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A best practice in gear design is to limit the amount of backlash to a minimum value needed to accommodate manufacturing tolerances, misalignments, and deflections, in order to prevent the non-driving side of the teeth to make contact and rattle. Industry standards, such as ANSI/AGMA 2002 and DIN3967, provide reference values of minimum backlash to be used in the gear design. However, increased customers’ expectations in vehicle noise eduction have pushed backlash and allowable manufacturing tolerances to even lower limits. This is especially true in the truck market, where engines are quieter because they run at lower speeds to improve fuel economy, but they quite often run at high torsional vibration levels. Furthermore, gear and shaft arrangements in truck transmissions have become more complex due to increased number of speeds and to improve efficiency. Determining the minimum amount of backlash is quite a challenge. This paper presents an investigation of minimum backlash values of helical gear teeth applied to a light-duty pickup truck transmission. An analytical model was developed to calculate backlash limits of each gear pair when not transmitting load, and thus susceptible to generate rattle noise, through different transmission power paths. A statistical approach (Monte Carlo) was used since a significant number of factors affect backlash, such as tooth thickness variation; center distance variation; lead; runout and pitch variations; bearing clearances; spline clearances; and shaft deflections and misalignments. Analytical results identified the critical gear pair, and power path, which was confirmed experimentally on a transmission. The approach presented in this paper can be useful to design gear pairs with a minimum amount of backlash, to prevent double flank contact and to help reduce rattle noise to lowest levels.
simplified equations for backlash and roll test center distance are derived. Unknown errors in measured tooth thickness are investigate. Master gear design is outlined, and an alternative to the master gear method is described. Defects in the test radius method are enumerated. Procedures for calculating backlash and for preventing significant errors in measurement are presented.
In this installment of Ask the Expert, Dr. Stadtfeld describes the best methods for measuring backlash in bevel gears.
I would appreciate if you could assist with a gear failure (occurring) after just seven weeks in service, post installation. This driving gear wheel has been installed in a medium-speed engine with backlash present at four different positions; with additional backlash checked on the mating surfaces. All backlash was found within (OEM)-recommended values. Please note included photos — it seems that the crack has started at the root fillet. Any comments would be appreciated.
In terms of the tooth thickness, should we use the formulation with respect to normal or transverse coordinate system? When normalizing this thickness in order to normalize the backlash (backlash parameter), we should divide by the circular pitch. Thus, when normalizing, should this circular pitch be defined in the normal or traverse coordinate system, depending on which formulation has been used? Is the backlash parameter always defined with respect to the tangential plane or normal plane for helical gears?
The first commandment for gears reads "Gears must have backlash!" When gear teeth are operated without adequate backlash, any of several problems may occur, some of which may lead to disaster. As the teeth try to force their way through mesh, excessive separating forces are created which may cause bearing failures. These same forces also produce a wedging action between the teeth with resulting high loads on the teeth. Such loads often lead to pitting and to other failures related to surface fatigue, and in some cases, bending failures.
Our experts comment on reverse engineering herringbone gears and contact pattern optimization.
Question: In the January/February issue of your magazine, we came across the term "electronic gearbox." We have seen this term used elsewhere as well. We understand that this EGB eliminates the change gear in the transmission line, but not how exactly this is done. Could you explain in more detail?
Introducing backlash into spline couplings has been common practice in order to provide for component eccentric and angular misalignment. The method presented here is believed to be exact for splines with even numbers of teeth and approximate for those with odd numbers of teeth. This method is based on the reduction of the maximum effective tooth thickness to achieve the necessary clearance. Other methods, such as tooth crowning, are also effective.
Bevel gears must be assembled in a specific way to ensure smooth running and optimum load distribution between gears. While it is certainly true that the "setting" or "laying out" of a pair of bevel gears is more complicated than laying out a pair of spur gears, it is also true that following the correct procedure can make the task much easier. You cannot install bevel gears in the same manner as spur and helical gears and expect them to behave and perform as well; to optimize the performance of any two bevel gears, the gears must be positioned together so that they run smoothly without binding and/or excessive backlash.
