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Technology investments lead to product innovation at gear materials suppliers.
Powder metal. To gear makers today, the phrase conjures images of low power applications in non-critical systems. As powder metal technology advances, as the materials increase in density and strength, such opinions are changing. It is an ongoing, evolutionary process and one that will continue for some time. According to Donald G. White, the executive director of the Metal Powder Industries Federation, in his State-of-the-P/M Industry - 1999 report. "The P/M world is changing rapidly and P/M needs to be recognized as a world-class process - national, continental and even human barriers and prejudices must be eliminated - we must join forces as a world process - unified in approach and goals."
Surface-hardened, sintered powder metal gears are increasingly used in power transmissions to reduce the cost of gear production. One important problem is how to design with surface durability, given the porous nature of sintered gears. Many articles have been written about mechanical characteristics, such as tensile and bending strength, of sintered materials, and it is well-known that the pores existing on and below their surfaces affect their characteristics (Refs. 1-3). Power transmission gears are frequently employed under conditions of high speed and high load, and tooth surfaces are in contact with each other under a sliding-rolling contact condition. Therefore it is necessary to consider not only their mechanical, but also their tribological characteristics when designing sintered gears for surface durability.
The performance of carburized components can be improved simply by changing the alloy content of the steel.
First, the facts: powder metallurgy is a cost-effective method of forming precision net-shape metal components that allows for more efficiently designed products. It saves valuable raw materials through recycling and the elimination of costly secondary-machining. PM competes with wrought steel gears as the technology continues to advance. You'll find PM components in everything from automobile transmissions to aircraft turbine engines, surgical equipment and power tools.
When manufacturing powder metal (PM) gears lead crowning is not achievable in the compaction process. This has to be accomplished either by shaving, grinding or honing. Each of these processes has their merits and draw backs. When employing rolling using a roll burnishing machine lead crowning can be accomplished but due to errors in profile a hard finishing operation such as grinding is used by the industry. In this paper a helical PM gear that has sufficient tolerance class after rolling has been tested in a test rig for durability and the wear has been studied.
Gear Technology hosts dinner for technical contributors to the gear industry during this year's AGMA Fall Technical Meeting and Gear Expo in Columbus, OH. Plus other news from around the industry.
Electrification has already started to have a noticeable impact on the global automotive industry. As a result, the drivetrains of hybrid (HEV) and full electric vehicles (EV) are facing many challenges, like increased requirements for NVH in high speed e-Drives and the need for performance improvements to deal with recuperation requirements. Motivated by the positive validation results of surface densified manual transmission gears which are also applicable for dedicated hybrid transmissions (DHTs) like e-DCTs, GKN engineers have been looking for a more challenging application for PM gears within those areas.
Powder metal (PM) gears normally sell due to the lower cost and their relatively high mechanical performance. The reason behind the lower cost is that most of the machining is omitted due to the net-shape forming process. So how net-shape are powder metal gears? In this article some hard-to-find information about the tolerances through the manufacturing steps will be presented.
Austempering heat treatments (austenitizing followed by rapid cooling to the tempering temperature) have been applied to nodular irons on an experimental basis for a number of years, but commercial interest in the process has only recently come to the surface.
PowderMet 2009, plus the full technical calendar for Gear Technology's June 2009 issue.
For metal replacement with powder metal (PM) of an automotive transmission, PM gear design differs from its wrought counterpart. Indeed, complete reverse-engineering and re-design is required so to better understand and document the performance parameters of solid-steel vs. PM gears. Presented here is a re-design (re-building a 6-speed manual transmission for an Opel Insignia 4-cylinder, turbocharged 2-liter engine delivering 220 hp/320 N-m) showing that substituting a different microgeometry of the PM gear teeth -- coupled with lower Youngâ€™s modulus -- theoretically enhances performance when compared to the solid-steel design.
This paper addresses Austempered Ductile Iron (ADI) as an emerging Itechnology and defines its challenge by describing the state-of-the-art of incumbent materials. The writing is more philosophical in nature than technical and is presented to establish a perspective.
The manufacturing process to produce a gear essentially consist of: material selection, blank preshaping, tooth shaping, heat treatment, and final shaping. Only by carefully integrating of the various operations into a complete manufacturing system can an optimum gear be obtained. The final application of the gear will determine what strength characteristics will be required which subsequently determine the material and heat treatments.
