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19 (de) vizualizări14 paginiA Comparison of Bending Fatigue Strength of Carburized and Nitrided Gears for Industrial Applications 2017 Engineering Failure Analysis

Feb 22, 2018

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A Comparison of Bending Fatigue Strength of Carburized and Nitrided Gears for Industrial Applications 2017 Engineering Failure Analysis

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19 (de) vizualizări

A Comparison of Bending Fatigue Strength of Carburized and Nitrided Gears for Industrial Applications 2017 Engineering Failure Analysis

© All Rights Reserved

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journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/engfailanal

nitrided gears for industrial applications

Edoardo Conrado* , Carlo Gorla, Piermaria Davoli, Marco Boniardi

Politecnico di Milano, Dipartimento di Meccanica, via La Masa 1, Milano 20156, Italy

A R T I C L E I N F O A B S T R A C T

Article history: An experimental campaign aimed at the assessment and the comparison of the bending

Received 2 September 2016 fatigue resistance of two case hardened and three nitrited gear steels was performed. Five

Received in revised form 16 February 2017 batches of test gear specimens were produced according to the current industrial practice.

Accepted 7 March 2017 Besides standard inspections of gear specimens, accurate X-ray measurements were carried

Available online 9 March 2017

out in order to determine the variations of residual stresses caused by different combinations

of steels and thermo-chemical treatments. Single Tooth Bending Fatigue (STBF) tests were

Keywords: conducted to estimate the fatigue limits of the ﬁve gear materials, as well as to determine

Gears

their S-N diagrams. The sensitivity to overload of nitrided steels was investigated by means

Fatigue

of additional tests determining the so-called damage line for these materials. The experimen-

Nitriding

Carburizing tal results allowed a comparison of the bending fatigue performances of case carburized and

Residual stress nitrited gears, showing the high competitiveness of the latter.

© 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction

Case hardened and nitrided gears represent the two most common alternative options in those cases where the power

density of the transmission is a design requirement. Both surface treatments provide improved contact and bending fatigue

performances with respect to through hardened gears.

The main differences between the two treatments, from the point of view of their application, are a consequence of the man-

ufacturing cycle and of the distortions caused by the thermo-chemical process. The high temperature of carburizing processes

induces larger gear distortions that entail subsequent machining (typically grinding) and the consequent reduction of the case

hardened layer. The lower temperature of the nitriding treatments allows the ﬁnishing process (typically grinding) to be com-

pleted before the heat treatment, thanks to lower distortions. However, nitriding generally requires higher treatment times and

produces lower case depths. Therefore, case hardening represents the standard solution for high performance applications in

aerospace, automotive, power generation and industrial gears. On the contrary, the use of nitriding is generally restricted to

those cases where the distortions caused by surface hardening treatments need to be reduced. This fact is determined by the

reasons previously mentioned, but also by the common idea that the load carrying capacity of nitrited gears is lower than that

of carburized ones (see e.g. [1]).

* Corresponding author.

E-mail address: edoardo.conrado@polimi.it (E. Conrado).

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.engfailanal.2017.03.006

1350-6307/© 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

42 E. Conrado et al. / Engineering Failure Analysis 78 (2017) 41–54

The ISO Standard [2] shows little differences among the fatigue limits of the two classes of gear steels and heat treatments,

with lower values for nitriding (e.g., for the MQ quality, the nominal stress number for bending is 0 to 15% lower and the

allowable stress number for contact is 17% lower). In the ﬁnite life region, the differences, according to the ISO Standard [3], are

more pronounced and are taken into account by means of the life factor that penalizes nitrided gears; for example, considering

the bending strength at a number of load cycles to failure equal to 105 , the life factor has the following values: nitrided YNT =

1, 22 and case hardened YNT = 1, 46.

The data given by the ISO standard for the bending fatigue behaviour of carburized gears were derived from laboratory tests

and are consistent with results of several experimental campaigns on case hardened gears investigating the inﬂuence of different

factors, such as presence of defects [4], case depths [5], residual stresses and shot-peening treatments [6–10] as well as ﬁnite life

strengths [11]. On the contrary, test data publicly available about gas nitrided gears for industrial applications are less and less

recent. An experimental study performed at FZG [12], where also test results obtained by other researchers are reported, shows

that both bending and contact stress capabilities of nitrided gears are comparable to that of carburized ones, and differences,

if any, are small. However, concerning the bending fatigue strength, the material tested, a modiﬁed 39CrMoV13.9 suitable for

large gears thanks to its high hardenability, showed a high sensitivity to overloads.

