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3 innovative finishing processes used in gear manufacturing


Finishing is often the last step in a gear manufacturing process. There are different finishing techniques that make it possible to modify the machined part’s properties, in addition to providing its final look.

In recent years, innovative finishing processes have appeared in the gear-cutting field, offering manufacturers the opportunity to optimize their processes and produce higher performance mechanical parts in a timelier manner.

Discover three of these finishing techniques for machined parts.

Chemically-assisted vibratory finishing

A conventional finishing method par excellence, traditional vibratory finishing consists of depositing the gears in a vibratory container filled with abrasive elements in order to soften the sharp edges or correct certain surface imperfections.

As for chemically-assisted vibratory finishing, it uses specially formulated chemical compounds with non-abrasive components to produce a specific coating on the manufactured gears. This makes it possible to develop flat surfaces with micro-finished surface characteristics. This technology is particularly applicable to automotive gear systems and engine components such as camshafts and crankshafts.

Gear finishing using a centrifugal barrel

This high-energy method is a mechanically accelerated means for producing an isotropic  edge contour and micro-finish on the gears. It is used by a variety of manufacturers to improve the surface finish and endurance of gear trains.

This process also provides finishes that improve the carrier qualities of the coupling surfaces and develops beneficial compressive stress and cold curing properties useful for heavily loaded parts. A processing sequence (similar to roughing, finishing and polishing) is often used to develop highly finished surfaces. The high centrifugal forces and the speed of this process make it possible to obtain high-level results in short cycle times.

Turbo-abrasive gear machining

One of the properties that distinguishes turbo-abrasive machining from the vibratory or centrifugal finish is that it is a dry method requiring no use of liquid. The parts are fixed on a spindle, similar to a horizontal machining center, and are rotated at speeds of 500 to 2,000 rpm wrapped in a cloud of abrasive material.

While a significant investment is needed to acquire this technology, mechanical parts manufacturers can create edge contours and other surface finishes very quickly (with cycles of 60 to 120 seconds in many cases) as a result. Moreover, the machines can accommodate gears that are 48 inches in diameter, which is unthinkable with the other finishing methods mentioned above.

For gears with an impeccable finish

With nearly 20 years of experience in precision machining, Braidwood Industries Inc. has mastered all stages of gear manufacturing. Finishing holds no secrets for this company located on the north shore of Montreal.

For all your needs in machined parts or gears, do not hesitate to contact our team.

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