The question is quite broad, as there are different methods for setting various types of gears and complexity of gear assemblies, but all gears have a few things in common.
Part I of this paper describes the theory behind double-flank composite inspection, detailing the apparatus used, the various measurements that can be achieved using it, the calculations involved and their interpretation. Part II, which will appear in the next issue, includes a discussion of the practical application of double-flank composite inspection, especially for large-volume operations. Part II covers statistical techniques that can be used in conjunction with double-flank composite inspection, as well as an in-depth analysis of gage R&R for this technique.
Several articles have appeared in this publication in recent years dealing with the principles and ways in which the inspection of gears can be carried out, but these have dealt chiefly with spur, helical and bevel gearing, whereas worm gearing, while sharing certain common features, also requires an emphasis in certain areas that cause it to stand apart. For example, while worm gears transmit motion between nonparallel shafts, as do bevel and hypoid gears, they usually incorporate much higher ratios and are used in applications for which bevel would not be considered, including drives for rotary and indexing tables in machine tools, where close tolerance of positioning and backlash elimination are critical, and in situations where accuracy of pitch and profile are necessary for uniform transmission at speed, such as elevators, turbine governor drives and speed increasers, where worm gears can operate at up to 24,000 rpm.
Top Secret Code Name: Ginger Mission: Design, prototype and test a transmission for a new device. The transmission must be compact and efficient. It should have almost no backlash, and it must be able to operate in both forward and reverse. Most importantly, the transmission must be quiet. In fact, it shouldn't sound like a transmission at all. It should blend in with the environment and sound like music or the wind. This mission, should you choose to accept it, is top secret. Not even your employees can know what you're working on...
Runout is a troublemaker! Good shop practice for the manufacture or inspection of gears requires the control of runout. Runout is a characteristic of gear quality that results in an effective center distance variation. As long as the runout doesn't cause loss of backlash, it won't hurt the function of the gear, which is to transmit smooth motion under load from one shaft to another. However, runout does result in accumulated pitch variation, and this causes non-uniform motion, which does affect the function of the gears. Runout is a radial phenomenon, while accumulated pitch variation is a tangential characteristic that causes transmission error. Gears function tangentially. It is also possible to have a gear with accumulated pitch variation, but little or no runout.
The art of gear hobbing has advanced dramatically since the development and introduction of unique machine and tool features such as no backlash, super rigidity, automatic loading of cutting tools, CNC controls, additional machine power and improved cutter materials and coatings. It is essential to utilize all these features to run the machine economically.
Advancements in machining and assembly techniques of thermoplastic gearing along with new design data has lead to increased useage of polymeric materials. information on state of the art methods in fabrication of plastic gearing is presented and the importance of a proper backlash allowance at installation is discussed. Under controlled conditions, cast nylon gears show 8-14 dBA. lower noise level than three other gear materials tested.
Conical involute gears (beveloids) are used in transmissions with intersecting or skewed axes and for backlash-free transmissions with parallel axes.
News Items About backlash
1 Frenco Adds Gage for Measuring Splines to Produce A Circumferential Backlash Measuring Instrument (April 16, 2005)
Frenco has expanded its product line by starting to produce a circumferential backlash measuring instrument. According to its press r... Read News
2 Sterling Instruments Anti-Backlash Gears Eliminate Marred Shafts (March 10, 2006)
A new series of 1158 anti-backlash gears manufactured by Sterling Instruments feature the Fairloc integral hub fastening system, which el... Read News
3 Low Inertia, Zero-Backlash Gear Designed for Timing Critical Application (August 5, 2010)
Intech Corporation was approached by a customer with a dilemma involving a new machine for corrugating paper products. The customer was a... Read News
4 Suhner Spiral Bevel Gears Offer High Power, Low Backlash and Low Noise (August 21, 2015)
Each year, increased engine and motor power require more powerful angle gear heads. Engineers in the tool-making and industrial hand too... Read News