On the basis of previous experiences of the Authors, who in the past performed several tests concerning the bending fatigue

behaviour of case hardened [13] and nitrided [14] aerospace gears, as well as of surface hardened steels for large gears [15], the

properties of gears are inﬂuenced not only by materials and heat treatments, but also by other factors (tooth root geometry,

gear size, ﬁnishing operations, with consequent surface roughnesses and residual stresses, etc.). For this reason, even if the

rating methods provided by gear standards represent a way to exclude other factors, a precise comparison between different

combinations of materials and heat treatments can be performed effectively only if all the other parameters are kept constant

and the results are obtained on specimens which differ only in the investigated aspect.

In order to obtain relevant data that allow a more conscious selection of the proper combination of materials and heat

treatments, a research program that covers the experimental evaluation of the load carrying capacities of ﬁve case hardened and

nitrided steels has been started. The research program consists of two parts: the ﬁrst part concerns the experimental evaluation

of the bending fatigue characteristics, while the second, which is in course of execution, the comparison of contact fatigue

resistances. In both parts, ﬁve different combinations of steels and heat treatments have been investigated. The test variants

include four typical solutions, represented by two nitriding steels nitrided and two carburizing steels case carburized, along

with a particular one, that is nitriding of a case hardening steel, which represents a solution that is presently considered by

companies.

This paper presents the results of the ﬁrst part of this research program. In this part of the program, ﬁve families of gear

specimens, speciﬁcally designed for Single Tooth Bending Fatigue (STBF) tests [16], were manufactured according to the current

industrial practice and fatigue tested. The tests were performed in order to determine both fatigue limits and fatigue strengths

in the region of ﬁnite life, to appreciate S-N curves, which are relevant for the comparison under discussion. Moreover, in order

to evaluate the behaviour of nitrided gears with respect to exercise overloads in the region of ﬁnite life, the so-called damage

line was taken into consideration.

2. Experimental

Test gears were manufactured from four different base materials: two carburizing, one nitriding and one through-hardening

steel grades, commonly used as materials for surface hardened gears. The ﬁve test variants obtained from these four base

materials, along with their main mechanical characteristics, are listed in Table 1.

Two test families, C1 and C2, were manufactured from the two carburizing steel grades: a low alloy steel, the 20MnCr5,

and an alloy steel, the 18NiCrMo5. The gear specimens of these two families were gas carburized and case hardened to reach

a surface hardness of 59–60 HRC, a core hardness of 400 HV and an effective case depth of 1 mm. The two families N1 and N2

were obtained from two Cr-Mo steels: a direct-hardening steel grade that is often nitrided, the 42CrMoS4, and a nitriding steel

grade, the 31CrMo12. These two steels were nitrided by means of a Nitreg gas nitriding process to obtain a minimum surface

hardness of 680 HV and an effective case depth in the range between 0.35 and 0.45 mm. The last nitrided family, named N3, was

obtained gas nitriding a carburizing steel grade, the 20MnCr5.

Table 1

Main data of the test gear specimen families (tensile test data: after tempering).

(Code) (Grade) (MPa) (MPa) (%) (Type) (HV) (HV) (mm)

C2 20MnCr5 1412 1118 11 4,5 h gas carburizing 680–740 400 1.0–1.2

N1 42CrMoS4 1160 1080 15 34 h gas nitriding > 680 350 0.35–0.45

N2 31CrMo12 987 834 17 34 h gas nitriding > 680 350 0.35–0.45

N3 20MnCr5 1412 1118 11 34 h gas nitriding > 680 200 0.35–0.45

E. Conrado et al. / Engineering Failure Analysis 78 (2017) 41–54 43

Table 2

Main geometric characteristics of test gear specimens.

Module m (mm) 4

Pressure angle a (◦ ) 20

Helix angle b (◦ ) 0

Proﬁle shift coeﬃcient x (−) 0

Reference diameter d (mm) 112.00

Base diameter db (mm) 105.25

Tip diameter da (mm) 120.00

Root diameter df (mm) 101.91

Face width b (mm) 30.00

Span measure over 5 teeth W5 (mm) 54.71

The main geometric characteristics of gear specimens are listed in Table 2. The test gear geometry was chosen speciﬁcally for

this research program in order to be representative of gears for industrial applications and to fulﬁl the geometric requirements

of reference test gears deﬁned in the standard ISO 6336-5:2003 [2]. The test gears, designed with a full-body gear blank in order

to avoid any effect eventually induced by small rim thickness, had 28 teeth, a 4 mm module and a face width of 30 mm. All the

gear specimens were manufactured according to these geometric speciﬁcations with the aim of quantifying the inﬂuence on the

bending fatigue strength of different base materials and thermo-chemical surface treatments.

