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Columbus' first voyage to the Americas is not the only anniversary worthy of celebration this year. In 1892, on October 15, Wilfred Lewis gave an address to the Engineer's Club of Philadelphia, whose significance, while not as great as that of Columbus' voyage, had important results for the gearing community. In this address, Lewis first publicly outlined his formula for computing bending stress in gear teeth, a formula still in use today.
Bending stress evaluation in modern gear design is generally based on the more-than-one-hundred-year-old Lewis equation.
Rules and Formula for worm gears, bevel gears and strength of gear teeth.
To mechanical engineers, the strength of gear teeth is a question of constant recurrence, and although the problem to be solved is quite elementary in character, probably no other question could be raised upon which such a diversity of opinion exists, and in support of which such an array of rules and authorities might be quoted. In 1879, Mr. John H. Cooper, the author of a well-known work on "Belting," made an examination of the subject and found there were then in existence about forty-eight well-established rules for horsepower and working strength, sanctioned by some twenty-four authorities, and differing from each other in extreme causes of 500%. Since then, a number of new rules have been added, but as no rules have been given which take account of the actual tooth forms in common use, and as no attempt has been made to include in any formula the working stress on the material so that the engineer may see at once upon what assumption a given result is based, I trust I may be pardoned for suggesting that a further investigation is necessary or desirable.
The geometry factor, which is a fundamental part of the AGMA strength rating of gears, is currently computed using the Lewis parabola which allows computation of the Lewis form factor.(1) The geometry factor is obtained from this Lewis factor and load sharing ratio. This method, which originally required graphical construction methods and more recently has been computerized, works reasonably well for external gears with thick rims.(2-6) However, when thin rims are encountered or when evaluating the strength of internal gears, the AGMA method cannot be used.
The NASA Lewis Research Center investigated the effect of tooth profile on the acoustic behavior of spur gears through experimental techniques. The tests were conducted by Cleveland State University (CSU) in NASA Lewis' spur gear testing apparatus. Acoustic intensity (AI) measurements of the apparatus were obtained using a Robotic Acoustic Intensity Measurement System (RAIMS). This system was developed by CSU for NASA to evaluate the usefulness of a highly automated acoustic intensity measurement tool in the reverberant environment of gear transmission test cells.
In Part I differences in pitting ratings between AGMA 218, the draft ISO standard 6336, and BS 436:1986 were examined. In this part bending strength ratings are compared. All the standards base the bending strength on the Lewis equation; the ratings differ in the use and number of modification factors. A comprehensive design survey is carried out to examine practical differences between the rating methods presented in the standards, and the results are shown in graphical form.