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HARDENING

OF
GEARS

BY
ASHISH DEEP
R I T H V I K R E D DY
ABSTRACT

This project involves studying and simulating manufacturing processes that involve the physics of
diffusion such as carburization through conversion of the governing equation that describe the
physics of diffusion into a set of mathematical equations that can be solved. COMSOL
multiphysics is an interactive software for modelling and simulating scientific and engineering
problems. This project concerns developing a model for diffusion process like carburization using
COMSOL multiphysics.
WHAT ARE GEARS?
A gear is a toothed machine part such as a wheel or a cylinder that meshes with another to
transmit power or motion by virtue of friction.

There are two types of gear profiles namely cycloid and involute.

The involute gears are widely used in practical applications such as automobiles.

While, the cycloid profile gears are used in clocks.


WHY DO GEARS HAVE TEETH?

Transmission of power is high during pure rolling.

The tooth profile in gears prevent the wheels from slipping when operating at high RPM, thus
preventing wear, heat generation and power losses.
CHOOSING GEAR MATERIALS
Depending on the shape, nature of the gear needed and its final application the material of the
gear can be chosen. The general criteria for choosing gear materials are

High tensile strength.

High endurance.

Low friction coefficient.

Good Manufacturability.

Gears are made of all kinds of materials like plastics, metals, alloys etc.
IDEAL GEAR PROPERTIES
An ideal gear requires a tough core and a hard case.

BUT WHY?

Since hardened metal is usually more brittle than softer metal, hardening the metal uniformly
throughout the piece is not always a suitable choice for uses where the metal part is subjected
to sliding contact with hard or abrasive materials. In such circumstances, case-hardening can
provide a part that will not fracture because of the soft core that can absorb stresses without
cracking but also provides adequate wear resistance on the surface.

In order to achieve a gear with soft core and a hard case a process called case hardening is
introduced.
MANUFACTURING OF GEARS

Initially step is to obtain the shape of the gear required. This is done using several
manufacturing processes such as forging, casting, extrusion, powder metallurgy and blanking
etc.

However, machining is applied to achieve final dimensions, shape and surface finish in the gear
accounting for shrinkage during heat treatment processes.

The parts are then sent for heat treatment operations like carburization and case hardening.

Finally they are sent for shot blasting to obtain good surface finish.
HEAT TREATMENT
Heat treatment processes can change properties such as size and shape of grain structure,
hardness, toughness etc.

These processes take place in solid state.

This process includes steps like heating the whole material to form austenite and then cooling
it in the right medium to produce martensitic phase.

We use case hardening processes.


CASE HARDENING

Case hardening produces a hard, wear resistant case or surface layer on top of a ductile, tough
and shock resistant interior or core.

The hardness of the case is generally brought to 30 40 HRC to avoid tooth breakage and
pitting resistance.

This is achieved by a process such as carburization and quenching.


CARBURIZATION

Carburization is a heat treatment process in which iron or steel absorbs carbon while the
metal is heated in presence of carbon bearing material such as charcoal or carbon monoxide.

This process takes place usually in a temperature range of 8500 to 950o C where the metal is
in austenite phase which has highest solubility for carbon in its crystal state.

Carburization is carried out on steels containing carbon less than 0.2%. It involves increasing
the carbon content on the surface layers up to 0.7% to 0.8%.

This step is mostly to produce a hard and wear resistant surface or core.
As the carbon level increases above 0.8%, there is a tendency to retain austenite which may
lead to production of brittle cases leading to tooth end chipping.

A carbon level in the range 0.9 to 1.0% for low-alloy steels at the surface generally gives the
optimum case properties to resist surface wear.

The case must be sufficiently deep to resist case crushing by the applied load on the gear.

Too much case makes a tooth brittle with the tendency to shatter off the top of a tooth.

A thin a case reduces tooth resistance to pitting.


METHODS OF CARBURIZATION

1. Pack Carburization

2. Gas Carburization

3. Liquid carburization
MATHEMATICS OF CARBURIZATION
The case hardening in steel gears can be estimated by Ficks second law.
Ficks second law predicts how diffusion causes the concentration to change with time.
2
=
2

,
It can also be written as = 1 erf( )
2

Where
is the concentration
t is time [s]
D is the diffusion coefficient
x is the position
Cs =surface carbon content
Co = initial carbon content
C (x, t) = at certain time and distance
QUENCHING
Quenching is the rapid cooling of a work piece in water, oil or air to obtain certain material
properties.

Quenching is most commonly used to harden steel by introducing martensite, in which case
the steel must be rapidly cooled through its eutectoid point.

While quenching the cooling rate should be just fast enough to produce the desired core
structure but not so fast that the case cracks or some amount of austenite is retained.

Oil is used as quenchant for most carburized steels.

Good circulation within the quench bath is extremely important to promote uniform cooling
of gears.

Quenching cannot harden genuine steel, however, quenching can work for steel
containing more than 0.35% carbon.
TEMPERING
The final step in the Heat Treatment process is to temper the part, removing residual stresses
that can lead to brittle edges, resulting in chipping or cracking.

After hardening the steel gear it looses some of its toughness

Tempering reduces the hardness in the material and increases the toughness.

Through tempering you can adapt materials properties (hardness/toughness ratio) to a


specified application.

Low temperature (160-300C) is used for case hardening components and cold working tool
steels which have a typically hardness requirement of 60 HRC.
SHOT BLASTING
Shot blasting is a method used to clean, strengthen or polish metal.
Shot blasting is done by shooting the work piece with tiny balls (1 mm in diameter ) which
makes the surface smooth by removing the surface layers.
THANK YOU