Heat Treatment of Japanese Automotive Bearing Races

Bluewater Thermal Solutions can meet the most demanding requirements for dimensional tolerances and metallurgical specifications. One example is bearing races being carburized, hardened and tempered for a major Japanese automotive supplier. These bearing races have stringent requirements for dimensional tolerances that must be maintained to ensure proper fit and function. They also have demanding metallurgical requirements for the case and core microstructure, carbon content, and hardness profiles. These metallurgical properties are tailored to optimize wear resistance, toughness/ductility and fatigue life in order to prevent failures in service.


Prior to commencing production, Bluewater’s metallurgical experts met with the customer’s design engineers in order to develop a thorough understanding of the parts and requirements. These cooperative consultations are a critical element to success as it guarantees that all requirements are communicated clearly and all parties involved are working together towards a clear goal.

Once the requirements were understood, Bluewater Thermal Solutions decided that a dedicated furnace was needed to meet the special requirements for these parts. A continuous mesh belt furnace was commissioned for this business. Customized process parameters along with a special marquenching procedure were developed jointly by the Bluewater and customer’s metallurgical team in order to develop the desired surface carbon concentrations, hardness gradients and core properties. The dedicated furnace being utilized for these bearing races processes only these parts as it has been custom configured to treat these bearing races using the engineered thermal solution designed by the team.

Bluewater offers the metallurgical and heat treatment expertise necessary to meet the toughest requirements in the industry on demanding components such as automotive bearings races. Bluewater has many locations that operate dedicated and specialized equipment for components that cannot be treated in conventional furnaces.