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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.
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.
As gear manufacturing techniques become more precise and demanding, there is a growing demand for cleaner, higher quality steel.
Corus Engineering Steels' formula for its new gear steels: Maintain achievable hardness while using fewer alloys, thereby cutting steel costs for gear manufacturers.
Borazon is a superabrasive material originally developed by General Electric in 1969. It is a high performance material for machining of high alloy ferrous and super alloy materials. Borazon CBN - Cubic Born Nitride - is manufactured with a high temperature, high pressure process similar to that utilized with man-made diamond. Borazon is, next to diamond, the hardest abrasive known; it is more than twice as hard as aluminum oxide. It has an extremely high thermal strength compared to diamond. It is also much less chemically reactive with iron, cobalt or nickel alloys.
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.
Precision components (industrial bearing races and automotive gears) can distort during heat treatment due to effects of free or unconstrained oil quenching. However, press quenching can be used to minimize these effects. This quenching method achieves the relatively stringent geometrical requirements stipulated by industrial manufacturing specifications. As performed on a wide variety of steel alloys, this specialized quenching technique is presented here, along with a case study showing the effects of prior thermal history on the distortion that is generated during press quenching.
News Items About alloys
1 QuesTek Awards Production Licenses for Gear Alloys (February 11, 2010)
Latrobe Specialty Steel Company was awarded licenses to produce and sell Ferrium C61 and C64 alloys from QuesTek Innovations LLC. Both hi... Read News