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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.
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.
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.
This study quantified the performance of a new alloy and has provided guidance for the design and development of next-generation gear steels.
This article summarizes results of research programs on RCF strength of wrought steels and PM steels.
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.
This paper seeks to compare the data generated from test rig shaft encoders and torque transducers when using steel-steel, steel-plastic and plastic-plastic gear combinations in order to understand the differences in performance of steel and plastic gears.
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.
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).
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.
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.
For many years chromium has been a popular alloy for heat treatable steels because of its contribution to hardenability more than offsets its costs. As a consequence, it is specified in such high-tonnage steel grades as the 5100, 4100, and 8600 series; and, as a result, about 15% of the annual U.S. consumption of chromium is used in constructional alloy steels.
The powder metal (P/M) process is making inroads in automotive transmission applications due to substantially lower costs of P/M-steel components for high-volume production, as compared to wrought or forged steel parts. Although P/M gears are increasingly used in powered hand tools, gear pumps and as accessory components in automotive transmissions, P/M-steel gears are currently in limited use in vehicle transmission applications. The primary objective of this project was to develop high-strength P/M-steel gears with bending fatigue, impact resistance and pitting fatigue performance equivalent to current wrought steel gears.
This is part II of a two-part paper that presents the results of extensive test programs on the RCF strength of PM steels.
The performance of carburized components can be improved simply by changing the alloy content of the steel.
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.
Industry battles it out for World's Largest Gear title.
Technology investments lead to product innovation at gear materials suppliers.
Carbon steels have primarily been used to manufacture aerospace gears due to the steels' mechanical characteristics. An alloyed low carbon steel is easily case-hardened to obtain a hard wear surface while maintaining the ductile core characteristics. The microstructure achieved will accept the heavy loading, shocks, and elevated temperatures that gears typically experience in applications. The carbon steel machinability allows for general machining practices to be employed when producing aerospace gears versus the more advanced metal removal processes required by stainless and nickel-based alloys.
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.
The complete Industry News section from the August 2014 issue of Gear Technology.
There is an increasing significance of screw helical and worm gears that combine use of steel and plastics. This is shown by diverse and continuously rising use in the automotive and household appliance industries. The increasing requirements for such gears can be explained by the advantageous qualities of such a material combination in comparison with that of the traditional steel/bronze pairing.
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.
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.
One of the major problems of plastic gear design is the knowledge of their running temperature. Of special interest is the bulk temperature of the tooth to predict the fatigue life, and the peak temperature on the surface of the tooth to avert surface failure. This paper presents the results of an experimental method that uses an infrared radiometer to measure the temperature variation along the profile of a plastic gear tooth in operation. Measurements are made on 5.08, 3.17, 2.54, 2.12 mm module hob cut gears made from nylon 6-6, acetal and UHMWPE (Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene). All the tests are made on a four square testing rig with thermoplastic/steel gear pairs where the plastic gear is the driver. Maximum temperature prediction curves obtained through statistical analysis of the results are presented and compared to data available from literature.
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 selection of the proper steel for a given gear application is dependent on many factors. This paper discusses the many aspects related to material, design, manufacture, and application variables. The results of several studies on the optimization of alloy design for gas- and plasma- carburization processing and reviewed.
A research program, conducted in conjunction with a U.S. Army contract, has resulted in the development of manufacturing technology to produce a multi-metal composite gear/shaft representing a substantial weight savings compared to a solid steel component. Inertia welding is used to join a steel outer ring to a light-weight titanium alloy web and/or shaft through the use of a suitable interlayer material such as aluminum.
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.
For metal replacement with powder metal (PM) of an automotive transmission, PM gear design differs from its wrought counterpart. Indeed, complete reverse-engineering and re-design is required so to better understand and document the performance parameters of solid-steel vs. PM gears. Presented here is a re-design (re-building a 6-speed manual transmission for an Opel Insignia 4-cylinder, turbocharged 2-liter engine delivering 220 hp/320 N-m) showing that substituting a different microgeometry of the PM gear teeth -- coupled with lower Young’s modulus -- theoretically enhances performance when compared to the solid-steel design.
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).
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.
The approximate tensile strength of any steel is measured by its hardness, Table 1. Since hardness is determined by both chemical composition and heat treatment, these are the two important metallurgical considerations in selecting gear steels.