Plane strain fracture toughness of twelve high-carbon steels has been evaluated to study the influence of alloying elements, carbon content and retained austenite. The steels were especially designed to simulate the carburized case microstructure of commonly used automotive type gear steels. Results show that a small variation in carbon can influence the K IC significantly. The beneficial effect of retained austenite depends both on its amount and distribution. The alloy effect, particularly nickel, becomes significant only after the alloy content exceeds a minimum amount. Small amounts of boron also appear beneficial.
How do we know when the gear material we buy is metallurgically correct? How can we judge material quality when all gear material looks alike?
Ausforming, the plastic deformation of heat treatment steels in their metastable, austentic condition, was shown several decades ago to lead to quenched and tempered steels that were harder, tougher and more durable under fatigue-type loading than conventionally heat-treated steels. To circumvent the large forces required to ausform entire components such as gears, cams and bearings, the ausforming process imparts added mechanical strength and durability only to those contact surfaces that are critically loaded. The ausrolling process, as utilized for finishing the loaded surfaces of machine elements, imparts high quality surface texture and geometry control. The near-net-shape geometry and surface topography of the machine elements must be controlled to be compatible with the network dimensional finish and the rolling die design requirements (Ref. 1).
In his Handbook of Gear Design (Ref.1), Dudley states (or understates): "The best gear people around the world are now coming to realize that metallurgical quality is just as important as geometric quality." Geometric accuracy without metallurgical integrity in any highly stressed gear or shaft would only result in wasted effort for all concerned - the gear designer, the manufacturer, and the customer - as the component's life cycle would be prematurely cut short. A carburized automotive gear or shaft with the wrong surface hardness, case depth or core hardness may not even complete its basic warranty period before failing totally at considerable expense and loss of prestige for the producer and the customer. The unexpected early failure of a large industrial gear or shaft in a coal mine or mill could result in lost production and income while the machine is down since replacement components may not be readily available. Fortunately, this scenario is not common. Most reputable gear and shaft manufacturers around the world would never neglect the metallurgical quality of their products.
This article examines the dry hobbing capabilities of two cutting tool materialsâ€”powder metallurgical high-speed steel (PM-HSS) and cemented carbide. Cutting trials were carried out to analyze applicable cutting parameters and possible tool lives as well as the process reliability. To consider the influences of the machinability of different workpiece materials, a case hardening steel and a tempered steel were examined.
This paper introduces mandatory improvements in design, manufacturing and inspection - from material elaboration to final machining - with special focus on today's large and powerful gearing.
The heat treatment processing of powder metal (PM) materials like Astaloy requires four steps -- de-waxing, HT sintering, carburizing and surface hardening -- which are usually achieved in dedicated, atmospheric furnaces for sintering and heat treat, respectively, leading to intermediate handling operations and repeated heating and cooling cycles. This paper presents the concept of the multi-purpose batch vacuum furnace, one that is able to realize all of these steps in one unique cycle. The multiple benefits brought by this technology are summarized here, the main goal being to use this technology to manufacture high-load transmission gears in PM materials.
The properties of both shot-peened and cold rolled PM gears are analyzed and compared. To quantify the effect of both manufacturing processes, the tooth root bending fatigue strength will be evaluated and compared to wrought gears.
This paper will provide examples of stress levels from conventional root design using a hob and stress levels using an optimized root design that is now possible with PM manufacturing. The paper will also investigate how PM can reduce stresses in the root from transient loads generated by abusive driving.
Design innovation, superior engineering properties, high end-market visibility and sustainability distinguish the winners of the 2011 Design Excellence awards, the annual powder metallurgy (PM) design competition sponsored by the Metal Powder Industries Federation.
Powder metallurgy (P/M) techniques have proven successful in displacing many components within the automobile drive train, such as: connecting rods, carriers, main bearing caps, etc. The reason for P/Mâ€™s success is its ability to offer the design engineer the required mechanical properties with reduced component cost.
This is part II of a two-part paper that presents the results of extensive test programs on the RCF strength of PM steels.
