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Electroless Nickel (EN) plating, a process dating back to the 1940s, is one of the predominant metal finishing methods today. It is especially suitable for the gear industry, whose end uses span innumerable other industries, providing an endless assortment of requirements, environments, materials and specifications. EN plating has a broad array of functional features, which include:
This article summarizes the development of an improved titanium nitride (TiN) recoating process, which has, when compared to conventional recoat methods, demonstrated tool life increases of up to three times in performance testing of hobs and shaper cutters. This new coating process, called Super TiN, surpasses the performance of standard TiN recoating for machining gear components. Super TiN incorporates stripping, surface preparation, smooth coating techniques and polishing before and after recoating. The combination of these improvements to the recoating process is the key to its performance.
Surface coatings or finishing processes are the future technologies for improving the load carrying capacity of case hardened gears. With the help of basic tests, the influence of different coatings and finishing processes on efficiency and resistance to wear, scuffing, micropitting, and macropitting is examined.
The hob is a perfect example of how a little manufacturing ingenuity can make a reliable, highly productive cutting tool. It's an engineering specimen that creates higher cutting speeds, better wear resistance and increases rigidity. The cutting tool alone, however, can't take all the credit for its resourcefulness. Advanced coating technology from companies like Sulzer, Oerlikon Balzers, Ionbond, Seco Tools and Cemecon helps improve cutting tools by reducing overall costs, increasing tool life and maintaining the highest levels of productivity. The following is a quick recap of new technologies and the latest information in the coating market.
Three years ago, coated gears seemed to be the perfect solution for the Micro Marine Corporation. The early designs for the gear drive of their MicroCAT human-powered boat used a combination of thin-film dry gear coatings with lubrication and wear-resistance properties. These coatings simplified their design, provided corrosion resistance, made the gear drive environmentally safe and eliminated the need for gear drive lubrication and maintenance. It was a success story in the making.
Physical Vapor Deposited (PVD) coatings such as TiN (Titanium nitride) have been a boon for cutting tool manufacturers. They reduce wear and, therefore, extend tool life, which in turn reduces production costs. But PVD coatings are expensive, and when they fail, they cost both time and money, and they causes of the failure are not always readily apparent.
A brief introduction to the subject of Thin Film Coatings and their application to gear hobs and shaper cutters is followed by a detailed description of the Chemical Vapor Deposition Process and the Physical Vapor Deposition Process. Advantages and disadvantages of each of these processes is discussed. Emphasis is placed upon: application engineering of coated gear tools based on laboratory and field test results. Recommendations are suggested for tool design improvements and optimization of gear cutting operations using coated tools. Productivity improvements potentially available by properly utilizing coated tools are considered in terms of both tool cost and machining cost.
As coating technology improves to handle harsher conditions, cutting tool manufacturers are faced with new challenges during the resharpening process.
Manufacturers focus on tool design, materials, coating, machine tool options and cutting parameters.
Design Problem: Develop a gear drive for a pedal-powered water craft that will be easy to manufacture, use and maintain; that will be lightweight enough for the boat to be portable; and that will eliminate the environmental risk of lubricants leaking into the water.
The following article is concerned with the analysis of the wear-reducing effect of PVD-coatings in gearings. Standardized test methods are used, which under near-real conditions enable statements to be made about the different forms of damage and wear (micropitting, macropitting, scuffing).
The method of cutting teeth on a cylindrical gear by the hobbing process has been in existence since the late 1800s. Advances have been made over the years in both the machines and the cutting tools used in the process. This paper will examine hob tool life and the many variables that affect it. The paper will cover the state-of-the-art cutting tool materials and coatings, hob tool design characteristics, process speeds and feeds, hob shifting strategies, wear characteristics, etc. The paper will also discuss the use of a common denominator method for evaluating hob tool life in terms of meters (or inches) per hob tooth as an alternative to tool life expressed in parts per sharpening.
