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Journal of KONES Powertrain and Transport, Vol. 20, No. 2 2013
DETERMINATION OF HEAT TREATMENT PARAMETERS
FOR HEAVILY-LOADED AIRCRAFT ENGINE COMPONENTS
Pawe Rokicki, Kamil Dychto , Andrzej Nowotnik, Marcin Drajewicz
Jan Sieniawski, Daniel Kurkowski, Ma gorzata Wierzbi ska, Grzegorz Jakubowicz
Rzeszow University of Technology
Department of Material Science
Powstancow Warszawy Av. 12, 35-959 Rzeszow, Poland
tel.: +48 17 8651124, fax: +48 17 7432414
e-mail: prokicki@prz.edu.pl
Grzegorz Budzik
Rzeszow University of Technology
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Powstancow Warszawy Av. 12, 35-959 Rzeszow, Poland
tel.: +48 17 8651124, fax: +48 17 7432414
Abstract
Gears, due to their complex shape, carried load and required accuracy are ones of most complex aircraft engine
parts. Single tooth damage usually breaks the power transmission and causes failure of the entire gear system.
Adequate sustainability and guarantees of transmission is therefore a condition for secure operation of whole device.
Particularly high requirements for reliability are put to transmissions used in the aerospace industry. Due to the loads
which are transmitted through the gears, the materials used by the manufacturer must have not only high strength but
also show the abrasion resistance of the surface layer and the ductility of the core. Proper parameters matching
allows to create an element that can operate at higher stresses and loads. In addition, factor strength and abrasion
resistance of the surface layer has a significant impact on the life of the gear. Thermo-chemical treatment of industrial
gears is a fundamental process, which gives them adequate mechanical properties regarding loads they carry and the
surface conditions of work. Among many methods of thermo-chemical treatment used in the industry, the most
distinctive are innovative technologies designed to reduce process costs and being more environmentally friendly. The
most promising methods in the discussed field are vacuum carburizing and high-pressure hardening, which by their
specification of work significantly reduce the emission of CO2 and the duration of the process, without reducing the
quality of the final product. The main aim of the paper is to present criteria for selection of heat treatment parameters
as a part of thermo-chemical treatment process performed using vacuum methods. Proper heat treatment parameters
are crucial in programming of some of final material characteristics as grain size and retained austenite morphology.
Keywords: aircraft engine components, vacuum carburizing, heat treatment, quenching, alloy steel microstructure
1. Introduction
Nowadays there are many methods of treating steel gears, which aim in increasing strength
properties and life-time of treated element [1]. The main objective of conducted researches and
technological developments is to modify the surface with additional flexibility while maintaining
the core strength of the gear [3]. Method most commonly used in the industry is thermo-chemical
treatment, which consists of two basic processes. The first stage, chemical, is to modify the surface
layer, and is done by applying a coating on the substrate material or by modification of its
chemical composition. In case of chemical composition modification a major role suits process called
carburization which is based on modification of the surface layer by diffusive addition of carbon
[3, 4]. The second stage thermo is a treatment process involving hardening and tempering of element
P. Rokicki, K. Dychto , A. Nowotnik, M. Drajewicz, J. Sieniawski, D. Kurkowski, M. Wierzbi ska, G. Jakubowicz, G. Budzik
in order to give it a martensitic structure, which additionally increases strength properties of treated
element in the entire volume [2].
One of the fundamental aspects of the vacuum carburizing is homogenous distribution of carbon
in the surface layer what is usually not achievable in the other – classical types of carburizing
processes. The mathematical description of the process of gas distribution in a vacuum, proves that
it is possible to conduct carburizing in the way in which carbon transported is uniformly distributed
over the cross section of the treated element [2, 5, 8].
Another important aspect of analysing of the structure subjected to vacuum carburizing is heat
treatment applied in order to transform the austenite to martensite. This process is done by
quenching of a steel from the austenitizing temperature to room temperature and then deep-
freezing at temperature below -75°C to prevent the re-transformation of martensite to austenite.
