The Problem:
A U.S.-based agricultural equipment manufacturer was looking for an affordable way to make hexagonal axles for the drive chain of harvesters, balers and mowers that use power take offs (PTOs) for powering attached implements. The design of this critical axle component required high hardness and tensile strength characteristics that are typical of expensive alloy steels, however the OEM’s production cost targets required the part to be manufactured from more affordable AISI 1040 carbon steel. The best manufacturing solution to this challenge came from a multi-step process developed by Queen City Forging.

The Solution:
The key to attaining the needed material strength was controlled steel deformation that is inherent to the forging process. Starting with rolled bar stock, which uses hot deformation and cold rolling for final dimension and hardness, QC Forge further strengthens the material by upset forging the end of the bar stock to form the structural “foot” or “head”.

Because this part of the axle engages the drive system and PTOs during operation of the farm/ag equipment, it undergoes the highest torsion and tensile stress. Controlled deformation from the upset forging process provides grain flow properties to increase directional strength where it is needed most on the axle.

After upset forging, QCF then places the part on a coining press. This cold process adds even more controlled deformation to the part and provides dimensional control for achieving the final tolerance needed to mate the axle with equipment drive systems.

The Results:
For over 15 years, Queen City Forging has cost-effectively manufactured dimensionally-accurate axle components with high strength properties, helping this equipment manufacturer to maintain competitiveness and high product reliability in the agricultural market.