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Gear designs are evolving at an ever accelerating rate, and gear manufacturers need to better understand how the choice of materials and heat treating methods can optimize mechanical properties, balance overall cost and extend service life.
The palette of thermoplastic materials for gears has grown rapidly, as have the applications themselves. Designers need to be aware of key properties and attributes in selecting the right material.
What gear material is suitable for high-temperature (350 – 550 degree C), high-vacuum, clean-environment use?
Technology investments lead to product innovation at gear materials suppliers.
This paper addresses Austempered Ductile Iron (ADI) as an emerging Itechnology and defines its challenge by describing the state-of-the-art of incumbent materials. The writing is more philosophical in nature than technical and is presented to establish a perspective.
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.
If someone were to tell you that he had a gear material that was stronger per pound than aluminum, as wear-resistant as steel, easier to machine than free-machining steel and capable of producing gears domestically for 20% less than those now cut from foreign made forgings, would you consider that material to be "high tech"? Probably. Well, throw out all the pre-conceived notions that you may have had about "high tech" materials. The high-performance material they didn't teach you about in school is austempered ductile iron (ADI).
This paper shows an experimental study on the fatigue lifetime of high-heat polyamide (Stanyl) gears running in oil at 140°C. Based on previous works (Refs. 1–2), an analysis is made correcting for tooth bending and calculating actual root stresses. A comparison with tensile bar fatigue data for the same materials at 140°C shows that a good correlation exists between gear fatigue data and tensile bar fatigue data. This insight provides a solid basis for gear designers to design plastic gears using actual material data.
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.
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.
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).
Plastic gears are serious alternatives to traditional metal gears in a wide variety of applications. The use of plastic gears has expanded from low-power, precision motion transmission into more demanding power transmission applications. As designers push the limits of acceptable plastic gear applications, more is learned about the behavior of plastics in gearing and how to take advantage of their unique characteristics.
Can my metal gear(s) be replaced with plastic gears?
This paper introduces mandatory improvements in design, manufacturing and inspection - from material elaboration to final machining - with special focus on today's large and powerful gearing.
This paper presents an original method for computing the loaded mechanical behavior of fiber reinforced polymer gears. Although thermoplastic gears are unsuitable for application transmitting high torque, adding fibers can significantly increase their performance. The particular case of polyamide 6 + 30% glass fibers is studied in this paper.
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.
Corus Engineering Steels' formula for its new gear steels: Maintain achievable hardness while using fewer alloys, thereby cutting steel costs for gear manufacturers.
The performance of carburized components can be improved simply by changing the alloy content of the steel.
Austempering heat treatments (austenitizing followed by rapid cooling to the tempering temperature) have been applied to nodular irons on an experimental basis for a number of years, but commercial interest in the process has only recently come to the surface.
How do we know when the gear material we buy is metallurgically correct? How can we judge material quality when all gear material looks alike?
The quality of molded plastic gears is typically judged by dimensional feature measurements only. This practice overlooks potential deficiencies in the molding process.
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 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.
New material technology allows for more efficient and flexible hobbing.
The effort described in this paper addresses a desire in the gear industry to increase power densities and reduce costs of geared transmissions. To achieve these objectives, new materials and manufacturing processes, utilized in the fabrication of gears, and being evaluated. In this effort, the first priority is to compare the performance of gears fabricated using current materials and processes. However, once that priority is satisfied, it rapidly transforms to requiring accurate design data to utilize these novel materials and processes. This paper describes the effort to address one aspect of this design data requirement.
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.
The implementation of powder metal (PM)components in automotive applications increases continuously, in particular for more highly loaded gear components like synchromesh mechanisms. Porosity and frequently inadequate material properties of PM materials currently rule out PM for automobile gears that are subject to high loads. By increasing the density of the sintered gears, the mechanical properties are improved. New and optimized materials designed to allow the production of high-density PM gears by single sintering may change the situation in the future.
