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.
There are problems in dimensional measurement that should be simple to solve with standard measuring procedures, but aren't. In such cases, using accepted practices may result in errors of hundreds of microns without any warning that something is wrong.
Aircraft transmissions for helicopters, turboprops and geared turbofan aircraft require high reliability and provide several thousand hours of operation between overhauls. In addition, They should be lightweight and have very high efficiency to minimize operating costs for the aircraft.
Gearing for Munchkins
Gene Kasten, president of Repair Parts, Inc., of Rockford, IL, is the proud owner of a miniature Barber-Colman hobber, the only one of its kind in the world. The machine, a replica of the old B-C "A" machine, was built between 1933 and 1941 by W. W. Dickover, who devoted 2, 640 hours of his spare time to the project.
You're already a veteran of the computer revolution. Only you and your controller know how much money you've spent and only your spouse knows how many sleepless nights you've had in the last ten years trying to carve out a place in the brave new world of computerized gear manufacturing. PC's, CNCs, CAD, CAM, DNC, SPC, CMM: You've got a whole bowl of alphabet soup out there on the shop floor. Overall these machines have lived up to their promises. Production time is down, quality is up. You have fewer scrapped parts and better, more efficient machine usage.
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.
Arrow Gear Company of Downers Grove, IL, has implemented a computer system that fully integrates exchange between all of its computer applications. The ELIMS (Electronic Linkage of Information Management Systems) project has increased manufacturing productivity and reduced lead times.
NC and CNC machines are at the heart of manufacturing today. They are the state-of-the-art equipment everybody has (or is soon going to get) that promise to lower costs, increase production and turn manufacturers into competitive powerhouses. Like many other high tech devices (such as microwaves and VCRs), lots of people have and use them - even successfully - without really knowing much about how they operate. But upgrading to CNC costs a lot of money, so it's crucial to separate the hype from the reality.