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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.
Journal Article

Fuel Efficiency Improvements in Heavy Truck Wheel Systems through Advanced Bearing Design and Technology

The base design of commercial vehicle wheel end systems has changed very little over the past 50 years. Current bearings for R-drive and trailer wheel end systems were designed between the 1920's and the 1960's and designs have essentially remained the same. Over the same period of time, considerable gains have been made in bearing design, manufacturing capabilities and materials science. These gains allow for the opportunity to significantly increase bearing load capacity and improve efficiency. Government emissions regulations and the need for fuel efficiency improvements in truck fleets are driving the opportunity for redesigned wheel end systems. The EPA and NHTSA standard requires up to 23% reduction in emissions and fuel consumption by 2017 relative to the 2010 baseline for heavy-duty tractor combinations.
Technical Paper

Hydrogen Embrittlement Susceptibility of Case Hardened Steel Fasteners

This work establishes the relationship between core hardness, case hardness, and case depth on susceptibility to hydrogen embrittlement of case hardened steel fasteners. Such fasteners have a high surface hardness in order to create their own threads in a mating hole, and are commonly used to attach bracketry and sheet metal in automotive applications. While case hardened fasteners have been studied previously, there are currently no processing guidelines supported by quantitative data for fastener standards. Through sustained load embrittlement testing techniques, the susceptibility of case hardened steel tapping screws to internal and environmental hydrogen embrittlement is examined. Further characterization of the fastener samples through microhardness testing, microstructure review, and fracture surface examination allows the investigation of susceptibility thresholds. It is shown that core hardness is the primary consideration for susceptibility.
Technical Paper

Optimized Carburized Steel Fatigue Performance as Assessed with Gear and Modified Brugger Fatigue Tests

The effectiveness of three different techniques, designed to improve the bending fatigue life in comparison to conventionally processed gas-carburized 8620 steel, were evaluated with modified Brugger bending fatigue specimens and actual ring and pinion gears. The bending fatigue samples were machined from forged gear blanks from the same lot of material used for the pinion gear tests, and all processing of laboratory samples and gears was done together. Fatigue data were obtained on standard as-carburized parts and after three special processing histories: shot-peening to increase surface residual stresses; double heat treating to refined austenite grain size; and vacuum carburizing to minimize intergranular oxidation. Standard room-temperature S-N curves and endurance limits were obtained with the laboratory samples. The pinions were run as part of a complete gear set on a laboratory dynamometer and data were obtained at two imposed torque levels.
Technical Paper

Performance Evaluation of a Potential New Engineered Surface for Enhanced Concentrated Tribological Contacts

The aspects of real engineering surfaces are discussed with regard to their three-dimensional nature. A review of potential uses of surface finish measurement methods is discussed for characterization of functional surfaces. Using an optical-based system and a set of specific measurement procedures, two functional surfaces with different roughness were analyzed to illustrate a typical surface topography evaluation. A simple sliding test was then utilized to show that a special finish produced by a proprietary finishing process can provide improved performance, as measured by wear differences, frictional properties and operating temperature of the system. A special surface treatment was then evaluated in conjunction with the special finish in order to enhance its functional load support. Simple sliding test results indicates a potential new engineered surface for improving tribological contact performance.
Technical Paper

Predicting the Radius of a Sheet Bent Around Drawbeads

Drawbeads in production stamping dies often have insufficient penetration of the male bead into the female cavity. With insufficient penetration, the actual bending radii of the sheet metal are larger than the geometrical radii of the drawbead. The actual bending radii in the sheet directly affect the force that restrains sheet movement. To predict the restraining stress due to a drawbead, it is necessary to know the actual bending radii in the sheet as it passes though the drawbead. Data from a previous study are used to develop empirical regression equations for predicting measured radii of the sheet that is bent around the radii in a drawbead. A physical model for the evolution of the sheet radii as the drawbead closes is proposed. This model is consistent with the empirical equations and the mechanics of the sheet bending process.
Technical Paper

Tensile Properties of Steel Tubes for Hydroforming Applications

With the increased use of tubular steel products, especially for automotive hydroforming applications, there is increased interest in understanding the mechanical properties measured by tensile tests from specimens of different orientations in the tube. In this study, two orientations of tensile specimens were evaluated -- axial specimens with and without flattening and flattened circumferential specimens. Three steels were evaluated -- two thicknesses of aluminum killed drawing quality (AKDQ) steel and one thickness of high strength low alloy (HSLA) steel. Mechanical property data were obtained from the flat stock, conventional production tubes and quasi tubes. Quasi tubes were produced from the flat stock on a 3-roll bender, but the quasi tube was not welded or sized.
Technical Paper

Timken: From Missouri to Mars – The History of the Future

The 100-year saga of The Timken Company is a testament to the enduring power of innovation, grit and periodic self-renewal. It is the story of a quest to solve one of industry's oldest, most limiting and expensive challenges: friction. Today's Timken combines materials science with bearing technology to produce products that range from a half ounce to nine tons and help power and control applications that span disk drives, drilling rigs, dental drills and rolling mills. Today's automotive bearing is less than half the size and 90 percent lighter than its ancestor - and carries twice the load.