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This article presents some of the findings of cutting investigations at WZL in which the correlation of cutting parameters, cutting materials, tool geometry and tool life have been determined.
Free form milling of gears becomes more and more important as a flexible machining process for gears. Reasons for that are high degrees of freedom as the usage of universal tool geometry and machine tools is possible. This allows flexible machining of various gear types and sizes with one manufacturing system. This paper deals with manufacturing, quality and performance of gears made by free form milling. The focus is set on specific process properties of the parts. The potential of free form milling is investigated in cutting tests of a common standard gear. The component properties are analyzed and flank load-carrying capacity of the gears is derived by running trials on back-to-back test benches. Hereby the characteristics of gears made by free form milling and capability in comparison with conventionally manufactured gears will be shown.
An analysis of possibilities for the selection of tool geometry parameters was made in order to reduce tooth profile errors during the grinding of gears by different methods. The selection of parameters was based on the analysis of he grid diagram of a gear and a rack. Some formulas and graphs are presented for the selection of the pressure angle, module and addendum of the rack-tool. The results from the grinding experimental gears confirm the theoretical analysis.
The hobbing and generation grinding production processes are complex due to tool geometry and kinematics. Expert knowledge and extensive testing are required for a clear attribution of cause to work piece deviations. A newly developed software tool now makes it possible to simulate the cutting procedure of the tool and superimpose systematic deviations on it. The performance of the simulation software is illustrated here with practical examples. The new simulation tool allows the user to accurately predict the effect of errors. With this knowledge, the user can design and operate optimal, robust gearing processes.
Manufacturing involute gears using form grinding or form milling wheels are beneficial to hobs in some special cases, such as small scale production and, the obvious, manufacture of internal gears. To manufacture involute gears correctly the form wheel must be purpose-designed, and in this paper the geometry of the form wheel is determined through inverse calculation. A mathematical model is presented where it is possible to determine the machined gear tooth surface in three dimensions, manufactured by this tool, taking the finite number of cutting edges into account. The model is validated by comparing calculated results with the observed results of a gear manufactured by an indexable insert milling cutter.
News from around the Gear Industry
News from the Gear Industry
The complete Product News section from the November/December 2014 issue.
Product news from the Gear Industry
News about the latest products in the industry.
News From Around the Gear Industry
News about the Latest Products
The complete Industry News section from the November/December 2014 issue.
Latest new from the Gear Industry
Latest news about the Latest Products
Machine tools boost speed and throughput with automation technology.
The complete Industry News section from the June/July 2013 issue of Gear Technology.
It’s been said that the best ideas are often someone else's. But with rebuilt, retrofitted, re-controlled or remanufactured machine tools, buyer beware and hold onto your wallet. Sourcing re-work vendors and their services can require just as much homework, if not necessarily dollars, as with just-off-the-showroom-floor machines.
Investment in advanced new manufacturing technologies is helping to reinvent production processes for bevel gear cutters and coarse-pitch hobs at Gleason - delivering significant benefits downstream to customers seeking shorter deliveries, longer tool life and better results.
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.
The Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) has been gathering, validating and sharing manufacturing knowledge for more than 80 years. Traditionally, SME resources were purchased by individuals for their own personal use or by colleges and universities as textbooks. Recently, these same colleges and universities were looking for digital resources to provide to their instructors and students. Companies were requesting SME content digitally for their employees as well.
Preview of some of the exhibits relevant to gear manufacturing at the upcoming EMO 2013.
The complete Product News section from the July 2014 issue of Gear Technology.
News about all of the upcoming products int he industry.
The complete Industry News section from the November/December 2013 issue of Gear Technology.
The complete Industry News section from the September 2013 issue of Gear Technology.
