
The complete Industry News section from the November/December 2012 issue of Gear Technology.
Previews of manufacturing technology related to gears that will be on display at IMTS 2012.
Fig. 1 shows the effects of positive and negative rake on finished gear teeth. Incorrect positive rake (A) increase the depth and decreases the pressure angle on the hob tooth. The resulting gear tooth is thick at the top and thin at the bottom. Incorrect negative rake (B) decreases the depth and increases the pressure angle. This results in a cutting drag and makes the gear tooth thin at the top and thick at the bottom.
In the past, the blades of universal face hobbing cutters had to be resharpened on three faces. Those three faces formed the active part of the blade. In face hobbing, the effective cutting direction changes dramatically with respect to the shank of the blade. Depending on the individual ratio, it was found that optimal conditions for the chip removal action (side rake, side relief and hook angle) could just be established by adjusting all major parameters independently. This, in turn, results automatically in the need for the grinding or resharpening of the front face and the two relief surfaces in order to control side rake, hook angle and the relief and the relief angles of the cutting and clearance side.
Broaching is a process in which a cutting tool passes over or through a part piece to produce a desired form. A broach removes part material with a series of teeth, each one removing a specified amount of stock.
A gear shaper cutter is actually a gear with relieved cutting edges and increased addendum for providing clearance in the root of the gear being cut. The maximum outside diameter of such a cutter is limited to the diameter at which the teeth become pointed. The minimum diameter occurs when the outside diameter of the cutter and the base circle are the same. Those theoretical extremes, coupled with the side clearance, which is normally 2 degrees for coarse pitch cutters an d1.5 degrees for cutters approximately 24-pitch and finer, will determine the theoretical face width of a cutter.
The cutting tool is basic to gear manufacturing. Whether it's a hob, broach, shaper cutter or EDM wire, not much gets done without it. And the mission of the tool remains the same as always; removing material as quickly, accurately and cost-effectively as possible. Progress in the field tends to be evolutionary, coming gradually over time, but recently, a confluence of emerging technologies and new customer demands has caused significant changes in the machines, the materials and the coatings that make cutting tools.
In today's industrial marketplace, deburring and chamfering are no longer just a matter of cosmetics. The faster speeds at which transmissions run today demand that gear teeth mesh as smoothly and accurately as possible to prevent premature failure. The demand for quieter gears also requires tighter tolerances. New heat treating practices and other secondary gear operations have placed their own set of demands on manufacturers. Companies that can deburr or chamfer to these newer, more stringent specifications - and still keep costs in line - find themselves with a leg up on their competition.
The International Manufacturing Technology Show provided one of the biggest ever marketplaces for buying and selling gear-making equipment, with 121601 attenders, making it the largest IMTS ever. The show took place September 4-11 at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL.
The chamfering and deburring operations on gear teeth have become more important as the automation of gear manufacturing lines in the automotive industry have steadily increased. Quieter gears require more accurate chamfers. This operation also translates into significant coast savings by avoiding costly rework operations. This article discusses the different types of chamfers on gear teeth and outlines manufacturing methods and guidelines to determine chamfer sizes and angles for the product and process engineer.
This article summarizes the development of an improved titanium nitride (TiN) recoating process, which has, when compared to conventional recoat methods, demonstrated tool life increases of up to three times in performance testing of hobs and shaper cutters. This new coating process, called Super TiN, surpasses the performance of standard TiN recoating for machining gear components. Super TiN incorporates stripping, surface preparation, smooth coating techniques and polishing before and after recoating. The combination of these improvements to the recoating process is the key to its performance.
Physical Vapor Deposited (PVD) coatings such as TiN (Titanium nitride) have been a boon for cutting tool manufacturers. They reduce wear and, therefore, extend tool life, which in turn reduces production costs. But PVD coatings are expensive, and when they fail, they cost both time and money, and they causes of the failure are not always readily apparent.
Sandvik presents the latest in gear milling technologies.
The hob is a perfect example of how a little manufacturing ingenuity can make a reliable, highly productive cutting tool. It's an engineering specimen that creates higher cutting speeds, better wear resistance and increases rigidity. The cutting tool alone, however, can't take all the credit for its resourcefulness. Advanced coating technology from companies like Sulzer, Oerlikon Balzers, Ionbond, Seco Tools and Cemecon helps improve cutting tools by reducing overall costs, increasing tool life and maintaining the highest levels of productivity. The following is a quick recap of new technologies and the latest information in the coating market.
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Manufacturing involute gears using form grinding or form milling wheels are beneficial to hobs in some special cases, such as small scale production and, the obvious, manufacture of internal gears. To manufacture involute gears correctly the form wheel must be purpose-designed, and in this paper the geometry of the form wheel is determined through inverse calculation. A mathematical model is presented where it is possible to determine the machined gear tooth surface in three dimensions, manufactured by this tool, taking the finite number of cutting edges into account. The model is validated by comparing calculated results with the observed results of a gear manufactured by an indexable insert milling cutter.
