Effect of Heat Treatment on High Temperature Fatigue Strength Characteristics of STB2 Bearing Steel

STB2강의 고온피로강도 특성에 미치는 열처리의 영향

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It has been very important in various industry fields to improve the fatigue strength characteristics of bearings such as bearing life, fatigue limit, etc., because such poor properties could result in shortening the machinery life as well as in decreasing the accuracy. However, no successful heat treatment criterion seems to be available at present. In this study, the effect of the $170^{\circ}C\times120min$ tempering cycles repeated after $380^{\circ}C\times80min$ oil quenching for $800^{\circ}C$ spheroidizing-annealed bearing steel (STB2) as base metal on the $120^{\circ}C$ high temperature rotary bending fatigue strength characteristics were investigated, including the effects on hardness, Charpy impact value and micro-structure, in order to seek for the best heat treatment condition finally. The important results obtained are as follows : 1) The optimal cycle of tempering so that the fatigue strength .sigma. could become the highest was the 4th cycle. And it is confirmed that this $\sigma_{F}$ is about 6 times more increased than that of base metal, and about 1.3 times more increased than the case of the 1 cycle tempered. 2) As a result of the investigation for the effects of tempering cycles on hardness, the hardness at the tempering number of 2 thru 5 cyles was not decreased severely ; only about 10% decrease from those of the quenched and 1 cycle tempered case. Such hardness is equivalent to $H_{R}$/C61-62 with no bad effect on anti-abrasion of bearing steel. 3) In the case of 2 thru 5 cycle tempering as well as 1 cycle tempering, the impact value was not so improved comparing with the case of quenching, but an increase of 5 to 10% could be expected at least. 4) It was experimentally confirmed that the control of the mechanical properties improvement such as fatigue strength and fatigue life for bearing steels could be possible by the number of tempering cycles.