Recently, a new type of hob with carbide inserts has been introduced, providing higher cutting speeds, longer tool life and higher feed rates when compared to re-grindable, high-speed steel hobs. But with this kind of hob, new challenges occur due to positional errors of the cutting edges when mounted on the tool. These errors lead to manufacturing errors on the gear teeth which must be controlled. In this paper, the tooth quality of a gear manufactured by hobs with different quality classes is analyzed using a simulation model in combination with Monte Carlo methods.
Manufacturers focus on tool design, materials, coating, machine tool options and cutting parameters.
Optimization is applied to the design of a spiral bevel gear reduction for maximum life at a given size. A modified feasible directions search algorithm permits a wide variety of inequality constraints and exact design requirements to be met with low sensitivity to initial values. Gear tooth bending strength and minimum contact ration under load are included in the active constraints. The optimal design of the spiral bevel gear reduction includes the selection of bearing and shaft proportions in addition to gear mesh parameters. System life is maximized subject to a fixed back-cone distance of the spiral bevel gear set for a specified speed ratio, shaft angle, input torque and power. Significant parameters in the design are the spiral angle, the pressure angle, the numbers of teeth on the pinion and gear and the location and size of the four support bearings. Interpolated polynomials expand the discrete bearing properties and proportions into continuous variables for gradient optimization. After finding the continuous optimum, a designer can analyze near-optimal designs for comparison and selection. Design examples show the influence of the bearing lives on the gear parameters in the optimal configurations. For a fixed back-cone distance, optimal designs with larger shaft angles have larger service lives.
In 1961 I presented a paper, "Calculating Conjugate Helical Forms," at the semi-annual meeting of the American Gear Manufacturers Association (AGMA). Since that time, thousands of hobs, shaper cutters and other meshing parts have been designed on the basis of the equations presented in that paper. This article presents the math of that paper without the formality of its development and goes on to discuss its practical application.
In the past gear manufacturers have had to rely on hob manufacturers' inspection of individual elements of a hob, such as lead, involute, spacing, and runout. These did not always guarantee correct gears, as contained elements may cause a hob to produce gears beyond tolerance limits.
There are different types of spiral bevel gears, based on the methods of generation of gear-tooth surfaces. A few notable ones are the Gleason's gearing, the Klingelnberg's Palloid System, and the Klingelnberg's and Oerlikon's Cyclo Palliod System. The design of each type of spiral bevel gear depends on the method of generation used. It is based on specified and detailed directions which have been worked out by the mentioned companies. However, there are some general aspects, such as the concepts of pitch cones, generating gear, and conditions of force transmissions that are common for all types of spiral bevel gears.
A universal gear is one generated by a common rack on a cylindrical, conical, or planar surface, and whose teeth can be oriented parallel or skewed, centered, or offset, with respect to its axes. Mating gear axes can be parallel or crossed, non-intersecting or intersecting, skewed or parallel, and can have any angular orientation (See Fig.1) The taper gear is a universal gear. It provides unique geometric properties and a range of applications unmatched by any other motion transmission element. (See Fig.2) The taper gear can be produced by any rack-type tool generator or hobbing machine which has a means of tilting the cutter or work axis and/or coordinating simultaneous traverse and infeed motions.
I must admit that after thumbing through the pages of this relatively compact volume (113 pages, 8.5 x 11 format), I read its three chapters(theory of gearing, geometry and technology, and biographical history) from rear to front. It will become obvious later in this discussion why I encourage most gear engineers to adopt this same reading sequence!
The focus of the following presentation is two-fold: 1) on tests of new geometric variants; and 2) on to-date, non-investigated operating (environmental) conditions. By variation of non-investigated eometric parameters and operation conditions the understanding of micropitting formation is improved. Thereby it is essential to ensure existent calculation methods and match them to results of the comparison between large gearbox tests and standard gearbox test runs to allow a safe forecast of wear due to micropitting in the future.
In terms of the tooth thickness, should we use the formulation with respect to normal or transverse coordinate system? When normalizing this thickness in order to normalize the backlash (backlash parameter), we should divide by the circular pitch. Thus, when normalizing, should this circular pitch be defined in the normal or traverse coordinate system, depending on which formulation has been used? Is the backlash parameter always defined with respect to the tangential plane or normal plane for helical gears?