The manufacturing cycles selected were the typical ones used for case carburized and nitrided industrial gears. All the

gear blanks, obtained from bars of base materials, were hobbed using a generation process with a protuberance tool. This

pre-ﬁnishing process left a very small undercut of the tooth proﬁle to avoid the formation of a grinding notch since the follow-

ing ﬁnishing process of tooth ﬂanks left the tooth root ﬁllet unground. The main difference between the two manufacturing

cycles selected for case carburized and nitrided gear specimens, apart from the type of the thermo-chemical treatment, was

the sequence of ﬁnal machining and heat treatment operations. This sequence was selected to be consistent with the industrial

practice. In the case of carburized gears, the ﬁnal machining process was performed after the heat treatment. On the contrary,

in the case of nitrided gears, the nitriding process was the last manufacturing step being the ﬁnishing operations performed

before the thermo-chemical treatment.

At the end of the manufacturing cycle, gear specimens were inspected by means of measurements of their macro and micro

geometry, surface roughness, material hardness and surface residual stresses. The geometric measurements ascertained that an

ISO accuracy grade equal to 5 was obtained and hardness and micro-hardness proﬁles measurements conﬁrmed the conformity

to the design speciﬁcations previously mentioned. Fig. 1 shows the measured micro-hardness proﬁles for the ﬁve test families.

The surface roughness was measured in the proﬁle direction at the tooth root ﬁllet on several test gear teeth. Table 3 lists,

for each material family, the results of the measurements in terms of the mean values over eight measurements on different

teeth randomly selected. The results showed that similar surface roughness parameters were obtained for the different families

of test gears, apart for the C1 family for which slightly lower values were measured.

44 E. Conrado et al. / Engineering Failure Analysis 78 (2017) 41–54

Table 3

Surface roughness parameters of the tooth root ﬁllet proﬁle.

Mean peak-to-valley roughness Rz (lm) 2.98 5.51 4.71 3.59 3.87

Total peak-to-valley roughness Rt (lm) 4.78 8.91 7.76 6.19 6.65

Table 4

Residual stresses measured at the tooth root ﬁllet surface (average values).

Description Unit C1 C2 N1 N2 N3

Tangential residual stress (MPa) −472 −397 −390 −606 −71

The surface residual stresses induced by the manufacturing process of the gear teeth and, in particular, by the surface thermo-

chemical processes, were measured by means of the X-ray diffraction method. The measurements were performed at the tooth

root ﬁllet, close to the critical section for bending, in three locations along the tooth face width: close to the two ends and in

the middle of the face width. Due to the presence of the white layer on the surface of nitrited gears, for this type of gears, the

measurements were carried out after proper removal of this layer. Table 4 synthesizes the results of the measurements of the

residual stresses acting in the axial and tangential directions, i.e., respectively, parallel to the gear axis and tangential to the

tooth proﬁle. The data were drawn, per each location along the tooth face width, from the average of four measurements on

different teeth. A quite uniform residual stress pattern was obtained along the tooth face width. The averaged results shown

in Table 4 conﬁrmed that, with different values depending on the kind of heat treatment, both case hardening and nitriding

induced high compressive, and consequently beneﬁcial, residual stresses at the tooth root ﬁllet of the test gears.

The experimental tests were carried out at the laboratories of the Department of Mechanical Engineering of Politecnico

di Milano using a Schenck resonance pulsator with a load capacity of 60 kN. The two contact anvils shown in Fig. 2, speciﬁ-

cally designed to perform tests on gear specimens, substituted the standard test ﬁxture of this test rig originally developed for

tension/compression fatigue tests on cylindrical specimens.

An ad-hoc device was designed to correctly position the gear specimen before testing it according to the following procedure.

The gear specimen was ﬁrst positioned over two rollers simply supported by a planar surface perpendicular to the contact

surface of the anvils (see Fig. 3 (a)). Then, the moveable anvil was moved until the two anvils came in contact with two teeth

and a small-static preload was applied. After this operation, the two rollers and the supporting base were removed leaving the

gear in the desired position supported by the frictional forces between the teeth and the anvils (see Fig. 3 (b)). Finally, a test was

started. In this conﬁguration, the two anvils spanned ﬁve teeth and loaded two teeth at the same time in such a way that the

load direction was tangential to the base circle, as shown in Fig. 2. Thanks to the preliminary positioning of gear specimens, two

teeth were loaded at the same height by opposite forces of equal magnitude.

