This paper compares and contrasts heat treat processes and equipment typically used to harden gears. It discusses the basic design and operation of vacuum, controlled atmosphere, and hybrid furnaces and process techniques such as carburizing, carbonitriding, nitriding, nitrocarburizing, and neutral hardening. It also includes information on operating and maintenance costs, using batch integral quench furnaces as the base case for comparison. A discussion on when to consider continuous furnace types is included as well.

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