This paper presents an innovative combination of vacuum carburizing process of gears with the
process of high-pressure quenching and different heat-treatment variants in the way. Carburized
element is subjected to quenching by passing the gas through the furnace chamber at high pressure
with high flow speed of a gas. It is as well modern process as vacuum carburizing itself. Cooling
medium must be an inert gas that does not have impact on the process of carburizing. The most
commonly used are either nitrogen or argon. With a specially designed heat exchanger and
a closed circuit cooling gas transport, the hardening process can be carried out in a furnace used
for carburizing, which has a significant impact on reducing of cost of the hardening process and
machine operation [6, 7, 9, 10].
An important factor in thermo-chemical process planning is prediction of retained austenite
content after the heat treatment (especially after the deep-freezing and tempering). Additionally, it
is important to design the process so that material’s structure is of appropriate grain size. It has
a huge effect on final mechanical properties [4, 5, 8]. To achieve this purpose the authors of the
paper studied the impact on the structure of four different heat treatment variants. The first is the
quenching of the workpiece directly from the carburizing temperature. Another method involves
lowering the temperature of the carburized element to the level of standard procedural austenitizing
and then quenching. Further methods include the microstructure refining by cooling the material to
a pearlitizing temperature or room temperature before austenitizing.
This paper presents a comparison of four different methodologies for the heat treatment after
the vacuum carburizing process. Analysis of the microstructure and properties of the surface layer
and core material was used to determine the criteria for heat treatment process which is part of
thermo-chemical treatment of heavily-loaded aircraft engine components.
2. Methodology
In the study, alloy steel, common for manufacturing of heavily loaded aircraft engine elements,
has been used. The gears have been manufactured by standard industrial way according to specified
norms. The areas not desired to be carburized have been coppered using electrochemical methods.
Carburizing has been performed in Vacuum Heat Treatment Mono Therm HK.446.VC.10.gr
furnace from ALD Vacuum Technologies GmbH. Full process has been performed in the steps
described as follows:
1) carburizing,
2) heat treatment,
3) quenching,
4) deep freezing,
5) tempering.
Carburization has been performed by alternate use of acetylene and vacuum pulses to allow
diffusion of concentrated carbon into the material. Heat treatment was performed in 4 different
variants (Fig. 1). First variant (namely: “VC” variant – vacuum carburizing and quenching) included
vacuum carburizing and direct quenching from the carburizing temperature (Fig. 1a). The next one
350
Determination of Heat Treatment Parameters for Heavily-Loaded Aircraft Engine Components
(namely: “A” variant – vacuum carburizing, austenitizing and quenching) included additional
austenitizing step at a little lower temperature in which additional impact of austenitization on the
carbon diffusive transfer was investigated (Fig. 1b). Third method (namely “RT” variant – vacuum
carburizing, room temperature stabilizing, austenitizing and quenching) assumed room temperature
structure stabilization, before austenitizing (Fig. 1c). The last process (namely “P” variant – vacuum
carburizing, pearlitizing, austenitizing and quenching) was based on additional pearlitization step
in which the material fully rebuilt it’s structure before austenitizing (Fig. 1d). All the variants in
the heat treatment procedure were performed in the chamber with no oxygen allowance. Quenching
was performed with gaseous nitrogen of 10 bar absolute pressure. Quenching was additionally
accelerated by industrial turbine with 3000 rpm rotation speed. Slow cooling was performed in the
way simulating real “Air Cooling” conditions. Deep freezing and tempering processes were performed
in the same way for all the heat-treatment variants according to aircraft industry norms.
a) b)
c) d)
Fig. 1. Four different heat treatment methodologies after vacuum carburizing process: a) “VC” variant: quenching
directly after last carburizing pulse, b) “A” variant: austenitizing after the carburizing process followed by
quenching, c) “RT” variant: stabilization in room temperature and heating to austenitizing temperature followed
by quenching, d) “P” variant: additional pearlitizing normalization step before austenitizing
3. Results and discussion
The paper presents, as a comparison, effect of carburization and heat treatment on the case-
depth of treated gear element (Fig. 2). Fig. 3 shows hardness diagram for specified chosen region of
the gear (Fig. 2). The results have been shown to prove adequate carburization effect and no influence
of the heat treatment process on the effective or total case-depth.