In the tests performed, a sinusoidally variable force loaded the two teeth under test at a frequency of about 37 Hz. These

load controlled fatigue tests were conducted with a constant load ratio R = 0.1 (i.e. the ratio of minimum to maximum applied

load) that is classically used in this type of tests [16]. The tests ended at tooth failure or, if a tooth did not fail before, at 3106

E. Conrado et al. / Engineering Failure Analysis 78 (2017) 41–54 45

load cycles (run-out). The two teeth adjacent to a tested tooth were left untested in order to avoid any possible difference in the

stress distribution caused by a missed tooth. Thus, since the two anvils spanned ﬁve teeth, each gear specimen, which had 28

teeth, provided the possibility to perform 6 tests.

A set of about 30 tests was conducted for each test family following the previously described procedure. The tests were

performed in both ﬁnite life and endurance ranges of fatigue life in order to determine the bending fatigue limit of the gear

materials, as well as their S-N diagrams in the limited life region.

A series of 15 fatigue tests were performed for each gear family following an up-and-down sequence in order to obtain, by

means of the staircase method [17], an estimate of the median fatigue limit for the gear material. The obtained test sequences,

along with the estimated median values of the fatigue limit, m, its standard error, se, and the standard deviation, sd, are given in

Tables 5–9 for the ﬁve families tested. The fatigue limits are here expressed both in terms of maximum applied test loads and

corresponding tooth root stresses, s FD50% . The proportionality factor s F /Fn = 34.79MPa/kN that relates the applied test load,

Fn , and the corresponding tooth root bending stress, s F , was calculated applying method B of the standard ISO 6336-3:2006 (E),

as explained in the Appendix.

The data given in Tables 5–9 are dependent on size, surface roughness, notch severity and notch sensitivity of the gear

specimens utilized and therefore can be considered as fatigue limits for the specimens, but not for the gear material itself. If data

directly usable by gear designers and comparable with that given in the ISO standard have to be determined, the value of the

tooth root stress corresponding to the median fatigue limit, s FD50% , should be converted in the nominal stress number for bending

of the gear material corresponding to a 50% failure probability, s Flim50% , using the following relation:

Table 5

Staircase sequence and median fatigue limit estimate – Material C1.

(kN) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 estimate

36 x m = 34.07kN

35 x x o x sd = 1.37kN

34 o x o x o x se = 0.51kN

33 x o o

32 o s FD50% = 1185MPa

x = failure, o = runout

46 E. Conrado et al. / Engineering Failure Analysis 78 (2017) 41–54

Table 6

Staircase sequence and median fatigue limit estimate – Material C2.

(kN) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 estimate

34 x m = 31.17kN

33 x x sd = 0.95kN

32 x o x x se = 0.38kN

31 x o x x o

30 o o o s FD50% = 1084MPa

x = failure, o = runout

Table 7

Staircase sequence and median fatigue limit estimate – Material N1.

(kN) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 estimate

32 m = 29.07kN

31 sd = 0.44kN

30 x x x x x se = 0.16kN

29 o o o o x x x

28 o o o s FD50% = 1011MPa

x = failure, o = runout

The factors YST , YdrelT , YRrelT and YX , which take into account, respectively, notch severity, notch sensitivity, surface roughness

and size of test gears with respect to reference test gears, were calculated according to [3]. The factor fp , which takes into account

for the differences between pulsator tests and tests with meshing gears (see e.g. [18]), was assumed equal to 0.9 according

to [19]. In Fig. 4, the estimated fatigue limit of the gear materials with their 95% conﬁdence interval is shown and compared with

the ranges of values given by the ISO standard for carburizing steels carburized (Eh), nitriding (NT) and through-hardening (NV)

steels nitrided having different ISO quality grades. In order to make the comparison possible, the reliability factor for bending

f1%F = 0.86 was used to obtain values valid for 50% failure probability from values valid for 1% failure probability [20]:

ISO ISO

sFlim50% = sFlim1% /f1%F (2)

The two case hardened gear families showed the highest values of the fatigue limit in the range of the ISO quality grade

MQ for this class of materials. The fatigue limits for the two nitriding steels were lower corresponding to the ISO quality grade

Table 8

Staircase sequence and median fatigue limit estimate – Material N2.

