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.
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.
Graded hardening technology has proven over the years to yield very good results when used in the heat treating of carburized gears. It is especially advantageous for smaller companies, subject to higher competitive pressures. Unfortunately, despite the fact that graded hardening is a very well-known method, its use has been limited. We strongly recommend this technology to all of those who need to produce gears with high metallurgical quality.