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Surface Finishing for Gears

Gears are complex components with engineered micro-geometries and tight profile tolerances.  Many gear applications require high efficiency while operating under challenging conditions such as: high load and high speeds, high load and low speeds, and variable loads and speeds with shock-loading events.  Commonly, non-optimal compromises must be made regarding lubrication regimes, and gear break-in periods may not be followed leading to premature gear failure.

REM’s ISF®­­­ Process (an isotropic superfinishing process) solves these problems by reducing friction resulting in extended component life and increased fuel efficiency. The ISF Process creates a smooth, micro-textured surface for enhanced oil retention properties and is metallurgically safe.  The ISF Process is robust, easy to automate, and is tightly controlled to preserve the geometric integrity of all common gear types (spur, helical, spiral bevel, and even double-helical/herringbone).

Gear Close-up After ISF Process

Gear Close-up After ISF Process

The ISF Process can accommodate extremely small precision gears (<0.5″/13 mm in diameter) with extremely high diametral pitches/very small gear modules (REM has successfully polished gears with diametral pitch = 96/gear module = ~0.2645 mm).  Alternately, the ISF Process has been effectively applied to gears exceeding 10,000 lbs./4,500 kgs, diameters or shaft lengths exceeding 78″/2 meters.

For high volume, low work-in-process (WIP) applications, REM’s Rapid ISF®­­­ Process can provide all of the benefits of the ISF Process, but with cycle times in of minutes rather than hours.

Lastly, ISF®­­­ Technology has proven to be effective in refurbishing used, mildly damaged gears (material removal of as little as 0.0002″/~5 µm or up to ~0.003″/~75 µm per surface).  Technical studies have shown these refurbished components consistently out perform non-ISF Processed new components.

Common Gear Applications for the ISF & Rapid ISF Processes:

  • Spur Gears
  • Helical Gears
  • Bevel and Spiral Bevel Gears
  • Double Helical/Herringbone Gears
  • Multi-Gear Shafts
  • Multi-Feature Gears (ex. Gears with Integral Bearing Races)
  • Worm Gears
  • Epicyclic/Planetary Gears
  • Fine Pitch Gears
  • Powder Metal Gears

Component Benefits for Gear Applications:

  • Reduced Friction/Roughness
  • Increased Efficiency
  • Increased Resistance to Micropitting
  • Increased Resistance to Scuffing
  • Increased Pitting Resistance
  • Increased Resistance to Contact and Bending Fatigue
  • Increased Part Durability/Reduce Wear
  • Reduced Lubricant/System Operating Temperatures
  • Reduced Vibration and Noise
  • Increased Power Density Allowable/Component Load Carrying Capacity
  • Reduced Lubrication Requirements and Cost (anti-wear additives, etc.)
  • Increased Lubricant Lambda Ratio
  • Eliminated Break-in/Run-in Requirement
  • Reduced Warranty Maintenance Costs
  • Increased Maintenance Intervals
  • Potential to Refurbishment Used Gears

Production Benefits for Gear Applications:

  • Potential to Eliminate Secondary Lapping Steps
  • Potential Reduce or Eliminate Honing
  • Potential to Eliminate Surface Coatings
  • Potential to Reduce Grinding Surface Finish Requirements
  • Potential to Reduce or Optimize Deburring and Chamfering Operations

Common Gear Steels that REM can Assist with:

  • Standard Gear and Nitriding Steels (ex. SAE 8620, 9310, 4140, 4340, DIN 34CrNiMo6, Pryowear® 53, Nitralloys™)
  • Specialty Steels (ex. M50/M50 NIL, 440C, Pryowear® 675, Ferrium® C61/C64, CSS-42L™, SAE 4122-MOD)

Common Gear Forming Methods the ISF & Rapid ISF Processes can Improve:

  • Hobbed
  • Ground (Machined)
  • Milled
  • Pressed and Sintered

Interested in learning more, ready to start a project, or have an application that you don’t see listed here?  Contact us today to see how we can help solve your surface finishing/polishing needs.

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