(kN) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 estimate

32 m = 29.79kN

31 x x x sd = 0.84kN

30 o x x o x o se = 0.31kN

29 o x o o o

28 o s FD50% = 1036MPa

x = failure, o = runout

Table 9

Staircase sequence and median fatigue limit estimate – Material N3.

(kN) 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 estimate

29 x m = 26.93kN

28 o x x x sd = 1.37kN

27 o o x x x se = 0.51kN

26 o o x o

25 o s FD50% = 937MPa

x = failure, o = runout

E. Conrado et al. / Engineering Failure Analysis 78 (2017) 41–54 47

Fig. 4. Median fatigue limits of carburized and nitrided gears tested compared with ISO ranges for 50% failure probability (carburizing steels carburized (Eh),

nitriding (NT) and through-hardening (NV) steels nitrided).

MQ for nitrided steels, but the differences with respect to case hardened were not large, within the 10%. The carburizing steel

nitrided showed the worst performance with a reduction of about the 11% with respect to the carburized variant.

It is worth noting that the result showed a correlation between the fatigue performances and the surface residual stresses

acting in the direction of the tooth proﬁle induced at the tooth root by the thermo-chemical processes. In both case hardened

and nitrided materials, the highest value of the compressive residual stresses corresponded with the best performing material,

while the lowest with the worst. In particular, the N3 material, which has shown the worst performance, had a very low level

of residual stresses acting in the proﬁle direction.

After the initial up-and-down sequence, the tests, which included also some retested runout, were conducted in the ﬁnite

life range in order to estimate the S-N diagrams in this region. For each material family, three load levels, above the load interval

utilized to determine the fatigue limit, were used.

The raw data obtained are shown in Figs. 5 and 6 in terms of tooth root stresses s F (corresponding to the maximum test load

applied Fn ) against number of cycles to failure N. These test results were interpolated by means of the method of linear least

squares assuming, according to gear standards and to the relevant literature on the topic, a linear relationship in a log-log scale

between the tooth root stress and the number of cycles to failure.

The median S-N diagrams obtained for the ﬁve families, together with the S-N curves for 10% and 90% failure probability, are

shown in Figs. 5 and 6, while in Fig. 7 the median S-N curves of the ﬁve families are compared on the same diagram. It is worth

Fig. 5. Results of test on carburized gears and corresponding S-N curves for different failure probabilities (10%, 50% and 90%).

48 E. Conrado et al. / Engineering Failure Analysis 78 (2017) 41–54

Fig. 6. Results of tests on nitrided gears and corresponding S-N curves for different failure probabilities (10%, 50% and 90%).

to notice that, contrary to what is generally expected and assumed by gear standards, the slopes of the S-N diagram obtained

for the nitriding steels are not lower than those of case carburized steels. This aspect was further investigated performing some

additional tests.

E. Conrado et al. / Engineering Failure Analysis 78 (2017) 41–54 49

In order to ascertain the overload carrying capacity of the three nitrided steels N1, N2 and N3, some tests with a constant load

ratio, but variable load amplitude, were performed with the aim of determining the so-called damage line for these material

families. The damage line (see e.g. [12]) can be obtained in such a manner: a tooth is loaded ﬁrst at a high load for a given

number of cycles, and then at the 10% fatigue limit until breakage or run-out. The line that divides the broken specimens and

the runouts is the damage line. The results of these tests are shown in Fig. 8 superimposed to the 50% S-N curve. The damage

line of the two nitriding steels N1 and N2 was quite high, not far from the S-N curve, implying a good overload capacity for these

two nitriding steels. On the contrary, the damage line of the steel N3 was lower and not well deﬁned: a sign of a higher overload

sensibility of this material.

A visual inspection was carried out systematically on broken teeth, in order to identify any anomalies on the fracture surfaces,

i.e. atypical fatigue propagation due to misalignment of applied load. Following, a scanning electron microscope (SEM) analysis

was performed on the fracture surfaces to observe the morphology of the fatigue propagation and the ﬁnal fracture areas.