This is the fourth and final article in a series exploring the new ISO 6336 gear rating standard and its methods of calculation. The opinions expressed herein are those of the author as an individual. They do not represent the opinions of any organization of which he is a member.
The heat treatment processing of powder metal (PM) materials like Astaloy requires four steps -- de-waxing, HT sintering, carburizing and surface hardening -- which are usually achieved in dedicated, atmospheric furnaces for sintering and heat treat, respectively, leading to intermediate handling operations and repeated heating and cooling cycles. This paper presents the concept of the multi-purpose batch vacuum furnace, one that is able to realize all of these steps in one unique cycle. The multiple benefits brought by this technology are summarized here, the main goal being to use this technology to manufacture high-load transmission gears in PM materials.
Advancements in machining and assembly techniques of thermoplastic gearing along with new design data has lead to increased useage of polymeric materials. information on state of the art methods in fabrication of plastic gearing is presented and the importance of a proper backlash allowance at installation is discussed. Under controlled conditions, cast nylon gears show 8-14 dBA. lower noise level than three other gear materials tested.
Hoechst Technical Polymers has expanded its interests in plastic gears with the introduction of the new Plastic Gear Evaluation and Research machine P-Gear. The machine is the centerpiece of the company's continuing efforts to promote and develop the use of plastic gears in higher-powered applications.
Nondestructive examination (NDE) of ferrous and nonferrous materials has long proved an effective maintenance and anomaly characterization tool for many industries. Recent research has expanded its applicability to include the inspection of large, open gear drives. Difficulties inherent in other NDE methods make them time-consuming and labor-intensive. They also present the user with the environmental problem of the disposal of used oil. The eddy current method addresses these problems.
the gear industry is awash in manufacturing technologies that promise to eliminate waste by producing gears in near-net shape, cut production and labor costs and permit gear designers greater freedom in materials. These methods can be broken down into the following categories: alternative ways to cut, alternative ways to form and new, exotic alternatives. Some are new, some are old and some are simply amazing.
Planetary gear transmissions are compact, high-power speed reducers that use parallel load paths. The range of possible reduction ratios is bounded from below and above by limits on the relative size of the planet gears. For a single-plane transmission, the planet gear has no size of the sun and ring. Which ratio is best for a planetary reduction can be resolved by studying a series of optimal designs. In this series, each design is obtained by maximizing the service life for a planetary transmission with a fixed size, gear ratio, input speed, power and materials. The planetary gear reduction service life is modeled as a function of the two-parameter Weibull distributed service lives of the bearings and gears in the reduction. Planet bearing life strongly influences the optimal reduction lives, which point to an optimal planetary reduction ratio in the neighborhood of four to five.
The process of nitriding has been used to case harden gears for years, but the science and technology of the process have not remained stagnant. New approaches have been developed which are definitely of interest to the gear designer. These include both new materials and new processing techniques.
Electroless Nickel (EN) plating, a process dating back to the 1940s, is one of the predominant metal finishing methods today. It is especially suitable for the gear industry, whose end uses span innumerable other industries, providing an endless assortment of requirements, environments, materials and specifications. EN plating has a broad array of functional features, which include:
The first part of this article, which ran in the September/October 1994 issue, explained the fundamentals of gear hobbing and some of the latest techniques, including methods of hob performance analysis and new tool configurations, being used to solve specific application problems. In this issue, the author continues his exploration of hobbing by describing the effects of progress on requirements in accuracy, as well as the latest in materials, coating and dry hobbing.
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.
Standards are unlike gears themselves: mundane, but complex, ubiquitous and absolutely vital. Standards are a lingua franca, providing a common language with reference points for evaluating product reliability and performance for manufacturers and users. The standards development process provides a scientific forum for discussion of product design, materials and applications, which can lead to product improvement. Standards can also be a powerful marketing tool for either penetrating new markets or protecting established ones.
