Press quenching is designed to harden steel gears while minimizing distortion, and the process is especially applied for hardening large diameter thin-wall gears, face gears and bevel gears. The dimensional control aims at maintaining flatness, out-of-round, straightness and consistency of radial size. The press quench tooling and the process design have been mainly experience-based, using a trial and error approach for implementation of new processes, new gear materials and gear configurations.
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.