Fig. 2. Hardness profile investigation region for vacuum carburizing process of the gear teeth
351
P. Rokicki, K. Dychto , A. Nowotnik, M. Drajewicz, J. Sieniawski, D. Kurkowski, M. Wierzbi ska, G. Jakubowicz, G. Budzik
a)
300
350
400
450
500
550
600
650
700
750
800
850Hardness,HV0.5
Distance from surface, mm
A3
y=513 HV0.5 y=446 HV
x=0 889 mm x=1 085 mm
b)
300
350
400
450
500
550
600
650
700
750
800
850
Hardness,HV0.5
Distance from surface, mm
A3
y=513 HV0.5 y=446 HV
x=0 867 mm x=1 095 mm
c)
300
350
400
450
500
550
600
650
700
750
800
850
Hardness,HV0.5
Distance from surface, mm
A3
y=513 HV0.5 y=446 HV
x=0 896 mm x=1 049 mm
d)
300
350
400
450
500
550
600
650
700
750
800
850
Hardness,HV0.5
Distance from surface, mm
A3
y=513 HV0.5 y=446 HV
x=0 801 mm x=0 977 mm
Fig. 3. Hardness profile with effective and total case-depth marked for VC (a), A (b), RT (c) and P (d) heat treatment variant
Main aim of the heat-treatment process as a part of thermo-chemical is a proper programming
of the microstructure of the treated elements. Not only is the grain size important. Additional
parameter that can be adjusted through proper heat-treatment process is retained austenite
percentage in the material. Both pointed factors influence final hardness parameters in the
carburized layer and in the core of the gear. Additionally the microstructure type impacts fatigue
resistance and creep resistance. While predicting and adjusting proper final parameters of the
material it is important to combine the microstructural factors with carburization effect and obtain
suitable properties on the surface and in the core of the gear.
In the paper results concerning microstructure of steel after carburizing and following different
heat treatment procedures have been presented. Fig. 4-5 presents microstructure photos obtained
from scanning electron microscope. In Fig. 4 carburized layer microstructure is presented. Fig. 5
shows core microstructure of specified specimens after different heat-treatment procedures. Fig. 4a
presents carburized layer microstructure in the process in which quenching was performed directly
after the last carburizing pulse (“VC” variant). Sparse fine carbides can be observed in the micro-
structure. The same carbides will be observed in the microstructure of the element subjected to
a process in which the quenching temperature is being lowered to austenitizing standard procedural
temperature (“A” variant) (Fig. 4b), however, much more homogeneous distribution of them can
be noted. Additionally retained austenite on the level of 3.8% presents to be lower to compare with
“VC” variant, where the level of retained austenite was of 4.2%. When comparing stabilizing in
lower temperatures, the specimen stabilized in room temperature (“RT” variant) showed lowest
retained austenite amount (3.5%). The specimen, for which the microstructure stabilization was
performed in the pearlitizing temperature (“P” variant), after full heat treatment procedure, contained
the highest amount of retained austenite on the level of 4.5%. Although, pre-treating as micro-
structure stabilization is not directly influencing the retained austenite transformation, it is impacting
later quenching and deep-freezing process in which it appears
0.0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.8 2.0
0.0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.8 2.0 0.0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.8 2.0
0.0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.8 2.0
352
Determination of Heat Treatment Parameters for Heavily-Loaded Aircraft Engine Components
Fig. 4. Carburized layer microhardness in the specified area of the gear teeth for VC (a), A (b), RT (c), and P (d) heat
treatment variant
Fig. 5. Core microhardness in the specified area of the gear teeth for VC (a), A (b), RT (c), and P (d) heat treatment
variant
353
P. Rokicki, K. Dychto , A. Nowotnik, M. Drajewicz, J. Sieniawski, D. Kurkowski, M. Wierzbi ska, G. Jakubowicz, G. Budzik
4. Conclusions and summary
In the study different heat-treatment procedures in thermo-chemical treatment of heavily-loaded
aircraft engine components have been investigated based on alloy steel transmission gears. Their
direct and indirect influence on retained austenite amount, grain size and by this on the hardness
profile and appearance of secondary carbides in the structure has been studied. The determination
of criteria for proper heat treatment are depended on specialized functionality of treated elements.
