Skip to main content
To KTH's start page To KTH's start page

A Comparative Investigation of Gear Performance BetweenWrought and Sintered Powder Metallurgical Steel

Utilizing In-situ Surface Profile Measurements to Investigate theInitiation and Evolution of Micropitting and Pitting Damage

Time: Fri 2021-06-04 10.00

Location:, Stockholm (English)

Subject area: Machine Design

Doctoral student: Edwin Bergstedt , Maskinkonstruktion (Inst.)

Opponent: Professor i Maskinteknik Bengt-Göran Rosén, Högskolan Halmstad

Supervisor: Ulf Olofsson, Maskinkonstruktion, Tribologi, Maskinelement, Järnvägsgruppen, JVG, Maskinkonstruktion (Avd.)

Export to calendar


Vehicle electrification is a strong trend that introduces new challenges, such as increased input speed of the transmission and increased power density. Alsothe noise emittance of the gearbox is of increasing importance, as the sound of the gearbox is no longer masked by the internal combustion engine. Pressed and sintered powder metallurgical steel could be an interesting alternative towrought steel; the internal porosity has a dampening effect on the noise, and gears can be made in a fast and efficient process. However, current manufacturing of powder metallurgical steel has significant performance limitations. The Nanotechnology Enhanced Sintered Steel Processing project aims to reduce the gap in performance between conventional steel and powder metallurgical steel. One of the potential benefits is that with the inclusion of nano-powder the density can be increased. To validate the new material, its performance needs to be compared to the performance of current generation powder metallurgical materials and also to wrought steel. It is therefor crucial to be able to test and evaluate different materials and gears. This thesis has developed methods for testing, comparing, and evaluating the performance of gears. Powder metallurgical steel has been tested and compared to wrought steel; the efficiency as well as pitting life have been investigated in an FZG test rig. Also the effects of different surface finishing operations have been evaluated. The gear flanks were measured in-situ in the gearbox using a stylus instrument; an optimisation routine was created to fit the measurements to the theoretical involute profile. This enabled an in-depth analysis of surface wear and presented an opportunity to investigate micropitting initiation. It was found that the damage mechanisms of wrought steel and powder metallurgical steel are similar and related to the surface finishing method. However, the powder metallurgical steel was also susceptible to sub-surface cracks. Superfinished gears can be negatively influenced by the lack of tip relief as cracks initiate in the surface layer of the root, rapidly destroying the tooth.