Except for higher-end gear applications found in automotive and aerospace transmissions, for example, high-performance, sintered-steel gears match wrought-steel gears in strength and geometrical quality. The enhanced P/M performance is due largely to advances in powder metallurgy over last two decades, such as selective surface densification, new materials and lubricants for high density and warm-die pressing. This paper is a review of the results of a decade of research and development of high- performance, sintered-steel gear prototypes.
This article summarizes results of research programs on RCF strength of wrought steels and PM steels.
This article focuses on bending fatigue strength improvements of P/M gearing from recent improvements in P/M technology, combined with shot peening.
Despite economic uncertainty, the future looks promising for PM Gears.
The metal powder industry gathered in force this past June for PowderMet 2010, the 2010 International Conference on Powder Metallurgy and Particulate Materials.
The powder metal (P/M) process is making inroads in automotive transmission applications due to substantially lower costs of P/M-steel components for high-volume production, as compared to wrought or forged steel parts. Although P/M gears are increasingly used in powered hand tools, gear pumps and as accessory components in automotive transmissions, P/M-steel gears are currently in limited use in vehicle transmission applications. The primary objective of this project was to develop high-strength P/M-steel gears with bending fatigue, impact resistance and pitting fatigue performance equivalent to current wrought steel gears.
Increasingly gear designers and product engineers are capitalizing on the economic advantages of powder metallurgy (P/M) for new and existing gear applications. Powder metal gears are found in automobiles, outdoor power equipment transmissions and office machinery applications as well as power hand tools, appliances and medial components.
The data discussed in this article was taken from an upright vacuum cleaner. This was a prototype cleaner that was self-propelled by a geared transmission. It was the first time that the manufacturer had used a geared transmission in this application.
AGMA and members of the Metal Powder Industries Federation (MPIF) are three years into a joint project to develop specifications and an information sheet on rating powder metal gears. According to committee vice chairman Glen A. Moore of Burgess-Norton Mfg. Co., the first phase of the project, the publication of AGMA Standard "6009-AXX, Specifications for Powder Metallurgy Gears," should be completed in late 1996 or early 1997.
Powder metallurgy (P/M) is a precision metal forming technology for the manufacture of parts to net or near-net shape, and it is particularly well-suited to the production of gears. Spur, bevel and helical gears all may be made by made by powder metallurgy processing.
the gear industry is awash in manufacturing technologies that promise to eliminate waste by producing gears in near-net shape, cut production and labor costs and permit gear designers greater freedom in materials. These methods can be broken down into the following categories: alternative ways to cut, alternative ways to form and new, exotic alternatives. Some are new, some are old and some are simply amazing.
The implementation of powder metal (PM)components in automotive applications increases continuously, in particular for more highly loaded gear components like synchromesh mechanisms. Porosity and frequently inadequate material properties of PM materials currently rule out PM for automobile gears that are subject to high loads. By increasing the density of the sintered gears, the mechanical properties are improved. New and optimized materials designed to allow the production of high-density PM gears by single sintering may change the situation in the future.
Capstan Atlantic, located in Wrentham, Massachusetts, produces powder metal gears, sprockets and complex structural components. The company has provided unique powder metal products in a variety of industries including automotive, business machines, appliances, lawn and garden equipment and recreational vehicles.
Plastic gears are serious alternatives to traditional metal gears in a wide variety of applications. The use of plastic gears has expanded from low-power, precision motion transmission into more demanding power transmission applications. As designers push the limits of acceptable plastic gear applications, more is learned about the behavior of plastics in gearing and how to take advantage of their unique characteristics.
Can my metal gear(s) be replaced with plastic gears?
If someone were to tell you that he had a gear material that was stronger per pound than aluminum, as wear-resistant as steel, easier to machine than free-machining steel and capable of producing gears domestically for 20% less than those now cut from foreign made forgings, would you consider that material to be "high tech"? Probably. Well, throw out all the pre-conceived notions that you may have had about "high tech" materials. The high-performance material they didn't teach you about in school is austempered ductile iron (ADI).
Material selection can play an important role in the constant battle to reduce gear noise. Specifying tighter dimensional tolerances or redesigning the gear are the most common approaches design engineers take to minimize noise, but either approach can add cost to the finished part and strain the relationship between the machine shop and the end user. A third, but often overlooked, alternative is to use a material that has high noise damping capabilities. One such material is cast iron.