When hardened steel components are ground, there is always the possibility of damage to the steel in the form of residual stress or microstructural changes. Methods for detecting this sort of damage have always had one or more drawbacks, such as cost, time, complexity, subjectivity, or the use of hazardous chemicals.
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.
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.
Gear manufacturers typically use plastic, steel or other metals to make their gears, but Andrew Shotts made his first gears out of sugar and chocolate.
Tiger stripes on a high-speed pinion made of a carburized SAE 9310 steel were investigated. The morphology of the damage was typical of electric discharge damage. The cause of the stripes and potential damage to the gear tooth were analyzed and are presented in this report.
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.
Contact fatigue and bending fatigue are two main failure modes of steel gears, while surface pitting and spalling are two common contact fatigue failures -- caused by alternating subsurface shear stresses from the contact load between two gear mates. And when a gear is in service under cyclic load, concentrated bending stresses exist at the root fillet -- the main driver of bending fatigue failures. Induction hardening is becoming an increasingly popular response to these problems, due to its process consistency, reduced energy consumption, clean environment and improved product quality -- but not without issues of its own (irregular residual stresses and bending fatigue). Thus a new approach is proposed here that flexibly controls the magnitude of residual stress in the regions of root fillet and tooth flank by pre-heating prior to induction hardening. Using an external spur gear made of AISI 4340 as an example, this new concept/process is demonstrated using finite element modeling and DANTE commercial software.
Gear designers today are continually challenged to provide more power in less space and improve gear performance. The following article looks at some of the most common ways to increase the power density or improve the performance of gear trains. The author also takes an in-depth look at the case of a steel worm mating with a plastic helical gear and explores ways to optimize this increasingly common configuration.
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.
Big gears, They drive the machinery that rolls steel, grinds limestone, pulverizes coal, pumps mud, mixes rubber, raises bridges and does many other heavy-duty industrial jobs. For 117 years, big gears have also driven the business of Horsburgh & Scott of Cleveland, OH.
Composite spur gears were designed, fabricated and tested at NASA Glenn Research Center. The composite web was bonded only to the inner and outer hexagonal features that were machined from an initially all-metallic aerospace quality spur gear. The hybrid gear was tested against an all-steel gear and against a mating hybrid gear. Initial results indicate that this type of hybrid design may have a dramatic effect on drive system weight without sacrificing strength.
In this study, wear behavior of plasma and pulse plasma nitrided gears, made from 42CrMo4 steel, was evaluated under a lubricated sliding and pitting regime.
In a very general sense, increasing the hardness of a steel gear increases the strength of the gear. However, for each process there is a limit to its effectiveness. This article contains background information on each of the processes covered. In each section what is desired and what is achievable is discussed. Typical processes are presented along with comments on variables which affect the result. By reviewing the capabilities and processes, it is possible to determine the limits to each process.
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.
Traditionally, a worm or a multi-stage gear box has been used when a large speed ratio is required. However, such boxes will become obsolete as size and efficiency become increasingly important considerations for a modern transmission. The single-enveloped worm gear has a maximum speed ratio of only 40 to 60. Its efficiency is only 30 to 60 per cent. The necessity of using bronze for the worm gear and grinding nitoalloy steel for the worm drives up material and manufacturing costs.
The large gears found in mining, steel, construction, off-road, marine and energy applications—massive and robust in nature—need to tackle the greatest production demands. This, in turn, means that a special emphasis must be put on the heat treating methods used to increase the wear resistance and strength properties of gears this size.
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.
Often, the required hardness qualities of parts manufactured from steel can only be obtained through suitable heat treatment. In transmission manufacturing, the case hardening process is commonly used to produce parts with a hard and wear-resistant surface and an adequate toughness in the core. A tremendous potential for rationalization, which is only partially used, becomes available if the treatment time of the case hardening process is reduced. Low pressure carburizing (LPC) offers a reduction of treatment time in comparison to conventional gas carburizing because of the high carbon mass flow inherent to the process (Ref. 1).
This paper describes the investigation of a steel-and-plastic gear transmission and presents a new hypothesis on the governing mechanism in the wear of plastic gears.
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.
