This paper presents experimental and numerical results for the quench of a gear blank in agitated and stagnant oil. Temperatures within the gear blank are determined with a whole domain-optimizer technique inverse solution method, to calculate the time history at every point in the gear blank. The development of this procedure represents the first stage in an overall analysis of the quench process that will later include material phase transformations and deformation.

The paper presents ten variations in setting up the inverse problem, to analyze which combination of independent variables and decision variables results in the best match between experimental and numerical results. The results indicate that dividing the boundary of the gear blank into four zones and assigning a fixed heat transfer coefficient or heat flux to each zone yields an average RMS error (average difference between experimental and numerical results) of the order of 40 K. This error can be reduced by either increasing the number of zones, by reducing the number of thermocouples being matched, or by allowing the heat transfer or heat flux to vary within the zones. Of these possibilities, variation of heat transfer within the zones gives the best improvement in the quality of the match for the amount of extra computational effort required to run the problem.

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