Consideration of residual stress and geometry during heat treatment to decrease shaft bending


In automotive industry, heat treatment of components is implicitly related to distortion. This phenomenon is particularly obvious in the case of gearbox parts because of their typical geometry and precise requirements. Even if distortion can be anticipated to an extent by experience, it remains complex to comprehend. Scientific literature and industrial experience show that the whole manufacturing process chain has an influence on final heat treatment distortions. This paper presents an approach to estimate the influence of some factors on the distortion, based on the idea of a distortion potential taking into account not only geometry but also the manufacturing process history. Then the idea is developed through experiments on an industrial manufacturing process to understand the impact of residual stress due to machining on shaft bending and teeth distortion during heat treatment. Instead of being measured, residual stress is being neutralized. By comparing lots between each other, connections between gear teeth geometry and manufacturing steps before heat treatment are obtained. As a consequence, geometrical nonconformities roots can be determined more easily thanks to this diagnosis tool, and corrective actions can be applied. Secondly, the influence of product geometry on bending is experimentally considered. Moreover, metallurgical observations enable to explain the influence of workpieces geometry on shaft bending. Thanks to the obtained results, process and product recommendations to decrease shafts bending are proposed

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