I have outsourced gear macrogeometry due to lack of resources. Now I received the output from them and one of the gears is with —0.8× module correction factor for m = 1.8 mm gear. Since bending root stress and specific slide is at par with specification, but negative correction factor —0.8× module — is quite high — how will it influence NVH behavior/transmission error? SAP and TIF are very close to 0.05 mm; how will that influence the manufacturing/cost?
Beginning with our June Issue, Gear Technology is pleased to present a series of full-length chapters excerpted from Dr. Hermann J. Stadtfeld’s latest scholarly — yet practical — contribution to the gear industry — Gleason Bevel Gear Technology. Released in March, 2014 the book boasts 365 figures intended to add graphic support of a better understanding and easier recollection of the covered material.
The geometry of the bevel gear is quite complicated to describe mathematically, and much of the overall surface topology of the tooth flank is dependent on the machine settings and cutting method employed. AGMA 929-A06 — Calculation of Bevel Gear Top Land and Guidance on Cutter Edge Radius — lays out a practical approach for predicting the approximate top-land thicknesses at certain points of interest — regardless of the exact machine settings that will generate the tooth form. The points of interest that AGMA 929-A06 address consist of toe, mean, heel, and point of involute lengthwise curvature. The following method expands upon the concepts described in AGMA 929-A06 to allow the user to calculate not only the top-land thickness, but the more general case as well, i.e. — normal tooth thickness anywhere along the face and profile of the bevel gear tooth. This method does not rely on any additional machine settings; only basic geometry of the cutter, blank, and teeth are required to calculate fairly accurate tooth thicknesses. The tooth thicknesses are then transformed into a point cloud describing both the convex and concave flanks in a global, Cartesian coordinate system. These points can be utilized in any modern computer-aided design software package to assist in the generation of a 3D solid model; all pertinent tooth macrogeometry can be closely simulated using this technique. A case study will be presented evaluating the accuracy of the point cloud data compared to a physical part.
An accurate and fast calculation method is developed to determine the value of a trigonometric function if the value of another trigonometric function is given. Some examples of conversion procedures for well-known functions in gear geometry are presented, with data for accuracy and computing time. For the development of such procedures the complete text of a computer program is included.
The paper describes a procedure for the design of internal gear pairs, which is a generalized form of the long and short addendum system. The procedure includes checks for interference, tip interference, undercutting, tip interference during cutting, and rubbing during cutting.
Nuttall Gear taps Machine Tool Builders for shop floor upgrades.
The complete Product News section from the June 2017 issue of Gear Technology, featuring the latest from Liebherr, Heller, Sandvik Coromant, Mahr and more.
Sandvik presents the latest in gear milling technologies.
Educational initiatives, company news, acquisitions and people in the industry are all featured this issue.
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.
Traditionally, gear rating procedures consider manufacturing accuracy in the application of the dynamic factor, but only indirectly through the load distribution are such errors in the calculation of stresses used in the durability and gear strength equations. This paper discusses how accuracy affects the calculation of stresses and then uses both statistical design of experiments and Monte Carlo simulation techniques to quantify the effects of different manufacturing and assembly errors on root and contact stresses.
This article investigates fillet features consequent to tooth grinding by generating methods. Fillets resulting from tooth cutting and tooth grinding at different pressure angles and with different positions of grinding wheel are compared. Ways to improve the final fillet of the ground teeth with regard to tooth strength and noise, as well as the grinding conditions, are shown. "Undergrinding" is defined and special designs for noiseless gears are described.
Although there is plenty of information and data on the determination of geometry factors and bending strength of external gear teeth, the computation methods regarding internal gear design are less accessible. most of today's designs adopt the formulas for external gears and incorporate some kind of correction factors for internal gears. However, this design method is only an approximation because of the differences between internal gears and external gears. Indeed, the tooth shape of internal gears is different from that of external gears. One has a concave curve, while the other has a convex curve.
