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This paper presents the results of a study performed to measure the change in residual stress that results from the finish grinding of carburized gears. Residual stresses were measured in five gears using the x-ray diffraction equipment in the Large Specimen Residual Stress Facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Cubic boron nitride (CBN) finishing of carburized gearing has been shown to have certain economic and geometric advantages and, as a result, it has been applied to a wide variety of precision gears in many different applications. In critical applications such as aerospace drive systems, however, any new process must be carefully evaluated before it is used in a production application. Because of the advantages associated with this process, a test program was instituted to evaluate the load capacity of aerospace-quality gears finished by the CBN process as compared to geometrically identical gears finished by conventional grinding processes. This article presents a brief description of the CBN process, its advantages in an aerospace application, and the results of an extensive test program conducted by Boeing Helicopters (BH) aimed at an evaluation of the effects of this process on the scoring, surface durability, and bending fatigue properties of spur gears. In addition, the results of an x-ray diffraction study to determine the surface and subsurface residual stress distributions of both shot-peened and nonshot-peened CBN-ground gears as compared to similar conventionally ground gears are also presented.