This paper reports on study of laser texturing assisted abrasive flow finishing (LT-AFF) process of the hobbed spur gear (HSG) to further improve their microgeometry, surface finish, micohardness, microstructure, wear resistance, and material removal rate (MRR) as compared to AFF process. Preliminary experiments were conducted to identify optimum values of power and focal length of the continuous fiber laser of 1064-nm wavelength, and number of passes for laser texturing of the HSG made of 20MnCr5 alloy steel. Identified optimum values were used to produce homothetic texture on flank surfaces of HSG in a direction perpendicular to the lay profile generated by hobbing. Influence of laser texturing was studied by comparing deviations in microgeometry, average and maximum surface roughness values, microhardness, wear resistance, and MRR of HSG directly finished by AFF and laser-textured hobbed spur gears (LTHSG) finished by AFF. Previously optimized value of viscosity of AFF medium was used during finishing of HSG and LTHSG. Deviations in total profile, total lead and total pitch, and radial runout were used to indicate deviation in microgeometry of the spur gears. Results reveal that AFF of LTHSG reduced surface roughness and errors in microgeometry and improved microhardness, microstructure, wear resistance, and MRR than direct of AFF of HSG. Improved microgeometry and surface quality of spur gears will lead to their increased operating performance and service life thus reducing their running noise and vibrations and preventing their premature and failures. This research proves that productivity of AFF process can be improved significantly by laser texturing for finishing the spur gears.
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