In case of heavily-loaded aircraft engine components as transmission gears it is crucial to program
the treatment in aim to fulfil all the requirements put by the constructor. Although, research
conducted in the paper showed minor microstructural changes, it is important to get to know deeper
their impact on indirect parameters. The researches proved that microstructure stabilization in
pearlitizing temperature decreases predisposition of the martensite to retransform to retained austenite
in further steps of the process, however stabilization in room temperature increases this predisposition
considerably.
Grain size factor investigated in the study was not influenced by heat treatment procedure. All
heat-treatment variants consisted of austenitizing and quenching allowing structure refinement and
obtaining of martensitic structure.
References
[1] Koebel, N., Application of Instrumentation to Achieve Precision Carburizing, Journal of Heat
Treatment, Vol. 1, No. 2, 1979.
[2] Paun, D., Cojocaru, M., Mihailov, V., Mathematical Modeling of the Influence of Main
Carburizing Thermochemical Treatmenr Parameters on the Surface Hardness of Parts Made
of MSRR 6009 steel, Surface Engineering and Applied Electrochemistry, Vol. 48, No. 3,
pp. 244-249, 2012.
[3] Ryzhov, N. M., Fakhurtdinov, R. S., Smirnov, A. E., Fomina, L. P., Analysis of Methods of
Carburizing of Gears from Heat-Resistant Steels, Material Science and Heat Treatment,
Vol. 52, No. 5 6, 2010.
[4] Ryzhov, N. M., Smirnov, A. E., Fakhurtdinov, R. S., Control of Carbon Saturation of the
Diffusion Layer in Vacuum Carburizing of Heat-Resistant Steels, Material Science and Heat
Treatment, Vol. 46, No. 7-8, 2004.
[5] Ryzhov, N. M., Smirnov, A. E., Fakhurtdinov, R. S., Mulyakaev, L. M., Gromov, V. I., Special
Features of Vacuum Carburizing of Heat-Resistant Steel in Acetylene, Material Science and
Heat Treatment, Vol. 46, No. 5-6, 2004.
[6] Tanaka, K., Ikehata, H., Takamiya, H., Mizuno, H., Calculation of Microstructure in Vacuum
Carburizing Incorporating Kinetics Modeling of Grain-Boundary Cementite, ISIJ International,
Vol. 52, No. 1, pp. 134-139, 2012.
[7] Tsepov, S. N., Characteristic Features of Carburizing of Steel During Vacuum Carburizing,
UDC 621.365-982:621.785.52.
[8] Turpin, T., Dulcy, J., Gantois, M., Carbon Diffusion and Phase Transformations During Gas
Carburizing of High-Alloyed Stainless Steels: Experimental Study and Theoretical Modeling,
Metallurgical and Materials Transformations A, Vol. 36, p. 2751, 2005.
[9] Usatyi, Y. P., Marmer, E. N., Murovannaya, S. G., Palei, F. A., Volkova, L. I., Vacuum Carburizing
of Steel 18KhGT, UDC 621.785.52:669.14.018.29.
