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it gets kind of jumpy; almost like it's a bunch of random thoughts thrown in for word count.
Yours has pictures. Win!
On a gear tooth? Yes. That is the whole goal of a carburized (case hardened) gear. A hard wear surface over a ductile core. Too soft and the case can crush under load. Too hard and the tooth breaks off under shock. The depth of the case depends on how much load it will see. Ideal core hardness is HRC 32-36. (Case hardness would be HRC 58-65).Yours has pictures. Win!
On-topic, does it matter if the root is softer than the pitch line?
I can't believe someone actually READ this stuff.Hey, maybe you guys want to read some really neat stuff I wrote!
http://www.heat-treat-doctor.com/documents/Best Method for the Heat Treatment of Gears.pdf
The Pressure's On for Decreased Distortion - Gear Solutions Magazine
Heat Treating Heavy-Duty Gears - Thermal Processing
Or then again (probably) you don't! I know. This is really boring stuff.