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Articles About quenching
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Precision components (industrial bearing races and automotive gears) can distort during heat treatment due to effects of free or unconstrained oil quenching. However, press quenching can be used to minimize these effects. This quenching method achieves the relatively stringent geometrical requirements stipulated by industrial manufacturing specifications. As performed on a wide variety of steel alloys, this specialized quenching technique is presented here, along with a case study showing the effects of prior thermal history on the distortion that is generated during press quenching.
The October 2011 issue of Gear Technology featured the article “Low-Distortion Heat Treatment of Transmission Components,” which covered the combination of low-pressure carburizing and high pressure gas quenching in an automotive environment. Here, heat treating expert Dan Herring explains why oil quenching is an appropriate choice for many applications.
High demands for cost-effectiveness and improved product quality can be achieved via a new low pressure carburizing process with high pressure gas quenching. Up to 50% of the heat treatment time can be saved. Furthermore, the distortion of the gear parts could be reduced because of gas quenching, and grinding costs could be saved. This article gives an overview of the principles of the process technology and the required furnace technology. Also, some examples of practical applications are presented.
Heat treating and quenching are arguably the most critical operations in the manufacture of gears. This article examines causes of distortion in heat treating and quenching.
Most steel gear applications require appreciable loads to be applied that will result in high bending and compressive stresses. For the material (steel) to meet these performance criteria, the gear must be heat treated. Associated with this thermal processing is distortion. To control the distortion and achieve repeatable dimensional tolerances, the gear will be constrained during the quenching cycle of the heat treatment process. This type of fixture quenching is the function of gear quench pressing equipment.
This paper introduces new process developments in low-pressure carburizing and carbonitriding using either high-pressure gas quenching or interrupted gas quenching.
Induction hardening is widely used in both the automotive and aerospace gear industries to minimize heat treat distortion and obtain favorable compressive residual stresses for improved fatigue performance. The heating process during induction hardening has a significant effect on the quality of the heat-treated parts. However, the quenching process often receives less attention even though it is equally important.
This paper presents how low pressure carburizing and high pressure gas quenching processes are successfully applied on internal ring gears for a six-speed automatic transmission. The specific challenge in the heat treat process was to reduce distortion in such a way that subsequent machining operations are entirely eliminated.
Suppliers are working hard to make sure their heat treating equipment is controllable, repeatable and efficient, and manufacturers continue to incorporate technology that gives heat treaters and their customers more information about what's going on inside the magic box.
Using the DANTE software, a finite element simulation was developed and executed to study the response of a carburized 5120 steel helical gear to quenching in molten salt. The computer simulation included heat-up, carburization, transfer and immersion in a molten salt bath, quenching, and air cooling. The results of the simulation included carbon distribution of phases, dimensional change, hardness, and residual stress throughout the process. The predicted results were compared against measured results for hardness, dimensions and residual stress. The excellent agreement between predictions and measured values for this carburized 5120 steel gear provides a basis for assessing the various process parameters and their respective importance in the characteristics of not only these heat-treated parts, but of other compositions and shapes.
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.
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.