No anomalies were observed on the samples coming from the case carburized teeth: in all cases, the fatigue propagation front

was perpendicular to the applied load. At higher magniﬁcation the fatigue propagation area showed a prevailing intergranular

morphology of the fracture surface which is quite typical for case carburized steels: it proves the natural brittle behaviour of case

carburized gears. A difference can be highlighted between C1 and C2 teeth. The C1 fatigue fracture shows some intergranular

fracture surfaces, together with typical transgranular crack paths, thus indicating a slower fatigue crack propagation than C2

teeth; this different morphology helps to explain the higher fatigue resistance of C1 teeth with respect to C2 teeth (Figs. 9–10).

Also in the case of nitrided teeth, no anomalies were observed on the fatigue fracture surfaces. At ﬁrst the fatigue nucle-

ation and propagation affected the nitrided upper layers along all tooth ﬂanks, and then the crack propagates inside the teeth

Fig. 8. Damage line and median S-N diagram for nitrided gears.

50 E. Conrado et al. / Engineering Failure Analysis 78 (2017) 41–54

Fig. 9. C1 fracture surface at low (a) and high (b) magniﬁcations showing either intergranular and transgranular fatigue crack propagation morphologies.

Fig. 10. C2 fracture surface at low (a) and high (b) magniﬁcations showing only intergranular fatigue crack propagation morphology.

core showing complete transgranular fracture surfaces for all N1, N2 teeth (Figs. 11–12); the nitrided teeth showed a distinc-

tively smoother fracture surface than carburized one. These two characteristics, i.e. transgranular crack propagation and smooth

fracture surfaces, identify a tougher behaviour of nitrided teeth with respect to carburized ones.

Also for the N3 teeth failed, fatigue cracks nucleated at tooth ﬂank surfaces, propagated in the nitrided case affecting the

entire tooth face width, and showed a transgranular propagation morphology (Fig. 13). A difference between the nitriding and

the carburizing steels nitrided is the area of ﬁnal breakage: in the last case the morphology of the ﬁnal fracture surface appeared

brittle and intergranular, as typical of carburizing steels carburized.

Fig. 11. N1 fracture surface at low (a) and high (b) magniﬁcations showing complete transgranular fatigue crack propagation morphology.

E. Conrado et al. / Engineering Failure Analysis 78 (2017) 41–54 51

Fig. 12. N2 fracture surface at low (a) and high (b) magniﬁcations showing transgranular fatigue crack propagation morphology.

4. Conclusions

In the present work, the bending fatigue strength of two case hardened and three nitrided gear steels was characterized by

means of STBF tests. These tests were conducted with the aim of determining the inﬂuence on bending fatigue strength of the

combination of steels and thermo-chemical treatments only. Therefore, all gear specimens were manufactured according to the

same geometric design and using the same machining operations.

The test results allowed for a direct comparison between the fatigue strengths of case carburized and nitrided gear steels in

both ﬁnite life and endurance ranges of fatigue life.

The fatigue limits of the best performing case carburized and the lowest performing nitriding and through hardening steels

nitrited were within 10% with each other. These results are consistent with literature data and with results obtained by other

researchers. The carburizing steel grade nitrided showed the worst fatigue performance, but the difference with the fatigue limit

of the same steel carburized was not too high, i.e. within 11%.

The correlation between test results and residual stresses demonstrated the signiﬁcant inﬂuence on the bending fatigue

strength of the favourable residual stress pattern induced by both carburizing and nitriding.

In contrast to what is generally assumed for nitrided gears, the S-N curves for the nitriding and through hardening steels

nitrided were similar to those of carburized steels. This fact was conﬁrmed by the evaluation of the damage lines of these steels

that were quite high, not far from their S-N curves, implying a good overload capacity for these two nitriding steels.

In conclusion, the good bending load carrying capacity of properly nitrided steels was conﬁrmed not only in terms of fatigue

limits, but also when overloads or operation in the ﬁnite life range have to be taken into account.

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank ASSIOT, the Italian Association of Gears and Transmission Elements Manufacturers, who

coordinated this research program in cooperation with the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the Politecnico di Milano,

along with the companies Cattini Figlio SrL, Colmegna SpA, OMSI SpA, Rossi Motoriduttori SpA for the ﬁnancial support given to

this research activity.

Fig. 13. N3 fracture surface at low (a) and high (b) magniﬁcations showing transgranular fatigue crack propagation morphology.

52 E. Conrado et al. / Engineering Failure Analysis 78 (2017) 41–54

The tooth root bending stress, as deﬁned by the standard ISO 6336-3:2006 (E), can be determined by means of experimental

measurements or numerical analyses (method A) or using an approximate analytical method (method B). The method B is

appropriate for the calculation of the tooth root stress in cylindrical gear pairs, but also, according to this standard, in pulsator

tests with a given load application point.

