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ASTM Selected Technical Papers
Bearing and Transmission Steels Technology
Editor
John Beswick
John Beswick
Symposium Chair and STP Editor
1Montfoort,
SE
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ISBN:
978-0-8031-7745-1
No. of Pages:
558
Publisher:
ASTM International
Publication date:
2024

The state-of-the-art case-hardening steels for bearings with intermediate wall thickness up to approximately 100 mm are SAE 3311 (≈ 12NiCr14-6) and 18NiCrMo14-6. However, they have several detrimental features. The financial and environmental costs of the raw material (mainly attributed to the nickel [Ni] content of approximately 3.5 wt%) and for the carburizing treatment for the SAE 3311 are very high, and the performance potential often suffers from an unsatisfactory microscopic degree of cleanliness. To replace them, a steel was developed with the following target properties: a comparable or better hardenability curve than SAE 3311; a Ni content significantly below 1 wt% to reduce cost and greenhouse-gas emissions; a hardness higher than 61 HRC after carbonitriding, hardening, and regular tempering for larger samples; and a significantly reduced alloying surcharge compared to SAE 3311. Our development approach included a virtual alloy design phase using thermodynamic calculations in combination with time-temperature-transformation simulations, casting of two different candidate alloys for experimental investigation, in-depth characterization of the casted alloys after various heat treatments, assessment of (rotating-bending) fatigue behavior, and bearing-lifetime testing. The newly developed steel 18MnCrMoV4-8-7, which is essentially a low-carbon (i.e., case-hardening) variant of the established through-hardenable bearing steel 100CrMnMoSi8-4-6, has a significantly lower Ni content than SAE 3311 and is therefore not only less expensive but also more environmentally friendly while offering a similar hardenability. 18MnCrMoV4-8-7 transforms into bainite over a wide range of cooling rates and consequently exhibits a good predictability of dimensional or distortion behavior. 18MnCrMoV4-8-7 shows similar or better rotating-bending and rolling-contact fatigue behavior than both 100Cr6 and SAE 3311. The first bearings with rings made from 18MnCrMoV4-8-7 have been successfully brought into application.

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