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Is 1045 an acceptable gear material?

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  • Is 1045 an acceptable gear material?

    Meaning if you heat treat it will it hold up? the gears iv been buying are 1045 and seem to be doing ok but not great, they are high carbon, and I am getting them hard in fact seems hard enough to where a file has a tough time digging into them but maybe the larger ones not so much so ---- if it's great material then I will just send them out and have them professionally hardened...

    if it's not so good maybe I will look for other gears to start with - thanks

  • #2
    1045 is medium carbon, tough stuff. If the gears are doing OK in their intended application I wouldn't change. If you want hard and tough, you could go with 8620 and have them case hardened and ground/lapped. Or 9310, many auto makers use it. Same thing, case harden and grind. Notice that things get more expensive the harder it gets, and the more accurate it gets...
    Last edited by nickel-city-fab; 02-13-2020, 01:05 PM. Reason: sp

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    • #3
      Thanks NCF, it's in a planetary system and to my surprise it's actually the large internal ring gear that's showing the most wear, you would think with all that contact area and the way the planets fit into it that it would be the least of your worries in comparison to the planet sun relationship, although there is kind of a strange "fretting action" with the internal ring and planets and that's where I think im having my problem, I am also considering the type of lubrication iv been using not holding up to the unique shear forces in this specific area,,,

      if I build another unit im considering getting them professionally hardened too because im sure my method is a little bit hillbilly (just heating them up cherry red and dunking them in ATF)

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      • #4
        It's fine. Common enough for gears. Depends on the application, obviously.

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        • #5
          If you don't want to use case hardening steels, at the very least replace the 1045 carbon steel with 4140 or 4340 alloy steel. 1045 steel is water hardening, 4140 and 4340 are oil hardening. When you quench in oil, there is less stress in material, lower possibility of cracks and shape and size do not change as much.

          But when we are talking about a large internal gear ring all bets are off. Most likely it would be significantly distorted after heat treatment. Can you just use 4140 quenched and tempered steel, which is commercially available at around 30-35 HRC? Then you can machine it in this condition and final product would be much harder and stronger than just annealed steel. Not sure how it will perform for wear. Are you sure the original gear ring was hard?

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          • #6
            Originally posted by mikey553 View Post
            1045 steel is water hardening, 4140 and 4340 are oil hardening.
            1045 is Water or Oil hardening. ( and additionally, Polymer )


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            • #7
              yeah that's what I remembered - i do look stuff up before attempting to harden it as it's a mystery enough and don't want to royally screw it up,

              Mikey im asking mostly to find out if the stuff is acceptable and sounds like it is, kinda sounds like I might be screwing up the heat treat a little on the larger gear and all I have to do is get it professionally hardened along with all the others, that's really what I want to hear cuz these gears are very cheap price wise - the internal has some expense but the smaller planets are under 10 buck a piece and that's downright affordable for me...

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              • #8
                Originally posted by A.K. Boomer View Post
                Thanks NCF, it's in a planetary system and to my surprise it's actually the large internal ring gear that's showing the most wear, you would think with all that contact area and the way the planets fit into it that it would be the least of your worries in comparison to the planet sun relationship, although there is kind of a strange "fretting action" with the internal ring and planets and that's where I think im having my problem, I am also considering the type of lubrication iv been using not holding up to the unique shear forces in this specific area,,,

                if I build another unit im considering getting them professionally hardened too because im sure my method is a little bit hillbilly (just heating them up cherry red and dunking them in ATF)
                I wonder if the fretting wear has to do with the surface speed at the pitch line?Or if there is the smallest bit of play in the planets shafts... I dunno. You would have to ask Zahnrad Kopf.

                By way of comparison, the original transfer case planetaries in my jeep went for 250k miles no probs (manual shift)... the planetaries are always spinning because the front driveshaft is on them and I have a full-time front axle.

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                • #9
                  1045 will work OK. if you want surface hardened, have it ( and the others) salt bath nitrided. They will be very hard, corrosion proof, and there is no danger of distortion in the process. The process is common now on lots of industrial parts. Should have no trouble finding a shop close to you.

                  RWO

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                  • #10
                    Salt bath nitriding- almost something you could do with some beer and a few friends. Heat the ring, then stand around a circle and everyone pisses on it. For a bit more classy approach you can all piss in a pot, then add some special salts and there's your dunk tank. The type of beer you drink would affect the heat treatment process.
                    I seldom do anything within the scope of logical reason and calculated cost/benefit, etc- I'm following my passion-

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                    • #11
                      Are you making the internal ring gear? If so, how are you cutting the teeth, and with what?
                      1601

                      Keep eye on ball.
                      Hashim Khan

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                      • #12
                        I hope you are tempering, after hardening..

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by J Tiers View Post
                          Are you making the internal ring gear? If so, how are you cutting the teeth, and with what?
                          No way lol I buy from quality transmission components - I think they are part of stock drive systems

                          I could not hob a gear to save me arss internal or external...

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by 754 View Post
                            I hope you are tempering, after hardening..
                            No --- too much fear of losing the hardening --- I have not had any brittle/breaking problems and wanted to keep them as hard as I could without taking a chance of taking away any of it...


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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by A.K. Boomer View Post

                              No --- too much fear of losing the hardening --- I have not had any brittle/breaking problems and wanted to keep them as hard as I could without taking a chance of taking away any of it...

                              Eh... 45 points carbon likely does not get glass hard regardless. Higher carbon can get so hard that a wire spring will break if dropped on a concrete floor.
                              1601

                              Keep eye on ball.
                              Hashim Khan

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