Tech tip: Case hardening vs. through hardening truck bearing components
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Tech tip: Case hardening vs. through hardening truck bearing components

Sponsored by Bower Heavy Duty Bearings by NTN


Do you ever lie awake at night thinking about how to harden steel to the required level for bearing components? I know I do. And that got me thinking of how important it is for a fleet manager to know the differences between through hardening and case hardening.

Iron mix needs a certain amount of carbon to harden steel, and carbon dissolves in molten iron just as sugar dissolves in coffee. When it comes to through hardening steel, a high level of carbon is added to the iron mix. The term “through hardened” comes from when a component is heat treated, it becomes hard all the way through from the surface to the core.

Steel components hardened through this process can be brittle and fracture under impact or shock loads, which means that through-hardened steel might not stand up to tough trucking challenges.

So what about case hardening for steel components?

Case hardening, or carburizing, is the process of hardening just the surface part of steel. Fun fact: It was developed when the tapered roller was introduced, and makers of tapered roller bearings saw the need to lessen the issue of brittleness and possible fracture.

That’s pretty smart, just like the folks over at Bower. In fact, every premium Bower bearing is case hardened for optimal performance. So no need to worry about brittleness or possible fracture. That’s the power of Bower!

This technical tip was sponsored by Bower Heavy Duty Bearings by NTN.

Fleet Equipment Magazine