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Graphic element Research > Growth > Research projects > Previous projects > New Products and Materials > Automated induction hardening of machine parts
Graphic element Automated induction hardening of machine parts
     
 
A safer and more environmentally-friendly, multi-frequency induction hardening system and new low-cost steel are well-suited to automotive and aerospace applications.
 

Traditional carburising heat treatment for machine component and tool hardening creates an unpleasant and often dangerous working environment. Workers are exposed to extremely hot surfaces and high concentrations of toxic gases. These same gases are subsequently released into the environment. In addition, quenching oil operations necessitate expensive washing processes consuming large amounts of detergents and water.

The objective of this project was to develop a safer and more environmentally-friendly multi-frequency induction hardening system. High-frequency induction sources delivering brief high-power bursts, greater than 1000 kilowatts for under 0.25 seconds, have now demonstrated the capacity to harden critical mechanical components. Specific tools were designed for quasi-symmetrical double-layer contour hardening suitable for reliable and long service life of automotive gears. Finally, a specially formulated low-cost steel was developed ideally suited to induction hardening.

Induction hardening is a clean and automatic process, say partners, and this will mean important improvements in working conditions. The equipment manufacturer, an SME, has started to sell the hardening process within the automotive and aerospace sectors.

Cordis RCN: 22815
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