The geometry factor, which is a fundamental part of the AGMA strength rating of gears, is currently computed using the Lewis parabola which allows computation of the Lewis form factor.(1) The geometry factor is obtained from this Lewis factor and load sharing ratio. This method, which originally required graphical construction methods and more recently has been computerized, works reasonably well for external gears with thick rims.(2-6) However, when thin rims are encountered or when evaluating the strength of internal gears, the AGMA method cannot be used.
There are three distinct gear types in angle drives. The most commonly used are bevel and worm drives. Face gear drives are the third alternative.
News from around the Gear Industry
Previews of manufacturing technology related to gears that will be on display at IMTS 2012.
At Andrew Tool, CMMs have been an integral part of their manufacturing processes for years, but they had never faced a project with such intricate measurements, tight tolerances, heat treatments and a very short time frame requirement.
There are a number of companies working to change the way broaching is perceived, and over the past 10 years, they’ve incorporated significant technological changes to make the process more flexible, productive and accurate.
Indexable carbide insert cutting tools for gears are nothing new. But big gears have recently become a very big business. The result is that there's been a renewed interest in carbide insert cutting tools.
In this paper, the potential for geometrical cutting simulations - via penetration calculation to analyze and predict tool wear as well as to prolong tool life - is shown by means of gear finish hobbing. Typical profile angle deviations that occur with increasing tool wear are discussed. Finally, an approach is presented here to attain improved profile accuracy over the whole tool life of the finishing hob.
Faster, more efficient manufacturing offered with table-top design from American Broach & Machine.
Some gear-related highlights from the recent EMO show in Hannover, Germany.
Hainbuch offers workholding solutions for United Gear.
Cutter Sharpening Cutter sharpening is very important both during manufacturing and subsequently in resharpening after dulling. Not only does this process affect cutter "over cutting edge" quality and the quality of the part cut, but it can also affect the manner in which chip flow takes place on the cutter face if the surface finished is too rough or rippled.
Gear shaping is one of the most popular production choices in gear manufacturing. While the gear shaping process is really the most versatile of all the gear manufacturing methods and can cut a wide variety of gears, certain types of gears can only be cut by this process. These are gears closely adjacent to shoulders; gears adjacent to other gears, such as on countershafts; internal gears, either open or blind ended; crown or face gears; herringbone gears of the solid configuration of with a small center groove; rack; parts with filled-in spaces or teeth, such as are used in some clutches.
Universal machines capable of cutting both spur and helical gears were developed in 1910, followed later by machines capable of cutting double helical gears with continuous teeth. Following the initial success, the machines were further developed both in England and France under the name Sunderland, and later in Switzerland under the name Maag.
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.
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.
Two high-volume gear production cells grace the shop floor at Delta Research Corporation in Livonia, Michigan. Thanks to lean manufacturing, these cells have never shipped a defective part to a customer since they were developed over three years ago.
The proper design or selection of gear cutting tools requires thorough and detailed attention from the tool designer. In addition to experience, intuition and practical knowledge, a good understanding of profile calculations is very important.
Hobbing is probably the most popular gear manufacturing process. Its inherent accuracy and productivity makes it a logical choice for a wide range of sizes.
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.
To meet the future goals of higher productivity and lower production costs, the cutting speeds and feeds in modern gear hobbing applications have to increase further. In several cases, coated carbide tools have replaced the commonly used high speed steel (HSS) tools.
Over many years of being in the machine tool business, it has been interesting to observe the way we suppliers are forced to quote and sell machine tools to many large companies.