[10] Williams, M. E., A Practical Approach to Carburizing Process Determination, Journal of Heat
Treating, Vol. 2, No. 1, 1981.
354

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Determination of Heat Treatment Parameters for heavily-loaded aircraft engine components

  • 1. Journal of KONES Powertrain and Transport, Vol. 20, No. 2 2013 DETERMINATION OF HEAT TREATMENT PARAMETERS FOR HEAVILY-LOADED AIRCRAFT ENGINE COMPONENTS Pawe Rokicki, Kamil Dychto , Andrzej Nowotnik, Marcin Drajewicz Jan Sieniawski, Daniel Kurkowski, Ma gorzata Wierzbi ska, Grzegorz Jakubowicz Rzeszow University of Technology Department of Material Science Powstancow Warszawy Av. 12, 35-959 Rzeszow, Poland tel.: +48 17 8651124, fax: +48 17 7432414 e-mail: prokicki@prz.edu.pl Grzegorz Budzik Rzeszow University of Technology Department of Mechanical Engineering Powstancow Warszawy Av. 12, 35-959 Rzeszow, Poland tel.: +48 17 8651124, fax: +48 17 7432414 Abstract Gears, due to their complex shape, carried load and required accuracy are ones of most complex aircraft engine parts. Single tooth damage usually breaks the power transmission and causes failure of the entire gear system. Adequate sustainability and guarantees of transmission is therefore a condition for secure operation of whole device. Particularly high requirements for reliability are put to transmissions used in the aerospace industry. Due to the loads which are transmitted through the gears, the materials used by the manufacturer must have not only high strength but also show the abrasion resistance of the surface layer and the ductility of the core. Proper parameters matching allows to create an element that can operate at higher stresses and loads. In addition, factor strength and abrasion resistance of the surface layer has a significant impact on the life of the gear. Thermo-chemical treatment of industrial gears is a fundamental process, which gives them adequate mechanical properties regarding loads they carry and the surface conditions of work. Among many methods of thermo-chemical treatment used in the industry, the most distinctive are innovative technologies designed to reduce process costs and being more environmentally friendly. The most promising methods in the discussed field are vacuum carburizing and high-pressure hardening, which by their specification of work significantly reduce the emission of CO2 and the duration of the process, without reducing the quality of the final product. The main aim of the paper is to present criteria for selection of heat treatment parameters as a part of thermo-chemical treatment process performed using vacuum methods. Proper heat treatment parameters are crucial in programming of some of final material characteristics as grain size and retained austenite morphology. Keywords: aircraft engine components, vacuum carburizing, heat treatment, quenching, alloy steel microstructure 1. Introduction Nowadays there are many methods of treating steel gears, which aim in increasing strength properties and life-time of treated element [1]. The main objective of conducted researches and technological developments is to modify the surface with additional flexibility while maintaining the core strength of the gear [3]. Method most commonly used in the industry is thermo-chemical treatment, which consists of two basic processes. The first stage, chemical, is to modify the surface layer, and is done by applying a coating on the substrate material or by modification of its chemical composition. In case of chemical composition modification a major role suits process called carburization which is based on modification of the surface layer by diffusive addition of carbon [3, 4]. The second stage thermo is a treatment process involving hardening and tempering of element
