Typical Heat Treatment Defects of Gears and Solutions Using FEA Modeling Authors: Z. Li, B.L. Ferguson


Steel gears are heat treated to obtain enhanced properties and improved service performance. Quench hardening is one of the most important heat treatment processes used to increase the strength and hardness of steel parts. Defects seen in quenched parts are often due to high thermal and phase transformation stresses. Typical defects include excessive distortion, surface decarburization, quench cracks, large grain growth, and unfavorable residual stresses. Gear geometries with large section differences may suffer high stress concentrations and crack during quenching. Surface decarburization before quenching may lead to high surface residual tension and possible post heat treatment cracking. In this paper, the commercial heat treatment software DANTE is used to investigate three examples of heat treatment defects. Improved processes are suggested with the help of modeling. The first example is an oil quench process for a large gear. Peeling cracks were observed on the gear surface during grinding of the quench hardened gears. Computer modeling showed that surface decarburization was the cause. The second example is a press quench of a large face gear. Unexpected large axial bow distortion was observed in quenched gears, and computer modeling indicated that an incorrect press load and die setup were the reasons. The third example is an in­process quenching crack caused by high concentrated tensile stress from unbalanced temperature and phase transformations in a spiral bevel pinion gear. The quenching process was modified to solve the problem. This example also emphasizes the need for heat treatment modeling in gear design to reduce the possibility of heat treatment defects. The three examples illustrate how to effectively use heat treatment modeling to improve the quality of the gear products.
ISBN: 1-978-61481-052-0 Pages: 14
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