The quality of the material used for highly loaded critical gears is of primary importance in the achievement of their full potential. Unfortunately, the role which material defects play is not clearly understood by many gear designers. The mechanism by which failures occur due to material defects is often circuitous and not readily apparent. In general, however, failures associated with material defects show characteristics that point to the source of the underlying problem, the mechanism by which the failure initiated, and the manner in which it progressed to failure of the component.
The lifetime of worm gears is usually delimited by the bronze-cast worm wheels. The following presents some optimized cast bronzes, which lead to a doubling of wear resistance.
Carbon steels have primarily been used to manufacture aerospace gears due to the steels' mechanical characteristics. An alloyed low carbon steel is easily case-hardened to obtain a hard wear surface while maintaining the ductile core characteristics. The microstructure achieved will accept the heavy loading, shocks, and elevated temperatures that gears typically experience in applications. The carbon steel machinability allows for general machining practices to be employed when producing aerospace gears versus the more advanced metal removal processes required by stainless and nickel-based alloys.
What gear material is suitable for high-temperature (350 â€“ 550 degree C), high-vacuum, clean-environment use?
Much of the existing guidelines for making large, high-performance gears for wind turbine gearboxes exhibit a need for improvement. Consider: the large grinding stock used to compensate for heat treatment distortion can significantly reduce manufacturing productivity; and, materials and manufacturing processes are two other promising avenues to improvement. The work presented here investigates quenchable alloy steels that, combined with specifically developed Case-hardening and heat treatment processes, exhibits reduced distortion and, in turn, requires a smaller grinding stock.
You get one shot to make a first impression. One opportunity to show your customers, vendors and suppliers that you provide a steady, reliable product that will generate repeat business. How do you make this happen? What tools and strategies are available to get gear materials (forgings, gear blanks, etc.) shipped faster and more efficiently in today's tech-heavy, fast-paced, manufacturing environment?
This paper presents an original method for computing the loaded mechanical behavior of fiber reinforced polymer gears. Although thermoplastic gears are unsuitable for application transmitting high torque, adding fibers can significantly increase their performance. The particular case of polyamide 6 + 30% glass fibers is studied in this paper.
Broaching is a machining technique commonly used to cut gear teeth or cam profiles for the high volume manufacture of power transmission parts used in vehicles (Refs. 1â€“2). This article shows how the right gear blank material can make all the difference if you want to get more parts out of each tool.
The increasing demands in the automotive industry for weight reduction, fuel efficiency and a reduced carbon footprint need to be addressed urgently. Up until now, widely used conventional steels have lived up to expectations. However, with more stringent emissions standards, demands on materials are increasing. Materials are expected to perform better, resulting in a need for increased fatigue strength. A possibility to increase torque on current generations without design changes can be achieved by selecting suitable materials.
Manufacturers focus on tool design, materials, coating, machine tool options and cutting parameters.
Reduced component weight and ever-increasing power density require a gear design on the border area of material capacity. In order to exploit the potential offered by modern construction materials, calculation methods for component strength must rely on a deeper understanding of fracture and material mechanics in contrast to empirical-analytical approaches.
It is becoming increasingly apparent that material properties can and will play a greater role than before in addressing the challenges most transmission manufacturers are facing today. Making use of materials' intrinsic fatigue properties provides a new design tool to support the market changes taking place.
The objective of this work is to introduce a method for the calculation of the tooth root load carrying capacity for gears, under consideration of the influence of the defect size on the endurance fatigue strength of the tooth root. The theoretical basis of this method is presented in this paper as well as the validation in running tests of helical and beveloid gears with different material batches, regarding the size distribution of inclusions. The torque level for a 50 percent failure probability of the gears is evaluated on the test rig and then compared to the results of the simulation. The simulative method allows for a performance of the staircase method that is usually performed physically in the back-to-back tests for endurance strength, as the statistical influence of the material properties is considered in the calculation model. The comparison between simulation and tests shows a high level of accordance.
Emerging technologies such as robotics/automation, new materials, additive manufacturing and IIoT can and will change the course of gear manufacturing for the foreseeable future.