  • 2. P. Rokicki, K. Dychto , A. Nowotnik, M. Drajewicz, J. Sieniawski, D. Kurkowski, M. Wierzbi ska, G. Jakubowicz, G. Budzik in order to give it a martensitic structure, which additionally increases strength properties of treated element in the entire volume [2]. One of the fundamental aspects of the vacuum carburizing is homogenous distribution of carbon in the surface layer what is usually not achievable in the other – classical types of carburizing processes. The mathematical description of the process of gas distribution in a vacuum, proves that it is possible to conduct carburizing in the way in which carbon transported is uniformly distributed over the cross section of the treated element [2, 5, 8]. Another important aspect of analysing of the structure subjected to vacuum carburizing is heat treatment applied in order to transform the austenite to martensite. This process is done by quenching of a steel from the austenitizing temperature to room temperature and then deep- freezing at temperature below -75°C to prevent the re-transformation of martensite to austenite. This paper presents an innovative combination of vacuum carburizing process of gears with the process of high-pressure quenching and different heat-treatment variants in the way. Carburized element is subjected to quenching by passing the gas through the furnace chamber at high pressure with high flow speed of a gas. It is as well modern process as vacuum carburizing itself. Cooling medium must be an inert gas that does not have impact on the process of carburizing. The most commonly used are either nitrogen or argon. With a specially designed heat exchanger and a closed circuit cooling gas transport, the hardening process can be carried out in a furnace used for carburizing, which has a significant impact on reducing of cost of the hardening process and machine operation [6, 7, 9, 10]. An important factor in thermo-chemical process planning is prediction of retained austenite content after the heat treatment (especially after the deep-freezing and tempering). Additionally, it is important to design the process so that material’s structure is of appropriate grain size. It has a huge effect on final mechanical properties [4, 5, 8]. To achieve this purpose the authors of the paper studied the impact on the structure of four different heat treatment variants. The first is the quenching of the workpiece directly from the carburizing temperature. Another method involves lowering the temperature of the carburized element to the level of standard procedural austenitizing and then quenching. Further methods include the microstructure refining by cooling the material to a pearlitizing temperature or room temperature before austenitizing. This paper presents a comparison of four different methodologies for the heat treatment after the vacuum carburizing process. Analysis of the microstructure and properties of the surface layer and core material was used to determine the criteria for heat treatment process which is part of thermo-chemical treatment of heavily-loaded aircraft engine components. 2. Methodology In the study, alloy steel, common for manufacturing of heavily loaded aircraft engine elements, has been used. The gears have been manufactured by standard industrial way according to specified norms. The areas not desired to be carburized have been coppered using electrochemical methods. Carburizing has been performed in Vacuum Heat Treatment Mono Therm HK.446.VC.10.gr furnace from ALD Vacuum Technologies GmbH. Full process has been performed in the steps described as follows: 1) carburizing, 2) heat treatment, 3) quenching, 4) deep freezing, 5) tempering. Carburization has been performed by alternate use of acetylene and vacuum pulses to allow diffusion of concentrated carbon into the material. Heat treatment was performed in 4 different variants (Fig. 1). First variant (namely: “VC” variant – vacuum carburizing and quenching) included vacuum carburizing and direct quenching from the carburizing temperature (Fig. 1a). The next one 350
  • 3. Determination of Heat Treatment Parameters for Heavily-Loaded Aircraft Engine Components (namely: “A” variant – vacuum carburizing, austenitizing and quenching) included additional austenitizing step at a little lower temperature in which additional impact of austenitization on the carbon diffusive transfer was investigated (Fig. 1b). Third method (namely “RT” variant – vacuum carburizing, room temperature stabilizing, austenitizing and quenching) assumed room temperature structure stabilization, before austenitizing (Fig. 1c). The last process (namely “P” variant – vacuum carburizing, pearlitizing, austenitizing and quenching) was based on additional pearlitization step in which the material fully rebuilt it’s structure before austenitizing (Fig. 1d). All the