Tech: Prevent Premature Parts Failure, Part 2

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Metal enhancements: What to Look out For

There are scores of operations offering dozens of metal enhancement programs and promising all kinds of success rates, some rather less reliable than others. Naturally, you want to take advantage of the opportunities to improve the functioning, reliability and longevity of your racing parts. But metal enhancement treatments without the guidance of a well-furnished mind can easily go wrong. “We have seen surface-finish processes that absolutely ruin gears,” says Liberty. “If the cryogenic process is used correctly, it can bring huge benefits, but if used incorrectly, it can be discouragingly detrimental. Don’t make the mistake of assuming the processor always knows what is best for your racing part. To precipitate the loss of a perfectly good part is a waste. Always ask the searching questions.”

 

Before enhancing metal parts, they need visual inspection. Wear, abuse and damage are the main culprits, but they’re also checked for evidence of misalignment. After inspection they are crack-checked.

Before enhancing metal parts, they need visual inspection. Wear, abuse and damage are the main culprits, but they’re also checked for evidence of misalignment. After inspection they are crack-checked.

The key to success in enhancing race parts is finding a qualified professional with a sound understanding of the microscopic structure of metal. Provide them with all pertinent information regarding the failing part or the part most likely to fail and, if possible, provide them with its material properties. Finally, understand there is no cookie-cutter combination that will automatically enhance every part. Every part can be enhanced, but it must be considered separately.

The next step is to check the hardness of all components. This is important because a hardness comparison is needed before and after the cryogenic process.

The next step is to check the hardness of all components. This is important because a hardness comparison is needed before and after the cryogenic process.

Metallurgist Michael Pfeifer says it best, “It is important to recognize that metals are not slabs of stuff, but instead consist of various microscopic structures that can be manipulated to obtain specific properties. Engineers that are adept at selecting and controlling these microscopic structures greatly increase their chances of making superior parts.”

 

The cryogenic process entails lowering the temperature to 300°F below zero. This procedure removes internal stresses, invests the parts with longevity, resists wear and fractures, and adds stability.

The cryogenic process entails lowering the temperature to 300°F below zero. This procedure removes internal stresses, invests the parts with longevity, resists wear and fractures, and adds stability.

Generally, Liberty’s uses shot peening to improve load capacity. The thermal stabilization process is applied to improve resistance to surface fractures. Surface enhancement techniques are employed to reduce friction and cryogenics to increase resistance to wear and fractures.

With component stability assured, the shot-peen process is used to improve load capacity and to increase fatigue life. Shot peening is conducted both manually and by automated means.

With component stability assured, the shot-peen process is used to improve load capacity and to increase fatigue life. Shot peening is conducted both manually and by automated means.

Check back next week when we wrap up our examination of why parts fail and how to prevent it from happening to you.

Text by Sam Logan

Photos by Moore Good Ink

Source

Liberty’s Gears

313.278.4040

Libertysgears.com

 

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