Gear design and specification are not one and the same. They are the first two steps in making a gear. The designer sits down and mathematically defines the gear tooth, working with the base pitch of the gear, the pressure angle he wants to employ, the number of teeth he wants, the lead, the tooth thickness, and the outside, form and root diameters. With these data, the designer can create a mathematical model of the gear. At this stage, he will also decide whether the gear will be made from existing cutting tools or whether new tools will be needed, what kind of materials he will use, and whether or not he will have the gear heat treated and finished.
Back in the days when our great, great, great, etc., grandaddies were designing gears, one of the most common materials in use was wood. For fairly obvious reasons, we don't see too many wooden gears around anymore. But there are a few.
Clocks with wooden gears? In these days of gears made from plastic, steel and exotic materials; it is a little unusual to hear about a practical application for wooden gears. But that is exactly what David Scholl, the owner of Changing Times, a Harlingen, TX, clockmaker is offering us.
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.
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A road map is presented listing critical considerations and optimal use of materials and methods in the construction of large gears.
Plastics as gear materials represent an interesting development for gearing because they offer high strength-to-weight ratios, ease of manufacture and excellent tribological properties (Refs. 1-7). In particular, there is a sound prospect that plastic gears can be applied for power transmission of up to 10 kW (Ref. 6).
Aurstempered irons and steels offer the design engineer alternatives to conventional material/process combinations. Depending on the material and the application, austempering may provide the producers of gear and shafts with the following benefits: ease of manufacturing, increased bending and/or contact fatigue strength, better wear resistance or enhanced dampening characteristics resulting in lower noise. Austempered materials have been used to improve the performance of gears and shafts in many applications in a wide range of industries.
The machine tool industry is as competitive as ever. New machine technologies, materials, coatings and software upgrades are changing the way gears are being manufactured. Companies like Gleason, Liebherr, Kapp/Niles and DMG/Mori Seiki spend plenty of time and resources on R&D to develop the best products for the gear market. More importantly, these companies engage with (and listen to) customer requests.
Founded in 1927 as the Machine Tool Show and held every two years, the International Manufacturing Technology Show (IMTS) has grown into the largest manufacturing trade show in both North and South America. The statistics for the 1998 show offer a glimpse of the magnitude. Over 1,440 exhibitors showed off 60 million pounds of machinery and went through 5 million pounds of display materials during the week long show. The show organizers themselves sent out 2,632,560 promotional pieces. Twenty-three foreign machine tool associations participated. It took 4,600 trucks to get everything to McCormick Place for the show. There were 450 journalists covering the event, which was attended by 121,764 people. There was $1,034.618,000 worth of business transacted on the show floor of IMTS 1998.
For environmental and economic reasons, the use of coolant in machining processes is increasingly being questioned. Rising coolant prices and disposal costs, as well as strains on workers and the environment, have fueled the debate. The use of coolant has given rise to a highly technical system for handling coolant in the machine (cooling, filtering) and protecting the environment (filter, oil-mist collector). In this area the latest cutting materials - used with or without coolant - have great potential for making the metal-removal process more economical. The natural progression to completely dry machining has decisive advantages for hobbing.
Powder metal. To gear makers today, the phrase conjures images of low power applications in non-critical systems. As powder metal technology advances, as the materials increase in density and strength, such opinions are changing. It is an ongoing, evolutionary process and one that will continue for some time. According to Donald G. White, the executive director of the Metal Powder Industries Federation, in his State-of-the-P/M Industry - 1999 report. "The P/M world is changing rapidly and P/M needs to be recognized as a world-class process - national, continental and even human barriers and prejudices must be eliminated - we must join forces as a world process - unified in approach and goals."
In recent years, there has been significant interest in expanding the use of induction hardening in gear manufacturing operations. Over the past several years, many of the limits to induction hardening have shrunk, thanks to recent advances in technology, materials and processing techniques.