variants in the heat treatment procedure were performed in the chamber with no oxygen allowance. Quenching was performed with gaseous nitrogen of 10 bar absolute pressure. Quenching was additionally accelerated by industrial turbine with 3000 rpm rotation speed. Slow cooling was performed in the way simulating real “Air Cooling” conditions. Deep freezing and tempering processes were performed in the same way for all the heat-treatment variants according to aircraft industry norms. a) b) c) d) Fig. 1. Four different heat treatment methodologies after vacuum carburizing process: a) “VC” variant: quenching directly after last carburizing pulse, b) “A” variant: austenitizing after the carburizing process followed by quenching, c) “RT” variant: stabilization in room temperature and heating to austenitizing temperature followed by quenching, d) “P” variant: additional pearlitizing normalization step before austenitizing 3. Results and discussion The paper presents, as a comparison, effect of carburization and heat treatment on the case- depth of treated gear element (Fig. 2). Fig. 3 shows hardness diagram for specified chosen region of the gear (Fig. 2). The results have been shown to prove adequate carburization effect and no influence of the heat treatment process on the effective or total case-depth. Fig. 2. Hardness profile investigation region for vacuum carburizing process of the gear teeth 351
  • 4. P. Rokicki, K. Dychto , A. Nowotnik, M. Drajewicz, J. Sieniawski, D. Kurkowski, M. Wierzbi ska, G. Jakubowicz, G. Budzik a) 300 350 400 450 500 550 600 650 700 750 800 850Hardness,HV0.5 Distance from surface, mm A3 y=513 HV0.5 y=446 HV x=0 889 mm x=1 085 mm b) 300 350 400 450 500 550 600 650 700 750 800 850 Hardness,HV0.5 Distance from surface, mm A3 y=513 HV0.5 y=446 HV x=0 867 mm x=1 095 mm c) 300 350 400 450 500 550 600 650 700 750 800 850 Hardness,HV0.5 Distance from surface, mm A3 y=513 HV0.5 y=446 HV x=0 896 mm x=1 049 mm d) 300 350 400 450 500 550 600 650 700 750 800 850 Hardness,HV0.5 Distance from surface, mm A3 y=513 HV0.5 y=446 HV x=0 801 mm x=0 977 mm Fig. 3. Hardness profile with effective and total case-depth marked for VC (a), A (b), RT (c) and P (d) heat treatment variant Main aim of the heat-treatment process as a part of thermo-chemical is a proper programming of the microstructure of the treated elements. Not only is the grain size important. Additional parameter that can be adjusted through proper heat-treatment process is retained austenite percentage in the material. Both pointed factors influence final hardness parameters in the carburized layer and in the core of the gear. Additionally the microstructure type impacts fatigue resistance and creep resistance. While predicting and adjusting proper final parameters of the material it is important to combine the microstructural factors with carburization effect and obtain suitable properties on the surface and in the core of the gear. In the paper results concerning microstructure of steel after carburizing and following different heat treatment procedures have been presented. Fig. 4-5 presents microstructure photos obtained from scanning electron microscope. In Fig. 4 carburized layer microstructure is presented. Fig. 5 shows core microstructure of specified specimens after different heat-treatment procedures. Fig. 4a presents carburized layer microstructure in the process in which quenching was performed directly after the last carburizing pulse (“VC” variant). Sparse fine carbides can be observed in the micro- structure. The same carbides will be observed in the microstructure of the element subjected to a process in which the quenching temperature is being lowered to austenitizing standard procedural temperature (“A” variant) (Fig. 4b), however, much more homogeneous distribution of them can be noted. Additionally retained austenite on the level of 3.8% presents to be lower to compare with “VC” variant, where the level of retained austenite was of 4.2%. When comparing stabilizing in lower temperatures, the specimen stabilized in room temperature (“RT” variant) showed lowest retained austenite amount (3.5%). The specimen, for which the microstructure stabilization was performed in the pearlitizing temperature (“P” variant), after full heat treatment procedure, contained the highest amount of retained austenite on the level of 4.5%. Although, pre-treating as micro- structure stabilization is not directly influencing the retained austenite transformation, it is impacting later quenching and deep-freezing process in which it appears 0.0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.8 2.0 0.0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.8 2.0 0.0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.8 2.0 0.0 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1.0 1.2 1.4 1.6 1.8 2.0 352