In today’s manufacturing environment, shorter and more efficient product development has become the norm. It is therefore important to consider every detail of the development process, with a particular emphasis on design. For green machining of gears, the most productive and important process is hobbing. In order to analyze process design for this paper, a manufacturing simulation was developed capable of calculating chip geometries and process forces based on different models. As an important tool for manufacturing technology engineers, an economic feasibility analysis is implemented as well. The aim of this paper is to show how an efficient process design—as well as an efficient process—can be designed.
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.
Machine tool manufacturers supplying machines to the gearing world have been in existence for many years. The machines have changed, and so has the acceptance criteria for the machines.
As we approach the problem of hard gear processing, it is well to take a look at the reason for discussing it at this time. In our present economic atmosphere throughout the world, more and more emphasis is being placed upon efficiency which is dictated by higher energy costs.
The gear hobbing process is a generating type of production operation. For this reason, the form of the hob tooth is always different from the form of the tooth that it produces.
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.
Question: I have just become involved with the inspection of gears in a production operation and wonder why the procedure specifies that four involute checks must be made on each side of the tooth of the gear being produced, where one tooth is checked and charted in each quadrant of the gear. Why is this done? These particular gears are checked in the pre-shaved, finish-shaved, and the after-heat-treat condition, so a lot of profile checking must be done.
Precision gears play a vital role in today's economy. Through their application, automobile transmissions are more compact and efficient, ships sail faster, and diesel locomotives haul more freight. Today great emphasis is being placed upon the reduction of noise in all gear applications and, to be quiet, gears must be accurate.
Rotary gear honing is a crossed-axis, fine, hard finishing process that uses pressure and abrasive honing tools to remove material along the tooth flanks in order to improve the surface finish (.1-.3 um or 4-12u"Ra), to remove nicks and burrs and to change or correct the tooth geometry. Ultimately, the end results are quieter, stronger and longer lasting gears.
Fig. 1 shows the effects of positive and negative rake on finished gear teeth. Incorrect positive rake (A) increase the depth and decreases the pressure angle on the hob tooth. The resulting gear tooth is thick at the top and thin at the bottom. Incorrect negative rake (B) decreases the depth and increases the pressure angle. This results in a cutting drag and makes the gear tooth thin at the top and thick at the bottom.
Broaching is a process in which a cutting tool passes over or through a part piece to produce a desired form. A broach removes part material with a series of teeth, each one removing a specified amount of stock.
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.
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.
The cutting tool industry has undergone some serious changes in the last couple of years in both technology and the way the industry does business. The emerging technology today, as well as for the foreseeable future, is dry cutting, especially in high volume production settings. Wet cutting continues to be as popular as ever with lubrication advances making it more economical and environmentally friendly. There has also developed a process called "near dry cutting." this process offers many of the benefits of fluids while eliminating many of hte associated problems.
Quality gear manufacturing depends on controlled tolerances and geometry. As a result, ferritic nitrocarburizing has become the heat treat process of choice for many gear manufacturers. The primary reasons for this are: 1. The process is performed at low temperatures, i.e. less than critical. 2. the quench methods increase fatigue strength by up to 125% without distorting. Ferritic nitrocarburizing is used in place of carburizing with conventional and induction hardening. 3. It establishes gradient base hardnesses, i.e. eliminates eggshell on TiN, TiAIN, CrC, etc. In addition, the process can also be applied to hobs, broaches, drills, and other cutting tools.
Booth previews from exhibitors showing products and services for the gear industry.
In the past, the blades of universal face hobbing cutters had to be resharpened on three faces. Those three faces formed the active part of the blade. In face hobbing, the effective cutting direction changes dramatically with respect to the shank of the blade. Depending on the individual ratio, it was found that optimal conditions for the chip removal action (side rake, side relief and hook angle) could just be established by adjusting all major parameters independently. This, in turn, results automatically in the need for the grinding or resharpening of the front face and the two relief surfaces in order to control side rake, hook angle and the relief and the relief angles of the cutting and clearance side.
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.