Some years back, most spiral bevel gear sets were produced as cut, case hardened, and lapped. The case hardening process most frequently used was and is case carburizing. Many large gears were flame hardened, nitrided, or through hardened (hardness around 300 BHN) using medium carbon alloy steels, such as 4140, to avoid higher distortions related to the carburizing and hardening process.
For heat treatment of tool and alloy steels, the end-user has a wide range of basic types of heat treating equipment to choose from. This article reviews them and details the criteria that must be considered in selecting equipment for a specific application. In making this choice, the most important criterion must be the quality of the tool or part after processing.
A carburized alloy steel gear has the greatest load-carrying capacity, but only if it is heat treated properly. For high quality carburizing, the case depth, case microstructure, and case hardness must be controlled carefully.
Durability is the most important criterion used to define the quality of a gear. The freezing of metals has been acknowledged for almost thirty years as an effective method for increasing durability, or "wear life," and decreasing residual stress in tool steels. The recent field of deep cryogenics (below -300 degrees F) has brought us high temperature superconductors, the superconducting super collider, cryo-biology, and magnotehydrodynamic drive systems. It has also brought many additional durability benefits to metals.
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.
The quality of gearing is a function of many factors ranging from design, manufacturing processes, machine capability, gear steel material, the machine operator, and the quality control methods employed. This article discusses many of the bevel gear manufacturing problems encountered by gear manufacturers and some of the troubleshooting techniques used.
Gears are manufactured with thin rims for several reasons. Steel gears are manufactured with thin rims and webs where low weight is important. Nonmetallic gears, manufactured by injection molding, are designed with thin rims as part of the general design rule to maintain uniform thickness to ensure even post-mold cooling. When a thin-rimmed gear fails, the fracture is thought the root of the gear, as shown in Fig. 1a, rather than the usual fillet failure shown in Fig. 1b.
News Items About steel
1 New Bearing Steels from NSK (December 31, 2003)
The newest steels, "Z", "EP" and "SHX" from NSK provide spindle bearings with resistance to seizure and minimum levels of heat generation... Read News
2 Stainless Steel Cut-off Wheels Feature Thin Profile (April 22, 2006)
The Alpha Green cut-off wheels for stainless steel feature a thin profile that cuts faster than conventional thicker wheels and are avail... Read News
3 Birchwood Offers Microlok for Iron and Steel Components (September 24, 2013)
The Microlok AO finish from Birchwood Technologies is a functional coating for iron and steel components. It provides anti-galling protec... Read News
4 Birchwood Technologies Offers Iron and Steel Coating (May 30, 2014)
The Microlok MZN finish from Birchwood Technologies is a fine-grained zinc phosphate coating for iron and steel components. It provides protection up to 1400°F for high heat applications such as brake components... Read News
5 Rex-Cut Introduces Cut-Off Wheels for Stainless Steel (April 15, 2006)
The ALPHA-GREEN Stainless Steel Cut-Off Wheels Type 1 and Type 27 cut-off wheels feature a thin profile which cuts faster than conventio... Read News
6 Ipsen Delivers Furnace to Hansen Balk Steel Treating (March 16, 2005)
Hanson Balk Steel Treating of Grand Rapids, MI, has installed the new Abar Ipsen 15 bar Super Turbo horizontal vacuum HPGQ furnace. As... Read News
7 Surgeons of Steel Visit Sandvik Coromant (May 4, 2012)
Sandvik Coromant, a producer of tools for the metal cutting industry, recently hosted 30 eighth graders from the Rockford, Illinois Eisen... Read News
8 Complete Heat Treating Acquires Wisconsin Steel Industries (September 11, 2013)
Complete Heat Treating, LLC announced the completion of its acquisition of all assets and equipment of the former Wisconsin Steel Industr... Read News
9 David Flynn Joins Diehl Steel (January 7, 2013)
Diehl Steel is pleased to announce the hiring of David Flynn as its new production manager. Flynn will be responsible for managing day-to... Read News
10 Solar Develops Heat Treat Process for Bright 17-7 PH Stainless Steel (August 20, 2014)
Using advanced gas cooling technology and out-of-the-box thinking, Solar Atmospheres has developed a unique three-step process to austeni... Read News
11 Stainless Steel Gears From QTC Features the Fairloc Integral Fastening System (October 6, 2008)
A new series of Modules 0.5, 0.8, and 1 spur gears from Quality Transmission Components features the patented Fairloc integral hub fast... Read News