In the case of STBF tests, the application of method B, as is, requires the deﬁnition of a virtual gear mating with the test

gear specimen. The virtual mating gear should be designed so that the highest point of single tooth contact (HPSTC) of the gear

specimen in the meshing with the virtual gear is coincident with the given load application point for the pulsator test considered.

Nevertheless, the calculation of the tooth root stress using method B is also possible without the need to deﬁne a virtual mating

gear, just slightly modifying the equations presented in the standard ISO on the basis of a basic geometric analysis. Here, a brief

synthesis of the calculation procedure adapted for symmetrical pulsator tests is given for reader’s convenience.

The tooth root bending stress, s F , is equal to the nominal tooth root stress, s F0 , multiplied by the overload factors, KA , KV ,

KFa and KFb :

In pulsator tests, the test load is controlled, the meshing is not reproduced and any misalignment is kept to a minimum, so

that overload factors are equal to unity. Thus, the actual tooth root bending stress, s F , is, in this case, coincident with the nominal

tooth root bending stress, s F0 that is calculated, as a basic stress multiplied by a series of stress correction factors, as follows:

Fn cos a

sF ≡ sF0 = YF YS Yb YB YDT (A.2)

bm

The basic stress is equal to the ratio of the tangential load, that is force acting normal to the tooth proﬁle Fn (i.e. the test

load for pulsator tests) multiplied by the cosine of the pressure angle a, divided by the product of the face width b and the

gear modulus m. Being the specimens under test, spur gears with a full-body structure, the helix angle factor, Yb , and the rim

thickness factor, YB , are equal to unity along with the deep tooth factor, YDT , since meshing is not reproduced. The tooth form

factor, YF , and the stress concentration factor, YS , have to be calculated taking into account the root ﬁllet geometry and the load

application point according to the ISO standard:

YF = (A.3)

(sF /m)2 cos a

[1/(1.21+2.3/L)]

YS = (1.2 + 0.13L)qs (A.4)

with

sF sF

L= and qs = (A.5)

hFp 2qF

Thus, the quantities to be determined are the thickness of the critical section, sF , the radius of curvature of the proﬁle of the

tooth root ﬁllet at the critical section, qF , the bending arm of the applied load, hFp , and the angle between the applied load and

the tooth axis, a Fp . These quantities can be calculated following the procedure of the standard ISO considering that the two last

quantities, hFp and a Fp , have to be determined for the load application point of the pulsator test. The calculation procedure of

the ISO requires the determination of some auxiliary geometric quantities starting from the dimensions of the basic rack proﬁle

of the ﬁnished tooth deﬁned according to [3]:

p spr qfP

E= m − hfP tan a + − (1 − sin a) (A.6)

4 cos a cos a

qfP hfP

G= − +x (A.7)

m m

2 p E p

H= − + (A.8)

z 2 m 3

2G

h= tan h − H (A.9)

z

The angle h is determined solving iteratively the transcendental equation previously given starting with an initial value of

p/6. The thickness of the critical section and the radius of curvature of the tooth root ﬁllet proﬁle at the critical section can

E. Conrado et al. / Engineering Failure Analysis 78 (2017) 41–54 53

Fig. A.1. Generating rack proﬁle on producing the 30◦ tangent point at the tooth root ﬁllet.

be determined with the equations given by the standard ISO since the critical cross-section does not depend upon the load

application point

√

sF p G qfP

= z sin −h + 3 − (A.10)

m 3 cos h m

qF qfP 2G2

= + (A.11)

m m cos h zcos2 h − 2G

The angle a Fp , i.e. the angle between the action line of the applied force and a line perpendicular to the loaded tooth axis, can

be determined as follows indicating with n the number of teeth spanned by the two anvils:

pb p

a f P = (n − 1 ) = (n − 1 ) (A.12)

db z

The bending lever arm, hFp , can be determined as the difference between the distances of the point of intersection of the

load direction and of the critical cross section from the gear axis. The calculation can be performed using the following equation

derived from Fig. A.1 on the base of basic geometric relations:

hFp z cos a z p G qfP p

= − cos −h + − sin (A.13)

m 2 cos aFp 2 3 cos h m 6

References

[1] A.K. Rakhit, Heat Treatment of Gears: A Practical Guide for Engineers, ASM International, Materials Park OH. 2000.

