Bending Fatigue Life Analysis of Carburized Components Using Strain Life and Fracture Mechanics Approaches
Axle primary gearing is normally carburized for high and balanced resistance to contact fatigue, wear, bending fatigue, and impact loading. The focus of this work is on bending fatigue which is a key design consideration of automotive and commercial vehicle axle gearing. Since a carburized component is basically a composite material with steep gradients in carbon content, hardness, tensile strength and microstructure from surface to the middle of the cross section combined with non-linear residual stress, its bending fatigue life prediction is a complex and challenging task. Many factors affect the bending fatigue performance of axle gearing, such as gear design, gear manufacturing, loading history during service, residual stress distribution, steel grade, and heat treatment. In this paper, the general methodology for bending fatigue life prediction of a carburized component is investigated. Carburized steel composites are treated as two homogeneous materials: case and core.