  • 5. Determination of Heat Treatment Parameters for Heavily-Loaded Aircraft Engine Components Fig. 4. Carburized layer microhardness in the specified area of the gear teeth for VC (a), A (b), RT (c), and P (d) heat treatment variant Fig. 5. Core microhardness in the specified area of the gear teeth for VC (a), A (b), RT (c), and P (d) heat treatment variant 353
  • 6. P. Rokicki, K. Dychto , A. Nowotnik, M. Drajewicz, J. Sieniawski, D. Kurkowski, M. Wierzbi ska, G. Jakubowicz, G. Budzik 4. Conclusions and summary In the study different heat-treatment procedures in thermo-chemical treatment of heavily-loaded aircraft engine components have been investigated based on alloy steel transmission gears. Their direct and indirect influence on retained austenite amount, grain size and by this on the hardness profile and appearance of secondary carbides in the structure has been studied. The determination of criteria for proper heat treatment are depended on specialized functionality of treated elements. In case of heavily-loaded aircraft engine components as transmission gears it is crucial to program the treatment in aim to fulfil all the requirements put by the constructor. Although, research conducted in the paper showed minor microstructural changes, it is important to get to know deeper their impact on indirect parameters. The researches proved that microstructure stabilization in pearlitizing temperature decreases predisposition of the martensite to retransform to retained austenite in further steps of the process, however stabilization in room temperature increases this predisposition considerably. Grain size factor investigated in the study was not influenced by heat treatment procedure. All heat-treatment variants consisted of austenitizing and quenching allowing structure refinement and obtaining of martensitic structure. References [1] Koebel, N., Application of Instrumentation to Achieve Precision Carburizing, Journal of Heat Treatment, Vol. 1, No. 2, 1979. [2] Paun, D., Cojocaru, M., Mihailov, V., Mathematical Modeling of the Influence of Main Carburizing Thermochemical Treatmenr Parameters on the Surface Hardness of Parts Made of MSRR 6009 steel, Surface Engineering and Applied Electrochemistry, Vol. 48, No. 3, pp. 244-249, 2012. [3] Ryzhov, N. M., Fakhurtdinov, R. S., Smirnov, A. E., Fomina, L. P., Analysis of Methods of Carburizing of Gears from Heat-Resistant Steels, Material Science and Heat Treatment, Vol. 52, No. 5 6, 2010. [4] Ryzhov, N. M., Smirnov, A. E., Fakhurtdinov, R. S., Control of Carbon Saturation of the Diffusion Layer in Vacuum Carburizing of Heat-Resistant Steels, Material Science and Heat Treatment, Vol. 46, No. 7-8, 2004. [5] Ryzhov, N. M., Smirnov, A. E., Fakhurtdinov, R. S., Mulyakaev, L. M., Gromov, V. I., Special Features of Vacuum Carburizing of Heat-Resistant Steel in Acetylene, Material Science and Heat Treatment, Vol. 46, No. 5-6, 2004. [6] Tanaka, K., Ikehata, H., Takamiya, H., Mizuno, H., Calculation of Microstructure in Vacuum Carburizing Incorporating Kinetics Modeling of Grain-Boundary Cementite, ISIJ International, Vol. 52, No. 1, pp. 134-139, 2012. [7] Tsepov, S. N., Characteristic Features of Carburizing of Steel During Vacuum Carburizing, UDC 621.365-982:621.785.52. [8] Turpin, T., Dulcy, J., Gantois, M., Carbon Diffusion and Phase Transformations During Gas Carburizing of High-Alloyed Stainless Steels: Experimental Study and Theoretical Modeling, Metallurgical and Materials Transformations A, Vol. 36, p. 2751, 2005. [9] Usatyi, Y. P., Marmer, E. N., Murovannaya, S. G., Palei, F. A., Volkova, L. I., Vacuum Carburizing of Steel 18KhGT, UDC 621.785.52:669.14.018.29. [10] Williams, M. E., A Practical Approach to Carburizing Process Determination, Journal of Heat Treating, Vol. 2, No. 1, 1981. 354