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What gear material is suitable for high-temperature (350 â€“ 550 degree C), high-vacuum, clean-environment use?
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.
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.
Hoechst Technical Polymers has expanded its interests in plastic gears with the introduction of the new Plastic Gear Evaluation and Research machine P-Gear. The machine is the centerpiece of the company's continuing efforts to promote and develop the use of plastic gears in higher-powered applications.
Technology investments lead to product innovation at gear materials suppliers.
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?
Plastics as gear materials represent an interesting development for gearing because they offer high strength-to-weight ratios, ease of manufacture and excellent tribological properties (Refs. 1-7). In particular, there is a sound prospect that plastic gears can be applied for power transmission of up to 10 kW (Ref. 6).
Induction hardening is a heat treating technique that can be used to selectively harden portions of a gear, such as the flanks, roots and tips of teeth, providing improved hardness, wear resistance, and contact fatigue strength without affecting the metallurgy of the core and other parts of the component that donâ€™t require change. This article provides an overview of the process and special considerations for heat treating gears. Part I covers gear materials, desired microsctructure, coil design and tooth-by-tooth induction hardening.
Part I, which was published in the September/October 2008 issue, covered gear materials, desired microstructure, coil design and tooth-by-tooth induction hardening. Part II covers spin hardening and various heating concepts used with it.
Advancements in machining and assembly techniques of thermoplastic gearing along with new design data has lead to increased useage of polymeric materials. information on state of the art methods in fabrication of plastic gearing is presented and the importance of a proper backlash allowance at installation is discussed. Under controlled conditions, cast nylon gears show 8-14 dBA. lower noise level than three other gear materials tested.
Press quenching is designed to harden steel gears while minimizing distortion, and the process is especially applied for hardening large diameter thin-wall gears, face gears and bevel gears. The dimensional control aims at maintaining flatness, out-of-round, straightness and consistency of radial size. The press quench tooling and the process design have been mainly experience-based, using a trial and error approach for implementation of new processes, new gear materials and gear configurations.
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.
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.
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.
Corus Engineering Steels' formula for its new gear steels: Maintain achievable hardness while using fewer alloys, thereby cutting steel costs for gear manufacturers.
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.
Can my metal gear(s) be replaced with plastic gears?
Gear industry experts give their opinions about the most important trends facing gear manufacturers today.
The performance of carburized components can be improved simply by changing the alloy content of the steel.
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.
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.
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.
Before the optimum mechanical properties can be selected, the working stress must be determined, based on recommended allowable stresses.
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.
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.
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.
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).
New material technology allows for more efficient and flexible hobbing.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
The quality of molded plastic gears is typically judged by dimensional feature measurements only. This practice overlooks potential deficiencies in the molding process.
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."
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.
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.