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The complete Industry News section from the September 2013 issue of Gear Technology.
Preview of some of the exhibits relevant to gear manufacturing at the upcoming EMO 2013.
Investment in advanced new manufacturing technologies is helping to reinvent production processes for bevel gear cutters and coarse-pitch hobs at Gleason - delivering significant benefits downstream to customers seeking shorter deliveries, longer tool life and better results.
The complete Industry News section from the November/December 2013 issue of Gear Technology.
Machine tools boost speed and throughput with automation technology.
The complete Product News section from the November/December 2014 issue.
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.
The complete Product News section from the July 2014 issue of Gear Technology.
In today's economy, when purchasing a new state-of-the-art gear shaper means a significant capital investment, common sense alone dictates that you develop strategies to get the most for your money. One of the best ways to do this is to take advantage of the sophistication of the machine to make it more than just a single-purpose tool.
What Is Whisker-Reinforced Ceramic? Whisker-reinforced ceramic as applied to cutting tool inserts comprises a matrix of aluminum oxide into which approximately 50% by volume of high-purity silicon carbide "whiskers" are randomly dispersed. The "whiskers" are, in fact, single crystals having dimensions of approximately 0.6 microns in diameter x 10-80 microns in length. These "whiskers" have a tensile strength on the order of 1,000,000 psi (690 MPa). The composite material that is the best known and most widely applied using this technology is designated WG-300 and manufactured by the Greenleaf Corporation of Saegertown, PA.
Gear tooth wear and micropitting are very difficult phenomena to predict analytically. The failure mode of micropitting is closely correlated to the lambda ratio. Micropitting can be the limiting design parameter for long-term durability. Also, the failure mode of micropitting can progress to wear or macropitting, and then go on to manifest more severe failure modes, such as bending. The results of a gearbox test and manufacturing process development program will be presented to evaluate super-finishing and its impact on micropitting.
In recent years, the demands for load capacity and fatigue life of gears constantly increased while weight and volume had to be reduced. To achieve those aims, most of today's gear wheels are heat treated so tooth surfaces will have high wear resistance. As a consequence of heat treatment, distortion unavoidably occurs. With the high geometrical accuracy and quality required for gears, a hard machining process is needed that generates favorable properties on the tooth surfaces and the near-surface material with high reliability.
Gear noise associated with tooth surface topography is a fundamental problem in many applications. Operations such as shaving, gear grinding and gear honing are usually used to finish the gear surface. Often, gears have to be treated by a combination of these operations, e.g. grinding and honing. This is because gear honing operations do not remove enough stock although they do create a surface lay favorable for quiet operation. See Fig. 1 for typical honing process characteristics. Gear grinding processes, on the other hand, do remove stock efficiently but create a noisy surface lay.
A high-performance, 11-axis CNC system from NUM has enabled machine tool manufacturer Sicmat to create a gear honing machine that sets a new industry standard for post-hardening fine finishing.
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 method of cutting teeth on a cylindrical gear by the hobbing process has been in existence since the late 1800s. Advances have been made over the years in both the machines and the cutting tools used in the process. This paper will examine hob tool life and the many variables that affect it. The paper will cover the state-of-the-art cutting tool materials and coatings, hob tool design characteristics, process speeds and feeds, hob shifting strategies, wear characteristics, etc. The paper will also discuss the use of a common denominator method for evaluating hob tool life in terms of meters (or inches) per hob tooth as an alternative to tool life expressed in parts per sharpening.
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.
Hard finishing technology, e.g. — honing — is used to manufacture high-performance gears. Gear honing is primarily used to hard finish small- and medium-sized automotive gears. And yet trials have shown that gears with a module larger than mn = 4 mm can also be honed efficiently, but problems often occur due to unstable process design. In this paper a model to improve the process design is described.
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.
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.
Stringent NVH requirements, higher loads and the trend towards miniaturization to save weight and space are forcing transmission gear designers to increasingly tighten the surface finish, bore size and bore-to-face perpendicularity tolerances on the bores of transmission gears.
The objective of this research is to develop a new lapping process that can efficiently make tooth flanks of hardened steel gears smooth as a mirror.
Forest City Gear president Fred Young has a straightforward strategy for acquiring and retaining business...
Bore finishing system from Sunnen helps Cloyes Gear and Products achieve high accuracy, productivity and process capability.
There are several methods available for improving the quality of spur and helical gears following the standard roughing operations of hobbing or shaping. Rotary gear shaving and roll-finishing are done in the green or soft state prior to heat treating.
Rotary gear honing is a hard gear finishing process that was developed to improve the sound characteristics of hardened gears by: Removing nicks and burrs; improving surface finish; and making minor corrections in tooth irregularities caused by heat-treat distortion.