Quality, materials and technology continue to challenge the big gear manufacturing market.
Several innovations have been introduced to the gear manufacturing industry in recent years. In the case of gear hobbing—the dry cutting technology and the ability to do it with powder-metallurgical HSS—might be two of the most impressive ones. And the technology is still moving forward. The aim of this article is to present recent developments in the field of gear hobbing in conjunction with the latest improvements regarding tool materials, process technology and process integration.
This paper presents an original method to compute the loaded mechanical behavior of polymer gears. Polymer gears can be used without lubricant, have quieter mesh, are more resistant to corrosion, and are lighter in weight. Therefore their application fields are continually increasing. Nevertheless, the mechanical behavior of polymer materials is very complex because it depends on time, history of displacement and temperature. In addition, for several polymers, humidity is another factor to be taken into account. The particular case of polyamide 6.6 is studied in this paper.
Over the years, we have traveled extensively throughout the industrialized world, and became increasingly aware of the availability of enormous amounts of technical writing concerning research, experiments, and techniques in the gear manufacturing field. New manufacturing methods, materials, and machines were continuously being developed, but the technical information about them was not readily available to those that could best use it. There was no central source for disseminating this knowledge.
Induction hardening is a heat treating technique that can be used to selectively harden portions of a gear, such as the flanks, roots and tips of teeth, providing improved hardness, wear resistance, and contact fatigue strength without affecting the metallurgy of the core and other parts of the component that don’t require change. This article provides an overview of the process and special considerations for heat treating gears. Part I covers gear materials, desired microsctructure, coil design and tooth-by-tooth induction hardening.
A method to extrapolate running gear bending strength data from STF results for comparing bending performance of different materials and processes.
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.
Part I, which was published in the September/October 2008 issue, covered gear materials, desired microstructure, coil design and tooth-by-tooth induction hardening. Part II covers spin hardening and various heating concepts used with it.
The aim of our research is to clearly show the influence of defects on the bending fatigue strength of gear teeth. Carburized gears have many types of defects, such as non-martensitic layers, inclusions, tool marks, etc. It is well known that high strength gear teeth break from defects in their materials, so it’s important to know which defect limits the strength of a gear.
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.
The phenomena of deterioration of surfaces are generally very complex and depend on numerous conditions which include the operating conditions, the type of load applied, the relative speeds of surfaces in contact, the temperature, lubrication, surfaces hardness and roughness, and the compatibility and nature of materials.
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.
The first part of this article describes the analytical design method developed by the author to evaluate the load capacity of worm gears. The second part gives a short description of the experimental program and testing resources being used at CETIM to check the basic assumptions of the analytical method; and to determine on gears and test wheels the surface pressure endurance limits of materials that can be used for worm gears. The end of the article compares the results yielded by direct application of the method and test results.
Shot peening is widely recognized as a prove, cost-effective process to enhance the fatigue characteristics of metal parts and eliminate the problems of stress corrosion cracking. Additional benefits accrue in the areas of forming and texturizing. Though shot peening is widely used today, the means of specifying process parameters and controlling documents for process control are not widely understood. Questions regarding shot size, intensity, and blueprint specification to assure a high quality and repeatable shot peening process are continually asked by many design and materials engineers. This article should answer many of the questions frequently asked by engineering professionals and to further assist companies interested in establishing a general shot peening specification.
When I was new to gear engineering, I found the array of gear literature scare, and the information scattered and conflicting. After investigating the materials available, I set the goal of creating an annotated listing of the references. There are many valuable resources, but for this article I have selected ten of the best. These references, in my opinion, are the most useful, and cover the scope while minimizing redundancy.
Temperature Induced Dimensional Changes Temperature causes various materials to change size at different rate, known as their Coefficients of Expansion (COE). The effects of this phenomenon on precision dimensional measurements are continuous and costly to industry. Precautions can be taken to allow parts and gages to temperature stabilize before conducting gage R & R studies, but the fact remains that on the shop floor temperatures vary all the time. The slow pace at which industry has accepted this reality probably has to do with the subtlety of these tiny size variations and our inability to sense gradual, but significant temperature changes.
