Highly loaded gears are usually casehardened to fulfill the high demands on
the load-carrying capacity. Several factors, such as material, heat treatment, or macro and micro geometry, can influence the load-carrying capacity. Furthermore, the residual stress condition also significantly
influences load-carrying capacity. The residual stress state results from heat treatment and can be further modified by manufacturing processes post heat treatment, e.g. grinding or shot peening.
I have heard that X-ray diffraction does not tell the whole story and that I should really run a fatigue test. I understand this may be the best way, but is there another method that gives a high degree of confidence in the residual stress measurement?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
With the publishing of various ISO draft standards relating to gear rating procedures, there has been much discussion in technical papers concerning the various load modification factors. One of the most basic of parameters affecting the
rating of gears, namely the endurance limit for either contact or bending stress, has not, however, attracted a great deal of attention.