The cutting tool is basic to gear manufacturing. Whether it's a hob, broach, shaper cutter or EDM wire, not much gets done without it. And the mission of the tool remains the same as always; removing material as quickly, accurately and cost-effectively as possible. Progress in the field tends to be evolutionary, coming gradually over time, but recently, a confluence of emerging technologies and new customer demands has caused significant changes in the machines, the materials and the coatings that make cutting tools.
Several trends in mechanical engineering are leading to greater surface stress on components and thus to unacceptable wear. These trends include greater stresses due to increased power densities; the need to maintain high precision of components throughout their service life; and the environmental imperative to reduce use of lubricants and additives.
The first part of this article, which ran in the September/October 1994 issue, explained the fundamentals of gear hobbing and some of the latest techniques, including methods of hob performance analysis and new tool configurations, being used to solve specific application problems. In this issue, the author continues his exploration of hobbing by describing the effects of progress on requirements in accuracy, as well as the latest in materials, coating and dry hobbing.
Prior to the introduction of titanium nitride to the cutting tool industry in the early 1980s, there was very little progress in the general application of hobbing in the gear cutting industry. The productivity gains realized with this new type of coating initiated a very active time of advancement in the gear manufacturing process.
Today's high technology hobs are visible different from their predecessors. Gear hobs have taken on a different appearance and function with present day technology and tool and material development. This article shows the newer products being offered today and the reasons for investigating their potential for use in today's modern gear hobbers, where cost reduction and higher productivity are wanted.
A main limiting factor in extending the use of hard coatings to machine component application is the lack of knowledge about how these inert coatings perform under lubricated conditions using today's lubricants.
Spiral bevel and hypoid gear cutting has changed significantly over the years. The machines, tools, processes and coatings have steadily advanced.
Indexable carbide insert (ICI) cutting tools continue to play a pivotal role in gear manufacturing. By offering higher cutting speeds, reduced cycle times, enhanced coatings, custom configurations and a diverse range of sizes and capabilities, ICI tools have proven invaluable for finishing and pre-grind applications. They continue to expand their unique capabilities and worth in the cutting tool market.
Today, because of reduced cost of coatings and quicker turnaround times, the idea of all-around coating on three-face-sharpened blades is again economically viable, allowing manufacturers greater freedoms in cutting blade parameters, including three-face-sharpened and even four-face-sharpened blades.
The art of gear hobbing has advanced dramatically since the development and introduction of unique machine and tool features such as no backlash, super rigidity, automatic loading of cutting tools, CNC controls, additional machine power and improved cutter materials and coatings. It is essential to utilize all these features to run the machine economically.
"A Decade of Performance" is the theme of the American Gear Manufacturers Association Gear Expo 97, to be held October 19-22 at Detroit's Cobo Hall. Products and services related to every aspect of the gear manufacturing process, from turning and grinding the blanks to coating and inspection of the gears,will be represented at the show.
Recent trends in gear cutting technology have left process engineers searching for direction about which combination of cutting tool material, coating, and process technology will afford the best quality at the lowest total cost. Applying the new technologies can have associated risks that may override the potential cost savings. The many interrelated variables to be considered and evaluated tend to cloud the issue and make hobbing process development more difficult.
The machine tool industry is as competitive as ever. New machine technologies, materials, coatings and software upgrades are changing the way gears are being manufactured. Companies like Gleason, Liebherr, Kapp/Niles and DMG/Mori Seiki spend plenty of time and resources on R&D to develop the best products for the gear market. More importantly, these companies engage with (and listen to) customer requests.