[2] ISO 6336-5:2003(E), Calculation of Load Capacity of Spur and Helical Gears - Part 5: Strength and Quality of Materials, 2003.

[3] ISO 6336-3:2006(E), Calculation of Load Capacity of Spur and Helical Gears - Part 3: Calculation of Tooth Bending Strength, 2006.

[4] T. Masuyama, K. Inoue, M. Yamanaka, K. Kitamura, T. Saito, Evaluation of bending strength of carburized gears based on inferential identiﬁcation of

principal surface layer defects, JSME, Int. J. Ser. C 45 (2002) 794–801.

[5] T. Tobie, P. Oster, B.-R. höhn, Systematic Investigations on the Inﬂuence of Case Depth on the Pitting and Bending Strength of Case Carburized Gears, ASME

International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference, American Society of Mechanical

Engineers, Chicago, Illinois, USA, 2003, pp. 111–119.

[6] K. Inoue, T. Maehara, M. Yamanaka, M. Kato, The effect of shot peening on the bending strength of carburized gear teeth, JSME, Int. J. Ser. 3 (32) (1989)

448–454.

[7] M. Benedetti, V. Fontanari, B.-R. Höhn, P. Oster, T. Tobie, Inﬂuence of shot peening on bending tooth fatigue limit of case hardened gears, Int. J. Fatigue 24

(2002) 1127–1136.

[8] B.A. Shaw, C. Aylott, P. O’Hara, K. Brimble, The role of residual stress on the fatigue strength of high performance gearing, Int. J. Fatigue 25 (2003)

1279–1283.

[9] G. Olmi, M. Comandini, A. Freddi, Fatigue on shot-peened gears: experimentation, simulation and sensitivity analyses, Strain 46 (2010) 382–395.

[10] N. Bretl, S. Schurer, T. Tobie, K. Sthal, B.R. Höhn, Investigation on Tooth Root Bending Strength of Case Hardened Gears in the Range of High Cycle Fatigue,

American Gear Manufacturers Association, AGMA Technical Paper 13FTM09, 2013.

[11] E. Olsson, A. Olander, M. Öberg, Fatigue of gears in the ﬁnite life regime - experiments and probabilitistic modelling, Eng. Fail. Anal. 62 (2016) 276–286.

[12] L. Albertin, R.L. Frolich, H. Winter, B.R. Höhn, K. Michaelis, Load Carrying Capacity of Nitrided Gears, AGMA Technical Paper 94FTM04, 1994.

[13] G. Gasparini, U. Mariani, C. Gorla, M. Filippini, F. Rosa, Bending Fatigue Tests of Helicopter Case Carburized Gears: Inﬂuence of Material, Design and

Manufacturing Parameters, American Gear Manufacturers Association, AGMA Technical Paper 08FTM11, 2008.

54 E. Conrado et al. / Engineering Failure Analysis 78 (2017) 41–54

[14] U. Mariani, R. Molinaro, S. Sartori, G. Gasparini, C. Gorla, Improvements in Fatigue Evaluations of Helicopter Transmissions, in: ICAF 2011 Structural

Integrity: Inﬂuence of Eﬃciency and Green Imperatives, Spinger-Verlag, Berlin, 959-969 pp.

[15] C. Gorla, F. Rosa, E. Conrado, H. Albertini, Bending and contact fatigue strength of innovative steels for large gears, P I Mech Eng C-J Mec 228 (2014)

2469–2482. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0954406213519614.

[16] R.W. Buenneke, M.B. Slane, M.P. Semenek, C.R. Dunham, M.M. Shea, J.E. Tripp, Gear Single Tooth Bending Fatigue Test, Society of Automotive Engineers,

SAE Technical Paper No. 821042, 1982.

[17] W.J. Dixon, The up-and-down method for small samples, J. Amer. Statist. Assoc. 60 (1965) 967–978.

[18] D.R. McPherson, S.B. Rao, Methodology for translating single-tooth bending fatigue data to be comparable to running gear data, Gear Technol. 20 (2008)

25–32.

[19] H. Rettig, Zahnradversuche Auf Verspannungsprfstnden Und Pulsatoren. - Ein Numerischer Vergleich Der Zahnfufestigkeits-Kennwerte. 2Nd World

Congress on Gearing Paris, 1986.

[20] G. Niemann, H. Winter, Maschinenelemente, Band 2: Getriebe Allgemein, Zahnradgetriebe - Grundlagen, Stirnradgetriebe, second edition ed.,

Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 2003.

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