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  • Case Hardening 1045

    As you can see from other threads, I am playing with the idea of making some gear cutters. I have bought, evidently, some D6 tool steel.

    But I also got some 1045 to make some gears. I got that because it was the only stock they had in the size I wanted.

    How can I do case hardening?

    Do I have to buy some special chemical?

    Would such a steel be sufficient for cutting gears also?

    Upon resharpening, would I have to harden again?

    Sorry for all the questions, but I still have a lot to learn, and it seems this forum is full of folks who know such things and have worked with them for years.
    Vitَria, Brazil

  • #2
    David you can flame harden 1045/EN8 without having to use case hardening.
    Heat it up till it looks bright orange or like cooked carrots, hold it there for a while (depending on thickness) then quench it in oil or water.

    I suspect it will only go to around mid/high 40s rockwell C though, which is enough to prevent wear and galling but not really hard enough for any extended use as a cutter, or for cutting hard/tough materials.

    Brief heat treat linky here: http://www.westyorkssteel.com/en8.html

    Peter

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    • #3
      1045 has enough carbon in it that you don't need to case harden it, just heat to dull red - non magnetic - and water quench. Then draw to light straw. However not quite good enough for making cutters unless it's a one off application. If you can't find tool steel 4340 will make an acceptable cutter. only you need to oil quench it. You have to go more slowly that HSS cutting speeds for cutting your gears and the edge won't last as long. No need to reharden after regrinding. If the steel is 10xx it is usually water quenched and if the first number is 2 or more then it is alloy steel and should be oil quenched. My rule of thumb anyway, others may disagree, Hope this helps, Peter
      Last edited by Oldbrock; 01-05-2010, 01:57 PM.
      The difficult done right away. the impossible takes a little time.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by brockley1
        If the steel is 10xx it is usually water quenched and if the first number is 2 or more then it is alloy steel and should be oil quenched. My rule of thumb anyway, others may disagree, Hope this helps, Peter
        That is correct, Steels starting with 10 are just plain carbon steels..

        Steels starting with other numbers are stels containing alloying elements..

        For example, 11XX and 12XX are free cutting steels. 41XX is a chrome molybdenum steel.
        Precision takes time.

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        • #5
          I read the OP's post a bit differently...that he had some D6 for making cutters and some 1045 for making gear blanks (raw material for the gears).

          As for the request to case harden, I know that commercially some gears are nitrided (using other steels that nitride well) because it produces a hard case. The premise here is that the inner portions of the gear are not that hard so that they deal with shock loads better....the same principle used in hardening hammer heads etc. As such, through hardening may be less desirable.

          Paul
          Paul Carpenter
          Mapleton, IL

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by brockley1
            If the steel is 10xx it is usually water quenched and if the first number is 2 or more then it is alloy steel and should be oil quenched. My rule of thumb anyway, others may disagree, Hope this helps, Peter
            Not quite correct Peter.
            Water gives a faster quench and rate of heat transfer than Oil and can provide a corresponding increase in the hardness. Brine quenches even faster.
            Whilst the heat transfer rate of Oil is slower it can prevent cracking and distortion which can occur with rapid quenching. For complex parts or parts with stress raisers like internal sharp corners, then an Oil quench will reduce the chance of cracking or distortion.

            Some of the alloying elements in high strength low-alloy steels like EN24/4340 have the effect of reducing the rate at which it NEEDS to be cooled to retain the change in grain structure, and hence these can be quenched in oil or even air cooled at a much slower rate. The advantage in this is again the reduced likelihood of distortion and cracking from stress induced by the sudden change.
            So the quenching medium as often depends on the geometry and nature of the part as much as it might do on the chemical composition, and is worth bearing in mind. I often quench parts made from gauge plate (01) in water if the shape is simple and I want a harder part.

            Hope that didn't sound too much like a lecture, but the point was worth making.

            Peter

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            • #7
              Originally posted by pcarpenter
              I read the OP's post a bit differently...that he had some D6 for making cutters and some 1045 for making gear blanks (raw material for the gears).

              Paul
              Well spotted Paul. I for one totally missed that bit...doh

              Comment


              • #8
                Why bother making your own cutters? The shape is fairly complex for an involute gear, not the easiest thing to make.

                I've seen third world gear cutters at very reasonable prices. Obviously, they aren't the best, but will certainly be better than a home-made one.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Everybody is right!!!

                  I bought some tool steel to make cutters and some 1045 to make gears.

                  But really I want come larger diameter stock for an eventual try at making some involute cutters following Ivan Law's book.

                  Here in Brazil, this stuff is absurdly expensive.

                  McMaster has a chunk I can get while in the U.S. and bring down.

                  BUT, it weights a ton. Well, not quite a ton but a 3" dia. by 1' piece must weight quite a bit, so I was thinking if there was something I can find here which would substitute. I'm imagining this in my carry on bag and going through airport security with it, ha ha. Maybe I should try carrying it in my underwear.

                  So my ideas are mutating as time goes on.

                  Thanks again for any and all help.
                  Vitَria, Brazil

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Can you buy it here and ship it UPS to your home or shop in Brazil?

                    Can I get it for you and ship it to you by UPS?
                    It's only ink and paper

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Carld
                      Can you buy it here and ship it UPS to your home or shop in Brazil?

                      Can I get it for you and ship it to you by UPS?
                      Thanks for offering. I really appreciate it. BUT, if done in that way, the customs duty is about 60% plus shipping. I will be in AZ soon and think I can find a way of fitting it in luggage. With the right airline, there still is a 70# limit per bag to Brazil.
                      Vitَria, Brazil

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                      • #12
                        But one question remains to be answered, can 1045 be casehardened? Either with box carburising or some case hardening compound. Guess I will have to find out myself some day..

                        Here 'proper' tool steels are readily available, but not usually too economically if buying small quantities. Steel similar to 1045 is plentiful OTOH... and for a special cutter for a few times use case hardening would be sufficient I think(sometimes perhaps even without the case hardening).

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          C 0.42 - 0.5
                          Fe 98.51 - 98.98
                          Mn 0.6 - 0.9
                          P Max 0.04
                          S Max 0.05

                          That is the properties of 1045. You will notice it is .43% carbon and can be hardened better than just a case hardening. You can case harden it if you want but the rest of it will be hard from the case hardening process.

                          It you weld it and try to machine it you will find out how hard it can get.
                          Last edited by Carld; 01-05-2010, 05:12 PM.
                          It's only ink and paper

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Peter Neill

                            Brief heat treat linky here: http://www.westyorkssteel.com/en8.html

                            Peter
                            Thanks for that link,I've bookmarked it.First time I've seen a supplier that can do 2" Silver steel.

                            Allan

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                            • #15
                              What if I ship it as a gift? I think I can get it free from someone here.
                              It's only ink and paper

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