New material technology allows for more efficient and flexible hobbing.
For many years chromium has been a popular alloy for heat treatable steels because of its contribution to hardenability more than offsets its costs. As a consequence, it is specified in such high-tonnage steel grades as the 5100, 4100, and 8600 series; and, as a result, about 15% of the annual U.S. consumption of chromium is used in constructional alloy steels.
Understanding the morphology of micropitting is critical in determining the root cause of failure. Examples of micropitting in gears and rolling-element bearings are presented to illustrate morphological variations that can occur in practice.
This paper shows an experimental study on the fatigue lifetime of high-heat polyamide (Stanyl) gears running in oil at 140Â°C. Based on previous works (Refs. 1â€“2), an analysis is made correcting for tooth bending and calculating actual root stresses. A comparison with tensile bar fatigue data for the same materials at 140Â°C shows that a good correlation exists between gear fatigue data and tensile bar fatigue data. This insight provides a solid basis for gear designers to design plastic gears using actual material data.
In this special section, our editors have gathered recent news and information related to the heat treatment of gears. Here youâ€™ll find a comprehensive assortment of news and upcoming events that will help you understand the various heat treatment processes available for gears and choose the best option for your projects, whether you heat treat in-house or send your gears to a commercial heat treating provider.
The approximate tensile strength of any steel is measured by its hardness, Table 1. Since hardness is determined by both chemical composition and heat treatment, these are the two important metallurgical considerations in selecting gear steels.
Gears are designed to be manufactured, processed and used without failure throughout the design life of the gear. One of INFAC's objectives (*see p.24) is to help manufacture of gears to optimize performance and life. One way to achieve this is to identify failure mechanisms and then devise strategies to overcome them by modifying the manufacturing parameters.
The complete Industry News section from the October 2012 issue of Gear Technology.
An overview of the latest technology and trends in heat treating.
The complete Product News section from the June/July 2013 issue of Gear Technology.
The complete Industry News section from the November/December 2013 issue of Gear Technology.
Tiger stripes on a high-speed pinion made of a carburized SAE 9310 steel were investigated. The morphology of the damage was typical of electric discharge damage. The cause of the stripes and potential damage to the gear tooth were analyzed and are presented in this report.
The complete Product News section from the July 2014 issue of Gear Technology.
News about new Products in the Industry
QuesTek Innovations LLC is applying its Materials by Design computational design technology to develop a new class of high-strength, secondary hardening gear steels that are optimized for high-temperature, low-pressure (i.e., vacuum) carburization. The new alloys offer three different levels of case hardness (with the ability to â€śdial-inâ€ť hardness profiles, including exceptionally high case hardness), and their high core strength, toughness and other properties offer the potential to reduce drivetrain weight or increase power density relative to incumbent alloys such as AISI 9310 or Pyrowear Alloy 53.
This special edition of Product News includes highlights from Gear Expo 2017 of new products that caught the editors' eyes.
The latest product news for the gear industry, including new products and services from Gleason, Liebherr, Forest City Gear, GMTA, Starrett and Kennametal.
The complete Product News section from the January/February issue of Gear Technology.
Before the optimum mechanical properties can be selected, the working stress must be determined, based on recommended allowable stresses.
Hobs, broaches, shaper cutters, shaver cutters, milling cutters, and bevel cutters used in the manufacture of gears are commonly made of high speed steel. These specialized gear cutting tools often require properties, such as toughness or manufacturability, that are difficult to achieve with carbide, despite the developments in carbide cutting tools for end mills, milling cutters, and tool inserts.
Gear designs are evolving at an ever accelerating rate, and gear manufacturers need to better understand how the choice of materials and heat treating methods can optimize mechanical properties, balance overall cost and extend service life.
The palette of thermoplastic materials for gears has grown rapidly, as have the applications themselves. Designers need to be aware of key properties and attributes in selecting the right material.
Corus Engineering Steels' formula for its new gear steels: Maintain achievable hardness while using fewer alloys, thereby cutting steel costs for gear manufacturers.
The quality of molded plastic gears is typically judged by dimensional feature measurements only. This practice overlooks potential deficiencies in the molding process.
Gear industry experts give their opinions about the most important trends facing gear manufacturers today.