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Articles About vacuum carburizing
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Heat treat alternative offers advantages over conventional methods.
ALD-Holcroft Vacuum Technologies Co. will host a two-day technical symposium at the Henry Ford Museum in Dearborn, Michigan September 23– 24, 2008.
The complete Events section from January/February 2005, including coverage of a vacuum carburizing conference.
Acetylene with DMF solvent enables benefits of low-pressure vacuum carburizing.
This paper introduces new process developments in low-pressure carburizing and carbonitriding using either high-pressure gas quenching or interrupted gas quenching.
Open any heat treating journal today and you’re certain to find multiple references (articles, technical papers and/or advertisements) promoting low-pressure carburizing (LPC). The uninformed might breeze by these references thinking it’s the next flash-in-the-pan, but unlike in the past, this time the process has legs.
The proper control of distortion after thermal treatment of powertrain components in the automotive industry is an important measure in ensuring high-quality parts and minimizing subsequent hard machining processes in order to reduce overall production costs.
In recent years, improvements in the reliability of the vacuum carburizing process have allowed its benefits to be realized in high-volume, critical component manufacturing operations. The result: parts with enhanced hardness and mechanical properties.
Suppliers are working hard to make sure their heat treating equipment is controllable, repeatable and efficient, and manufacturers continue to incorporate technology that gives heat treaters and their customers more information about what's going on inside the magic box.
What gear material is suitable for high-temperature (350 – 550 degree C), high-vacuum, clean-environment use?
High demands for cost-effectiveness and improved product quality can be achieved via a new low pressure carburizing process with high pressure gas quenching. Up to 50% of the heat treatment time can be saved. Furthermore, the distortion of the gear parts could be reduced because of gas quenching, and grinding costs could be saved. This article gives an overview of the principles of the process technology and the required furnace technology. Also, some examples of practical applications are presented.
A carburized alloy steel gear has the greatest load-carrying capacity, but only if it is heat treated properly. For high quality carburizing, the case depth, case microstructure, and case hardness must be controlled carefully.
In a very general sense, increasing the hardness of a steel gear increases the strength of the gear. However, for each process there is a limit to its effectiveness. This article contains background information on each of the processes covered. In each section what is desired and what is achievable is discussed. Typical processes are presented along with comments on variables which affect the result. By reviewing the capabilities and processes, it is possible to determine the limits to each process.
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.
Precise heat treatment plays an essential role in the production of quality carburized gears. Seemingly minor changes in the heat treating process can have significant effects on the quality, expense and production time of a gear, as we will demonstrate using a case study from one of our customer's gears.
Effective case depth is an important factor and goal in gas carburizing, involving complicated procedures in the furnace and requiring precise control of many thermal parameters. Based upon diffusion theory and years of carburizing experience, this paper calculates the effective case depth governed by carburizing temperature, time, carbon content of steel, and carbon potential of atmosphere. In light of this analysis, carburizing factors at various temperatures and carbon potentials for steels with different carbon content were calculated to determine the necessary carburizing cycle time. This methodology provides simple (without computer simulation) and practical guidance of optimized gas carburizing and has been applied to plant production. It shows that measured, effective case depth of gear parts covering most of the industrial application range (0.020 inch to over 0.250 inch) was in good agreement with the calculation.
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.
Graded hardening technology has proven over the years to yield very good results when used in the heat treating of carburized gears. It is especially advantageous for smaller companies, subject to higher competitive pressures. Unfortunately, despite the fact that graded hardening is a very well-known method, its use has been limited. We strongly recommend this technology to all of those who need to produce gears with high metallurgical quality.
A widespread weakness of gear drawings is the requirements called out for carburize heat treating operations. The use of heat treating specifications is a recommended solution to this problem. First of all, these specifications guide the designer to a proper callout. Secondly, they insure that certain metallurgical characteristics, and even to some extent processing, will be obtained to provide the required qualities in the hardened gear. A suggested structure of carburizing specifications is give.
The aim of our research is to clearly show the influence of defects on the bending fatigue strength of gear teeth. Carburized gears have many types of defects, such as non-martensitic layers, inclusions, tool marks, etc. It is well known that high strength gear teeth break from defects in their materials, so it’s important to know which defect limits the strength of a gear.
Often, the required hardness qualities of parts manufactured from steel can only be obtained through suitable heat treatment. In transmission manufacturing, the case hardening process is commonly used to produce parts with a hard and wear-resistant surface and an adequate toughness in the core. A tremendous potential for rationalization, which is only partially used, becomes available if the treatment time of the case hardening process is reduced. Low pressure carburizing (LPC) offers a reduction of treatment time in comparison to conventional gas carburizing because of the high carbon mass flow inherent to the process (Ref. 1).
News from around the Gear Industry
The October 2011 issue of Gear Technology featured the article “Low-Distortion Heat Treatment of Transmission Components,” which covered the combination of low-pressure carburizing and high pressure gas quenching in an automotive environment. Here, heat treating expert Dan Herring explains why oil quenching is an appropriate choice for many applications.
This paper presents the results of a study performed to measure the change in residual stress that results from the finish grinding of carburized gears. Residual stresses were measured in five gears using the x-ray diffraction equipment in the Large Specimen Residual Stress Facility at Oak Ridge National Laboratory.
Dana Corp. is developing a process that carburizes a straight bevel gear to a carbon content of 0.8% in 60 fewer minutes than atmosphere carburizing did with an identical straight bevel.
This paper presents how low pressure carburizing and high pressure gas quenching processes are successfully applied on internal ring gears for a six-speed automatic transmission. The specific challenge in the heat treat process was to reduce distortion in such a way that subsequent machining operations are entirely eliminated.
The gear designer needs to know how to determine an appropriate case depth for a gear application in order to guarantee the required load capacity.
A study was conducted to isolate the influence of pre-rough machine processing on final dimensional distortion.
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.
News Items About vacuum carburizing
1 Solar Atmospheres Offers Full Production Vacuum Carburizing Services (January 15, 2006)
Solar Atmospheres’ new Low Torr Vacuum Carburizing furnace and services are now operating at Solar’s Eastern Pennsylvania ... Read News
2 Solar Awarded Order for R&D Vacuum Carburizing Furnace (June 8, 2009)
A top loading model VTC-714 R&D furnace by Solar Atmospheres was ordered by a mid-Atlantic, aircraft industry manufacturer for proces... Read News
3 ALD Announces Dates for Vacuum Carburizing Symposium (November 26, 2013)
ALD-Holcroft has announced the dates for the 8th Vacuum Carburizing Symposium, to be held in 2014 on May 6th and 7th. This two-day event ... Read News
4 Vacuum Carburizing Symposium Registration Closes April 28th (April 14, 2014)
Ford Motor Company Conference and Exposition Center, Dearborn, Michigan. The ALD Holcroft Vacuum Carburizing Symposium will feature two days... Read News