What Steel/Hardness to Use on Excavator Track Rollerrs
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    Default What Steel/Hardness to Use on Excavator Track Rollerrs

    Hello All! First, thanks to all for past help. I've got my shop up and running, got CNC machine going, and doing good. Really need to change my logon name!
    I'm looking at a job for a guy who has a takeuchi excavator. The track rollers and shafts are wore out. I'm looking at making him some new ones but not sure what material to use. I'm guessing they're harder than plain low carbon HR steel. Thinking of going with something like 1040 or a chromoly. Then heat treating them to maybe Rockwell C of 35-40? Any recommendations?

    I appreciate it!

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    Pick another steel with higher carbon content. SAE1095, Harden and temper to 48 to 50 Rockwell C.
    Roger

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    Why can’t get em ? Obsolete?

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    Real BAD idea, just buy the right ones, Its like going to Home depot and not liking the price of 2x4s , so you go home plant a few trees and build a sawmill...Phil

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    Call TracksNTeeth. Chinese and Korean aftermarket parts are cheap. I'll wager you can't even buy the steel for what you can buy a ready to bolt on roller.

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    Some rollers for odd machines ,usually excavators can be pricy......common rollers such as Cat and Komatsu are cheap as .Oddly ,the carrier rollers are often the most expensive.......anyhoo ,as someone who had the idea to use track rollers for a project ,the steel is so tough even carbide wont economically turn it.......but ,draw the heat treatment ,and the rollers machine very easily.

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    In addition to your CNC machines, welders, etc, you may benefit from a hardness tester. That is something often overlooked in job shops. I have a Wilson JR tester and a Leeb type hardness tester. For general use, the Leeb is the more versatile. They all have to be used with care to get reliable results.

    Here is one I bought a few months ago and have used perhaps 50 times that seems reliable and well built.

    Portable Leeb Hardness Tester Gauge, LCD Digital Rebound Hardness Measuring Meter LS-140 Durometer Measure for Metal Steel: Amazon.com: Industrial & Scientific

    That should take the guesswork out of a question you will run into often.

    Denis
    Last edited by dgfoster; 03-10-2021 at 12:49 PM. Reason: typo

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    I have a gray market IHI excavator that some track parts aren't available cheaply for. I have built a few parts out of soft steel rems and they've held up fine for years of occasional use.

    If I had to make them for someone else I would use 4340PH.

    If you heat treat or carburize you'll be paying a batch fee and grinding ID surfaces for bearing fits. The costs can quickly escalate out of hand.

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    Thanks all for the feedback.

    rogertoolmaker - I appreciate the suggestion. I didn't think I'd have to go with that high of a carbon content and hardness. Good to know.

    Messaging with the guy, he claims he's looked all over for parts and can only find OEM parts that are $680ea and he needs 10 of them. The more I look at this though, you're all correct Costs add up fast. That actually isn't a bad price!

    dgfoster - You hit on EXACTLY what I was going to ask about next, what's a good general hardness tester! I'll look at your link. I really do need one! Its been on the list and I need to get it. I'm an engineer by trade so I like numbers, metrics, etc. Thanks!

    I'll check out the links some of you sent to see if they have the parts cheap.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Garwood View Post
    I have a gray market IHI excavator that some track parts aren't available cheaply for. I have built a few parts out of soft steel rems and they've held up fine for years of occasional use.

    If I had to make them for someone else I would use 4340PH.

    If you heat treat or carburize you'll be paying a batch fee and grinding ID surfaces for bearing fits. The costs can quickly escalate out of hand.
    Thanks for the recommendation! I was thinking something like this for material. Would you do 48-50 Rockwell-C as well?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amateur_Machiner View Post
    T Would you do 48-50 Rockwell-C as well?
    You can do cos they need to be hard, BOTOH don't forget about the getting for bearing fits !!!!

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    if you look them up somewhere you will probably find they are 50mn2 50-56 hrc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amateur_Machiner View Post
    Thanks all for the feedback.

    rogertoolmaker - I appreciate the suggestion. I didn't think I'd have to go with that high of a carbon content and hardness. Good to know.

