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Technical Paper

Air-Melted Steel With Ultra-Low Inclusion Stringer Content Further Improves Bearing Fatigue Life

Economical steels with improved fatigue life performance continue to be sought for more demanding applications such as in the automotive and aerospace industries. Researchers at The Timken Company, pursuing improved fatigue performance in tapered roller bearings, have found that life is limited by large inclusion stringers that still exist in today's highly publicized steels. Stringers, by definition, are clusters of individual oxide particles observable in wrought steel. An ultrasonic method has been used to quantify the frequency of these stringers in steel in bearing components. The total length of these stringers has been correlated with bearing fatigue life. The use of this ultrasonic tool has expedited the development of the newly introduced Parapretnium™ steel. This air-melted steel has a stringer content less than nearly all of the other worldwide bearing steels evaluated and, in fact, its stringer content is approaching those low levels found only in vacuum-remelted steels.
Technical Paper

Effect of Thermal Treatments and Carbon Potential on Bending Fatigue Performance of SAE 4320 Gear Steel

This project investigated the effect of carburizing carbon-potential and thermal history on the bending fatigue performance of carburized SAE 4320 gear steel. Modified-Brugger cantilever bending fatigue specimens were carburized at carbon potentials of 0.60, 0.85, 1.05, and 1.25 wt. pct. carbon, and were either quenched and tempered or quenched, tempered, reheated, quenched, and tempered. The reheat treatment was designed to lower the solute carbon content in the case through the formation of transition carbides and refine the prior austenite grain size. Specimens were fatigue tested in a tension/tension cycle with a minimum to maximum stress ratio of 0.1. The bending fatigue results were correlated with case and core microstructures, hardness profiles, residual stress profiles, retained austenite profiles, and component distortion.
Technical Paper

Improving the Performance of Rolling Element Bearings with Nanocomposite Tribological Coatings

This study summarizes the development, characterization, and application of nanocomposite tribological coatings on rolling element bearings. Nanocomposite coatings consisting of nanocrystalline metal carbides embedded in amorphous hydrocarbon or carbon matrices (MC/aC:H or MC/aC) have been used to increase the fatigue life under boundary layer lubrication, provide debris tolerance, eliminate false brinelling, increase the operational speed, decrease the friction, and provide oil-out protection to rolling element bearings. MC/aC:H coatings are applied by magnetron sputtering at substrate temperature less than 180 °C, have small friction coefficients, high fracture strength, and can have hardness and modulus values twice and half that of carburized steel, respectively.
Technical Paper

Increased Life/Noise Reduction of Mechanical Components by Applying Topographical Imagery and Surface Mapping Methodology

The Timken Company performed a detailed study involving topographical imagery and surface mapping. The primary purpose of the study was to develop a direct correlation between surface topography and component durability/life. Through these studies, an optimal surface finish was developed. A production environment was then formed to mass-produce components with this finish on a contact-to-contact component. The results of the study guide us to an increase in durability/life of the Timken product. The paper is divided into three sections. The first section describes the component itself and the testing procedures by which durability/life were determined. The second section describes the analytical work done at the Timken Research facility where topographical imagery and surface mapping were performed. At this time, topographical analysis of several surface finishes paved the way to create an optimal surface texture for increased durability/life.
Technical Paper

Soft Control – Utilizing Existing I/O

The Timken Company's Faircrest Steel Plant has numerous automated control systems. The Raw Material Handling System and a grinder application on the Billet Conditioning system needed upgrading; however, to control costs the upgrades had to use the existing I/O. The overall functionality of these two systems is vastly different. Soft control packages proved capable of interfacing with the existing I/O, satisfied the functional needs of the systems, and enhanced the overall functionality of the systems.