News Items About Coating
1 Seco-Warwick Delivers Furnace to IBC Coating (April 23, 2013)
Seco/Warwick will deliver a 12 Bar Universal HPQ (High Pressure Quench) vacuum furnace to IBC Coating Technologies, Inc. in Lebanon, IN t... Read News
2 Balzers Acquires Gold Star Coatings (March 20, 2006)
Balzers Inc. announced a cooperaion agreement to take over the PVD coating operations of Gold Star Coatings, a subsidiary of the industri... Read News
3 Morgan Advanced Ceramics Introduces New Coatings from the Racing Industry (August 14, 2007)
The Diamonex Products division of Morgan Advanced Ceramics (MAC) introduced its Diamonex® Diamond-like Coatings (DLC) for the pe... Read News
4 Ti-Coating Announces its Tinalox SN2 Coating for Applications in All ISO Materials (March 27, 2015)
Ti-Coating announces its new PVD coating Tinalox SN2 for indexable carbide tooling. The Tialn-based coating provides excellent machining ... Read News
5 Seco Tools Acquires NC Industries and Diamond Tool Coating (January 10, 2011)
Seco Tools has signed an agreement to acquire the American companies NC Industries (NCI) and Diamond Tool Coating (DTC). NCI is a produce... Read News
6 Gleason Expands Advanced Coatings Facility (January 27, 2011)
Gleason Corporation has announced a new investment to expand the Advanced Coatings Facility at its Gleason Cutting Tools Corporation (GCT... Read News
7 Powder Coating Institute Announces Board of Directors and Executive Officers for 2017 (March 10, 2017)
Effective January 1, 2017, the Powder Coating Institute has recognized its current Board of Directors and Executive Officers. PCI i... Read News
8 Birchwood Improves Black Oxide Coating (February 8, 2012)
Metal surface cleaners and conditioners from Birchwood Casey improve black oxide coating and other metal finishing processes. Available i... Read News
9 Balzers Opens Coating Center in Houston (March 14, 2006)
Balzers, Inc. opened a new coating center in Houston, Texas. As of January 30, 2006, the Houston Center began coating production of ... Read News
10 Coating Technology Extends Tool Life without Cutting Oil (April 2, 2009)
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. has developed a thin-film coating for applying to precision cutting tool surfaces to extend tool life a... Read News
11 Birchwood Casey Offers Three New Coating Options (January 6, 2012)
Three coating options for iron and steel components from Birchwood Casey provide corrosion protection while improving component appearanc... Read News
12 Tectorius Expands Lubricant and Coatings Portfolio (June 7, 2018)
Maelstrom Chemical/Tectorius has expanded its portfolio of synthetic lubricants and coatings. The Tec-Flon family of products now contain... Read News
13 Advanced Coatings Provide Gear Cutting Edge (April 20, 2012)
Balinite Alcrona Pro, the second generation of ALCr-based coatings, is now available on new and re-sharpened tools from Star SU. Develope... Read News
14 Sulzer Offers Coating Technology for Complex Surfaces (April 29, 2013)
Sulzer offers a variety of coating equipment, material and services for the most complex surface applications. The company’s custom... Read News
15 Dörken Introduces New Coating System (May 21, 2014)
Dörken MKS-Systeme GmbH & Co. KG, Herdecke, Germany and parent company of Dörken Corporation USA located here has introduced a new coating system that provides fasteners with both high performance and durable black corrosion protection... Read News
16 Birchwood Technologies Offers Iron and Steel Coating (May 30, 2014)
The Microlok MZN finish from Birchwood Technologies is a fine-grained zinc phosphate coating for iron and steel components. It provides protection up to 1400°F for high heat applications such as brake components... Read News
17 Birchwood Cold Presto Black Process Forms Non-Dimensional Coating Thickness of 0.5 Micron (July 21, 2015)
Birchwood Technologies now offers three mini systems for use in small batch metal finishing at low temperatures. Mini systems are designe... Read News
18 Ionbond Opens China Coating Service Center (December 15, 2015)
Ionbond has opened its new coating service center for automotive components in ChengDu, Sichuan Province, China. This operation - th... Read News
19 Federal Broach Announces New Coating Facility and Capabilities (March 9, 2016)
Federal Broach has completed installation of a new state-of-the-art coating facility. Federal Broach supplies full gear cutting tool serv... Read News
20 Cortec EcoShield 386 Water Based Coating Achieves 1,000 Hours of Salt Spray Testing (July 26, 2016)
Through the Nano VpCI coatings chemistry of Cortec Laboratories, the first water based coating has been created to withstand a minimum 1,... Read News
21 Balzers Begins New Coating Research (December 22, 2003)
Balzers, along with cooperating partners Plansee AG, the Montan University Leoben and University of Innsbruck, began developing new thin ... Read News