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The need for improved power transmissions that use gears and gearboxes with smaller overall dimensions and with lower noise generation has left manufacturing engineers searching for different methods of gear processing. This search has led to the requirement of hardened gears.
In the field of large power transmission gear units for heavy machine industry, the following two development trends have been highly influential: use of case hardened gears and a branching of the power flow through two or more ways.
The phenomenon of white layers, which arises from high stress, can be observed under a microscope after the white layers have been treated with a weak nitric acid solution. Their occurrences in zones of high shear stress can provide qualitatively valuable indications of the size and direction of the stress, and they can point out possible starting points for flank damage. An investigation of this phenomenon is described.
The efficient and reliable transmission of mechanical power continues, as always, to be a central area of concern and study in mechanical engineering. The transmission of power involves the interaction of forces which are transmitted by specially developed components. These components must, in turn, withstand the complex and powerful stresses developed by the forces involved. Gear teeth transmit loads through a complex process of positive sliding, rolling and negative sliding of the contacting surfaces. This contact is responsible for both the development of bending stresses at the root of the gear teeth and the contact stresses a the contacting flanks.
For high-quality carburized, case hardened gears, close case carbon control is essential. While tight carbon control is possible, vies on what optimum carbon level to target can be wider than the tolerance.
Cracks initiated at the surface of case-hardened gears may lead to typical life-limiting fatigue failure modes such as pitting and tooth root breakage. Furthermore, the contact load on the flank surface induces stresses in greater material depth that may lead to crack initiation below the surface if the local material strength is exceeded. Over time the sub-surface crack propagation may lead to gear failure referred to as â€śtooth flank fractureâ€ť (also referred to as â€śtooth flank breakageâ€ť). This paper explains the mechanism of this subsurface fatigue failure mode and its decisive influence factors, and presents an overview of a newly developed calculation model.
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.
In the last couple of years, many research projects dealt with the determination of load limits of cylindrical worm gears. These projects primarily focused on the load capacity of the worm wheel, whereas the worm was neglected. This contribution presents investigations regarding damages such as large scores and cracks on the flanks of case-hardened worms.
Carburized gears have higher strengths and longer lives compared with induction-hardened or quench-tempered gears. But in big module gears, carburizing heat-treatment becomes time-consuming and expensive and sometimes cannot achieve good hardness due to the big mass-effect. Also, it is not easy to reduce distortion of gears during heat treatment.
Why Brushes? In this age of hi-tech, robots, automatic machines, machining cells, etc., is there a niche somewhere for power brushes? Let me answer by asking another question. What tool does the gear manufacturer have in his arsenal that allows him to deburr green gears, hardened gears, hobbed gears, ground gears and shaved gears? What tool allows him to deburr powder metal gears - green and sintered - brass gears, bronze gears, stainless gears made of exotic materials such as inconel, waspaloy, or hastaloy, and fiber and plastic gears? How about spur gears, helical gears, sprockets, both internal and external splines, clutch teeth and pump gears?
The market demand for gear manufacturers to transmit higher torques via smaller-sized gear units inevitably leads to the use of case-hardened gears with high manufacturing and surface quality. In order to generate high part quality, there is an increasing trend towards the elimination of the process-induced distortion that occurs during heat treatment by means of subsequent hard finishing.
Carburized and hardened gears have optimum load-carrying capability. There are many alternative ways to produce a hard case on the gear surface. Also, selective direct hardening has some advantages in its ability to be used in the production line, and it is claimed that performance results equivalent to a carburized gear can be obtained. This article examines the alternative ways of carburizing, nitriding, and selective direct hardening, considering equipment, comparative costs, and other factors. The objective must be to obtain the desired quality at the lowest cost.
Spur gear surface endurance tests were conducted to investigate CBN ground AISI 9310 spur gears for use in aircraft applications, to determine their endurance characteristics and to compare the results with the endurance of standard vitreous ground AISI 9310 spur gears. Tests were conducted with VIM-VAR AISI 9210 carburized and hardened gears that were finish ground with either CBN or vitreous grinding methods. Test conditions were an inlet oil temperature of 320 K (116 degree F), an outlet oil temperature of 350 K (170 degree F), a maximum Hertz stress of 1.71 GPa (248 ksi), and a speed of 10,000 rpm. The CBN ground gears exhibited a surface fatigue life that was slightly better than the vitreous ground gears. The subsurface residual stress of the CBN ground gears was approximately the same as that for the standard vitreous ground gears for the CBN grinding method used.
Instances of damage to discontinuous form ground and surface-hardened gears, especially of large scale, have recently increased. This may be attributed partly to a faulty grinding process with negative effects on the surface zones and the surface properties.
The higher load carrying capacities, compact dimensions and longer life of hardened gears is an accepted fact in industry today. However, the costs involved in case hardening and subsequent finishing operations to achieve these advantages are considerable. For example, in order to achieve desired running properties on larger gears, it has been necessary to grind the tooth flanks. This costly operation can now be replaced, in many cases, by a new Hard Cutting (HC) process which permits the cutting of hardened gears while maintaining extremely low tooling costs.
Rotary gear honing is a hard gear finishing process that was developed to improve the sound characteristics of hardened gears by: Removing nicks and burrs; improving surface finish; and making minor corrections in tooth irregularities caused by heat-treat distortion.
Gear flank breakage can be observed on edge zone-hardened gears. It occurs, for example, on bevel gears for water turbines, on spur gears for wind energy converters and on single- and double-helical gears for other industrial applications.
If you make hardened gears and have not seen any micropitting, then you havenâ€™t looked closely enough. Micropitting is one of the modes of failure that has more recently become of concern to gear designers and manufacturers. Micropitting in itself is not necessarily a problem, but it can lead to noise and sometimes other more serious forms of failure. Predicting when this will occur is the challenge facing designers.
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.
In order to increase the load carrying capacity of hardened gears, the distortion of gear teeth caused by quenching must be removed by precision cutting (skiving) and/or grinding. In the case of large gears with large modules, skiving by a carbide hob is more economical than grinding when the highest accuracy is not required.