Why Brushes? In this age of hi-tech, robots, automatic machines, machining cells, etc., is there a niche somewhere for power brushes? Let me answer by asking another question. What tool does the gear manufacturer have in his arsenal that allows him to deburr green gears, hardened gears, hobbed gears, ground gears and shaved gears? What tool allows him to deburr powder metal gears - green and sintered - brass gears, bronze gears, stainless gears made of exotic materials such as inconel, waspaloy, or hastaloy, and fiber and plastic gears? How about spur gears, helical gears, sprockets, both internal and external splines, clutch teeth and pump gears?
Primitive gears were known and used well over 2,000 years ago, and gears have taken their place as one of the basic machine mechanisms; yet, our knowledge and understanding of gearing principles is by no means complete. We see the development of faster and more reliable gear quality assessment and new, more productive manufacture of gears in higher materials hardness states. We have also seen improvement in gear applications and design, lubricants, coolants, finishes and noise and vibration control. All these advances push development in the direction of smaller, more compact applications, better material utilization and improved quietness, smoothness of operation and gear life. At the same time, we try to improve manufacturing cost-effectiveness, making use of highly repetitive and efficient gear manufacturing methods.
Two major processes used for cutting gears, hobbing and shaping. This article describes advanced machine design and cutter materials for gear shaping.
A considerable improvement in the performance of the machining of hard to grind materials can be achieved by means of CBN wheels.
The last decade has been a period of far-reaching change for the metal working industry. The effect of higher lubricant costs, technical advances in machine design and increasing competition are making it essential that manufacturers of gears pay more attention to testing, selecting and controlling cutting fluid systems. Lubricant costs are not a large percentage of the process cost relative to items such as raw materials, equipment and labor, and this small relative cost has tended to reduce the economic incentive to evaluate and to change cutting fluids.
The art of gear hobbing has advanced dramatically since the development and introduction of unique machine and tool features such as no backlash, super rigidity, automatic loading of cutting tools, CNC controls, additional machine power and improved cutter materials and coatings. It is essential to utilize all these features to run the machine economically.
The metal powder industry gathered in force this past June for PowderMet 2010, the 2010 International Conference on Powder Metallurgy and Particulate Materials.
News Items About materials
1 Two Materials Experts Hired by M&P Lab (December 2, 2008)
The M&P Lab appointed Matthew J. Hallihan as business development manager and Edward Vesely as senior metallurgist to its Greenville,... Read News
2 PICO Chemical’s New Solvent Replaces Hazardous Materials for Gear Cleaning (August 8, 2007)
hemical Corp released its Pico Solv NPB as a new technology chlorine-free solvent cleaner that is manufactured specifically o replace haz... Read News
3 MIM Materials Standard Released (April 23, 2009)
An addendum to the 2007 edition of MPIF Standard 35, "Materials Standards for Metal Injection Molded Parts," has been released.... Read News
4 Endmills Suitable for Aerospace Materials (December 23, 2010)
ATI Stellram has released the new XE solid carbide endmill engineered specifically for machining exotic and difficult to machine material... Read News
5 Questek to Work on Center of Excellence for Advanced Materials (January 22, 2014)
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, has awarded $25 million over fiv... Read News
6 Sintered Materials Available in KISSsoft (June 22, 2011)
The Swedish company Höganäs AB provided the KISSsoft calculation program with SN-curves for tooth bending of sintered material ... Read News
7 Ti-Coating Announces its Tinalox SN2 Coating for Applications in All ISO Materials (March 27, 2015)
Ti-Coating announces its new PVD coating Tinalox SN2 for indexable carbide tooling. The Tialn-based coating provides excellent machining ... Read News