Users of gear-cutting tools probably do not often consciously consider the raw material from which those hobs, broaches or shavers are made. However, a rudimentary awareness of the various grades and their properties may allow tool users to improve the performance or life of their tools, or to address tool failures. The high-speed steel from which the tool is made certainly is not the only factor affecting tool performance, but as the raw material, the steel may be the first place to start.
The chamfering and deburring operations on gear teeth have become more important as the automation of gear manufacturing lines in the automotive industry have steadily increased. Quieter gears require more accurate chamfers. This operation also translates into significant coast savings by avoiding costly rework operations. This article discusses the different types of chamfers on gear teeth and outlines manufacturing methods and guidelines to determine chamfer sizes and angles for the product and process engineer.
The International Manufacturing Technology Show provided one of the biggest ever marketplaces for buying and selling gear-making equipment, with 121601 attenders, making it the largest IMTS ever. The show took place September 4-11 at McCormick Place in Chicago, IL.
Robots, computers and other signs of high technology abounded at IMTS 94, supporting the claim by many that this was one of the best shows ever. Many of the machines on display had so many robotic attachments and computer gizmos that they looked more like they belonged in some science fiction movie than on the floor of a machine shop.
Question: We are interested in purchasing our first gear hobbing machine. What questions should we ask the manufacturer, and what do we need to know in order to correctly specify the CNC hardware and software system requirements?
This is Part II of a two-part series on the basics of gear hobbing. Part I discussed selection of the correct type of hobbing operation, the design features of hobs and hob accuracy. This part will cover sharpening errors and finish hob design considerations.
The Hobbing Process The hobbing process involves a hob which is threaded with a lead and is rotated in conjunction with the gear blank at a ratio dependent upon the number of teeth to be cut. A single thread hob cutting a 40-tooth gear will make 40 revolutions for each revolution of the gear. The cutting action in hobbing is continuous, and the teeth are formed in one passage of the hob through the blank. See Fig. 1 for a drawing of a typical hob with some common nomenclature.
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.
Gear Technology's bimonthly aberration - gear trivia, humor, weirdness and oddments for the edification and amusement of our readers. Contributions are welcome.
What Is Whisker-Reinforced Ceramic? Whisker-reinforced ceramic as applied to cutting tool inserts comprises a matrix of aluminum oxide into which approximately 50% by volume of high-purity silicon carbide "whiskers" are randomly dispersed. The "whiskers" are, in fact, single crystals having dimensions of approximately 0.6 microns in diameter x 10-80 microns in length. These "whiskers" have a tensile strength on the order of 1,000,000 psi (690 MPa). The composite material that is the best known and most widely applied using this technology is designated WG-300 and manufactured by the Greenleaf Corporation of Saegertown, PA.
A gear shaper cutter is actually a gear with relieved cutting edges and increased addendum for providing clearance in the root of the gear being cut. The maximum outside diameter of such a cutter is limited to the diameter at which the teeth become pointed. The minimum diameter occurs when the outside diameter of the cutter and the base circle are the same. Those theoretical extremes, coupled with the side clearance, which is normally 2 degrees for coarse pitch cutters an d1.5 degrees for cutters approximately 24-pitch and finer, will determine the theoretical face width of a cutter.
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.
In today's industrial marketplace, deburring and chamfering are no longer just a matter of cosmetics. The faster speeds at which transmissions run today demand that gear teeth mesh as smoothly and accurately as possible to prevent premature failure. The demand for quieter gears also requires tighter tolerances. New heat treating practices and other secondary gear operations have placed their own set of demands on manufacturers. Companies that can deburr or chamfer to these newer, more stringent specifications - and still keep costs in line - find themselves with a leg up on their competition.
In today's economy, when purchasing a new state-of-the-art gear shaper means a significant capital investment, common sense alone dictates that you develop strategies to get the most for your money. One of the best ways to do this is to take advantage of the sophistication of the machine to make it more than just a single-purpose tool.
The complete Industry News section from the November/December 2012 issue of Gear Technology.