Development of High Impact Strength Case Hardening Steel 2003-01-1310
Improving the impact strength of the differential gears is one way to reduce the size and weight of the final drive unit. Previously, we developed high-strength steel for gear use by adding molybdenum and reducing impurities such as phosphorus and sulfur. However, additional improvement of impact strength is required these days due to higher engine torque and demands for further weight reductions.
Toward that end, we focused on boron, which has been used as an element for improving hardenability, and analyzed what effect its addition would have on impact strength. Useful knowledge was obtained for improving impact strength through enhancement of grain boundary toughness. Various steels were then produced experimentally and used in gear strength tests.
The results made it possible to improve impact strength while reducing the content of other alloys, resulting in the development of a chromium-molybdenum-boron case hardening steel with superior cold forgeabilty. With this material, it is now possible to cold forge differential gears with near net shape at low cost.