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The through-hardening process is generally used for gears that do not require high surface hardness. Four different methods of heat treatment are primarily used for through-hardened gears. In ascending order of achievable hardness, these methods are annealing, normalizing and annealing, normalizing and tempering, and quenching and tempering. This chapter discusses the processes involved in the through-hardening of gears. It provides information on designing procedures, hardness, distortion, and applications of the through-hardened gears. The chapter presents a case history on the design and manufacture of a through-hardened gear rack.

Gas (atmosphere) carburizing is the de facto standard by which all other surface hardening techniques are measured and is the emphasis of this chapter. Initially, the chapter describes the process and equipment for gas carburizing. This is followed by sections discussing the processes involved in quenching, hardening, tempering, recarburizing, and cold treatment of carburized and quenched gears. Next, the chapter reviews the selection process of materials for carburized gears and provides information on carbon content, properties, and core hardness of gear teeth. The problems associated with carburizing are then covered, followed by the processes involved in heat treat distortion and shot peening of carburized and hardened gears. Information on grinding stock allowance on tooth flanks to compensate for distortion is also provided. The chapter further discusses the applications of carburized and hardened gears. Finally, it reviews vacuum carburizing and compares the attributes of conventional gas carburizing and vacuum carburizing.

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