    Messaging with the guy, he claims he's looked all over for parts and can only find OEM parts that are $680ea and he needs 10 of them. The more I look at this though, you're all correct Costs add up fast. That actually isn't a bad price!

    dgfoster - You hit on EXACTLY what I was going to ask about next, what's a good general hardness tester! I'll look at your link. I really do need one! Its been on the list and I need to get it. I'm an engineer by trade so I like numbers, metrics, etc. Thanks!

    I'll check out the links some of you sent to see if they have the parts cheap.

    Run forest run that isn’t an outrages price for rollers. Unless it’s a tiny little thing
    One old trick was to roll them in a water bath and use weld to build up the surface and flanges.
    Then remachined
    That was done more with the ones you could take apart.
    But is an option if it was run on a slope where the flanges are worn on one side

    Shot under carriage is one of the reasons they get scrapped

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    I can give one bit of valuable advice......do not offer any form of warranty on your home made rollers.....in fact ,expressly exclude it......Ive seen engineer made rollers for a weird brand tiddler...Stanley? or some pos like that fail en masse in a week......Incidentally track components are routinely built up with auto sub arc weld ....but the process in uneconomic under D9 size rollers ,idlers and track links......Rollers and idlers are hooked up to flow water thru the lubricant spaces for cooling.....no dismantling is done.

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    Thats a pretty ridiculous price, typical bastard OEM pricing. I just put an undercarriage on a 20 tonne machine, so quite a bit larger than your machine. 16 rollers at $170.62 each, ready to bolt on. Tell your customer to either bend over, or to get his tape measure out and find something else that will work.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amateur_Machiner View Post
    Thanks all for the feedback.

    dgfoster - You hit on EXACTLY what I was going to ask about next, what's a good general hardness tester! I'll look at your link. I really do need one! Its been on the list and I need to get it. I'm an engineer by trade so I like numbers, metrics, etc. Thanks!

    .
    I think the basic physics of Leeb’s design is really elegant. But, it also means the user has to pay attention to making sure the mass of the part at the point of testing is great enough to make the hardness of the part (and not the compliance or springiness of that area) is the primary determinant of of the speed of rebound of the impactor. This is not usually a problem, but it bears attention. The minimums are outlined in the documentation provided and a calibrated, hardened, and polished anvil is supplied to provide backing for lighter parts and to occasionally check to make sure the readout agrees with the known hardness of the anvil.
    The fact that the tester can be oriented from vertical at 0, 45, 90, 135, and 180 degrees is very handy.

    Denis
    Last edited by dgfoster; 03-11-2021 at 09:54 AM. Reason: Typo

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    G bent is quite right ....if your machine has a common track ,parts are cheap .....in fact the first criteria when buying a machine should be "Does it use common track?" And it begs the question "Why isnt track standardized?".....but the fact is that most excavators use their own track .

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    Quote Originally Posted by Limy Sami View Post
    You can do cos they need to be hard, BOTOH don't forget about the getting for bearing fits !!!!
    Ok, I'm behind on my acroyms. COS? BOTOH? For bearing fit, I'm assuming you're referring to using the proper fitting grade (e.g. an h or H fit for shaft and housing for a nominal fit based on bearing charts) Correct?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Amateur_Machiner View Post
    Ok, I'm behind on my acroyms. COS? BOTOH? For bearing fit, I'm assuming you're referring to using the proper fitting grade (e.g. an h or H fit for shaft and housing for a nominal fit based on bearing charts) Correct?
    Cos - British for Cuz which is slang for because.

    BOTOH - But On The Other Hand

    You gotta speak Sami.

    Once you learn Sami, you can try for learning Thermite.

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    I have done a lot of rollers and idlers over the last few decades. I served my apprenticeship at a cat dealer.
    There is a lot of engineering that goes into undercarriage. You have compression, impact, side loading, steel to steel wear, steel to earth wear etc.
    It's going to be very difficult to heat treat the track surface and not have the flanges so hard or soft they don't instantly fail.
    If absolutely not available the best way is to select a tough but ductile base material then put a layer of hard facing on the track surface and inside of the flange. Depending on the soil conditions and use will dictate what hard facing to use. Stoody 1105 is good for something like mining shovels and excavators as they don't see a lot of wear from materials its almost all metal to metal.
    A manganese hard facing is good if you are looking at a area with sand and sharp silica.
    Sorry for not being able to give you specifics but you don't give enough info.
    But I agree with Phil if you're customer wants something that will hold up and last its far cheaper to just buy new ones.


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