Innovative powder based manufacturing of gear wheels with high performance (HIPGEAR)

Project time: 2014 – 2018

Budget: 10 900 000 SEK

Funding: FFI – Strategic Vehicle Research and Innovation

The HIPGEAR project introduces an innovative manufacturing technology for gear wheels intended for heavy vehicle applications.

The technology replaces conventional manufacturing steps such as hot forging, hobbing, broaching and turning with pressing of powder, sintering and Hot Isostatic Pressing (HIP). The new technology offers advantages in terms of less metal waste (up to 50% reduction) and less machining lubricant waste (up to 100% reduction). The specialized gear manufacturing technologies are replaced by general technologies which can be used for many types of manufacturing which adds flexibility to the production system.

A number of challenges were identified in order to reach fully dense gear wheels with the new technology. One of the most important ones was to avoid open porosity after pressing and sintering so that the HIPing process would be effective in closing all porosity. Three types of test object were used to check that all targets could be met. That includes test cylinders and two types of gear wheels with 32 and 84 mm dimeter. It was shown that metal alloys and processing routes could be found that generated fully dense gear wheels. The gear wheels will have a thin rim of pores on the surface which will have to be removed in finish grinding.

The properties were evaluated for the gear wheels with 84mm diameter. It was found that the flank pitting fatigue and the root bending fatigue strengths were within 10% of the strengths of reference gear wheels produced with conventional technologies.

The HIPGEAR project developed process planning tools based on the Finite Element Method which describe how the gear wheel develops during the new manufacturing steps. Factors such as geometry and porosity can be followed throughout the process chain. This is a powerful tool for process planning e.g. of pressing tools.

It was concluded that the technical targets of the project were reached and that it contributes to fulfilling environmental flexibility targets of FFI Sustainable production.

Participating researcher(s)



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