Part I of this series focused on gear shaving, while Part II focuses on gear finishing by rolling and honing.
The proper design or selection of gear cutting tools requires thorough and detailed attention from the tool designer. In addition to experience, intuition and practical knowledge, a good understanding of profile calculations is very important.
Hobbing is probably the most popular gear manufacturing process. Its inherent accuracy and productivity makes it a logical choice for a wide range of sizes.
Universal machines capable of cutting both spur and helical gears were developed in 1910, followed later by machines capable of cutting double helical gears with continuous teeth. Following the initial success, the machines were further developed both in England and France under the name Sunderland, and later in Switzerland under the name Maag.
A brief introduction to the subject of Thin Film Coatings and their application to gear hobs and shaper cutters is followed by a detailed description of the Chemical Vapor Deposition Process and the Physical Vapor Deposition Process. Advantages and disadvantages of each of these processes is discussed. Emphasis is placed upon: application engineering of coated gear tools based on laboratory and field test results. Recommendations are suggested for tool design improvements and optimization of gear cutting operations using coated tools. Productivity improvements potentially available by properly utilizing coated tools are considered in terms of both tool cost and machining cost.
Some gear-related highlights from the recent EMO show in Hannover, Germany.
Gear shaping is one of the most popular production choices in gear manufacturing. While the gear shaping process is really the most versatile of all the gear manufacturing methods and can cut a wide variety of gears, certain types of gears can only be cut by this process. These are gears closely adjacent to shoulders; gears adjacent to other gears, such as on countershafts; internal gears, either open or blind ended; crown or face gears; herringbone gears of the solid configuration of with a small center groove; rack; parts with filled-in spaces or teeth, such as are used in some clutches.
Cutter Sharpening Cutter sharpening is very important both during manufacturing and subsequently in resharpening after dulling. Not only does this process affect cutter "over cutting edge" quality and the quality of the part cut, but it can also affect the manner in which chip flow takes place on the cutter face if the surface finished is too rough or rippled.
Robots, computers and other signs of high technology abounded at IMTS 94, supporting the claim by many that this was one of the best shows ever. Many of the machines on display had so many robotic attachments and computer gizmos that they looked more like they belonged in some science fiction movie than on the floor of a machine shop.
Today's high technology hobs are visible different from their predecessors. Gear hobs have taken on a different appearance and function with present day technology and tool and material development. This article shows the newer products being offered today and the reasons for investigating their potential for use in today's modern gear hobbers, where cost reduction and higher productivity are wanted.
Question: I have just become involved with the inspection of gears in a production operation and wonder why the procedure specifies that four involute checks must be made on each side of the tooth of the gear being produced, where one tooth is checked and charted in each quadrant of the gear. Why is this done? These particular gears are checked in the pre-shaved, finish-shaved, and the after-heat-treat condition, so a lot of profile checking must be done.
There are a number of companies working to change the way broaching is perceived, and over the past 10 years, they’ve incorporated significant technological changes to make the process more flexible, productive and accurate.
Indexable carbide insert cutting tools for gears are nothing new. But big gears have recently become a very big business. The result is that there's been a renewed interest in carbide insert cutting tools.
The gear hobbing process is a generating type of production operation. For this reason, the form of the hob tooth is always different from the form of the tooth that it produces.
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.
Indexable carbide insert (ICI) cutting tools continue to play a pivotal role in gear manufacturing. By offering higher cutting speeds, reduced cycle times, enhanced coatings, custom configurations and a diverse range of sizes and capabilities, ICI tools have proven invaluable for finishing and pre-grind applications. They continue to expand their unique capabilities and worth in the cutting tool market.
As we approach the problem of hard gear processing, it is well to take a look at the reason for discussing it at this time. In our present economic atmosphere throughout the world, more and more emphasis is being placed upon efficiency which is dictated by higher energy costs.
Today, because of reduced cost of coatings and quicker turnaround times, the idea of all-around coating on three-face-sharpened blades is again economically viable, allowing manufacturers greater freedoms in cutting blade parameters, including three-face-sharpened and even four-face-sharpened blades.
Faster, more efficient manufacturing offered with table-top design from American Broach & Machine.
This article presents some of the findings of cutting investigations at WZL in which the correlation of cutting parameters, cutting materials, tool geometry and tool life have been determined.
Question: We are interested in purchasing our first gear hobbing machine. What questions should we ask the manufacturer, and what do we need to know in order to correctly specify the CNC hardware and software system requirements?
News Items About honing tools
1 Air Gaging Honing Tools Produce Tight Tolerances (December 3, 2009)
The Precision Hone tooling system from Sunnen uses integral air gaging and an automatic shutdown device to produce non-contact, in-proces... Read News