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Gear-loaded tooth contact analysis is an important tool for the design and analysis of gear performance within transmission and driveline systems. Methods for the calculation of tooth contact conditions have been discussed in the literature for many years. It's possible the method you've been using is underestimating transmission error in helical gears. Here's why.
How does one perform a contact analysis for worn gears? Our expert responds.
The complete and accurate solution t the contact problem of three-dimensional gears has been, for the past several decades, one of the more sought after, albeit elusive goals in the engineering community. Even the arrival on the scene in the mid-seventies of finite element techniques failed to produce the solution to any but the most simple gear contact problems.
Analysis of helical involute gears by tooth contact analysis shows that such gears are very sensitive to angular misalignment leading to edge contact and the potential for high vibration. A new topology of tooth surfaces of helical gears that enables a favorable bearing contact and a reduced level of vibration is described. Methods for grinding helical gears with the new topology are proposed. A TCA program simulating the meshing and contact of helical gears with the new topology has been developed. Numerical examples that illustrate the proposed ideas are discussed.
Tooth contact under load is an important verification of the real contact conditions of a gear pair and an important add-on to the strength calculation according to standards such as ISO, AGMA or DIN. The contact analysis simulates the meshing of the two flanks over the complete meshing cycle and is therefore able to consider individual modifications on the flank at each meshing position.
The development of a new gear strength computer program based upon the finite element method, provides a better way to calculate stresses in bevel and hypoid gear teeth. The program incorporates tooth surface geometry and axle deflection data to establish a direct relationship between fillet bending stress, subsurface shear stress, and applied gear torque. Using existing software links to other gear analysis programs allows the gear engineer to evaluate the strength performance of existing and new gear designs as a function of tooth contact pattern shape, position and axle deflection characteristics. This approach provides a better understanding of how gears react under load to subtle changes in the appearance of the no load tooth contact pattern.
An analytical method is presented to predict the shifts of the contact ellipses on spiral bevel gear teeth under load. The contact ellipse shift is the motion of the point to its location under load. The shifts are due to the elastic motions of the gear and pinion supporting shafts and bearings. The calculations include the elastic deflections of the gear shafts and the deflections of the four shaft bearings. The method assumes that the surface curvature of each tooth is constant near the unloaded pitch point. Results from these calculations will help designers reduce transmission weight without seriously reducing transmission performance.
This article is part four of an eight-part series on the tribology aspects of angular gear drives. Each article will be presented first and exclusively by Gear Technology, but the entire series will be included in Dr. Stadtfeld’s upcoming book on the subject, which is scheduled for release in 2011.
In the majority of spiral bevel gears, spherical crowning is used. The contact pattern is set to the center of the active tooth flank and the extent of the crowning is determined by experience. Feedback from service, as well as from full-torque bench tests of complete gear drives, has shown that this conventional design practice leads to loaded contact patterns, which are rarely optimal in location and extent. Oversized reliefs lead to small contact area, increased stresses and noise, whereas undersized reliefs result in an overly sensitive tooth contact.
This article describes a method of obtaining gear tooth profiles from the geometry of the rack (or hob) that is used to generate the gear. This method works for arbitrary rack geometries, including the case when only a numerical description of the rack is available. Examples of a simple rack, rack with protuberances and a hob with root chamfer are described. The application of this technique to the generation of boundary element meshes for gear tooth strength calculation and the generation of finite element models for the frictional contact analysis of gear pairs is also described.
The face load factor is one of the most important items for a gear strength calculation. Current standards propose formulae for face load factor, but they are not always appropriate. AGMA 927 proposes a simpler and quicker algorithm that doesn't require a contact analysis calculation. This paper explains how this algorithm can be applied for gear rating procedures.
This paper demonstrates an application of the tooth interior fatigue fracture (TIFF) analysis method, as implemented in SMT's MASTA software, in which loaded tooth contact analysis (LTCA) results from a specialized 3-D contact model have been utilized to determine the load boundary conditions for analysis of tooth flank fracture (TFF).
If a gear system is run continuously for long periods of time—or if the starting loads are very low and within the normal operating spectrum—the effect of the start-up conditions may often be insignificant in the determination of the life of the gear system. Conversely, if the starting load is significantly higher than any of the normal operating conditions, and the gear system is started and stopped frequently, the start-up load may, depending on its magnitude and frequency, actually be the overriding, limiting design condition.
Micropitting has become a major concern in certain classes of industrial gear applications, especially wind power and other relatively highly loaded, somewhat slow-speed applications, where carburized gears are used to facilitate maximum load capacity in a compact package. While by itself the appearance of micropitting does not generally cause much perturbation in the overall operation of a gear system, the ultimate consequences of a micropitting failure can, and frequently are, much more catastrophic.
"General Explanations on Theoretical Bevel Gear Analysis" is part 1 of an eight-part series from Gleason's Dr. Hermann Stadtfeld.
A study was performed to evaluate fault detection effectiveness as applied to gear-tooth pitting-fatigue damage. Vibration and oil-debris monitoring (ODM) data were gathered from 24 sets of spur pinion and face gears run during a previous endurance evaluation study.
Gear engineers have long recognized the importance of considering system factors when analyzing a single pair of gears in mesh. These factors include important considerations such as load sharing in multi-mesh geartrains and bearing clearances, in addition to the effects of flexible components such as housings, gear blanks, shafts and carriers for planetary geartrains. However, in recent years, transmission systems have become increasingly complex—with higher numbers of gears and components—while the quality requirements and expectations in terms of durability, gear whine, rattle and efficiency have increased accordingly.
Why is there so much emphasis on the tooth contact pattern for bevel gears in the assembled condition and not so for cylindrical gears, etc?
Our experts comment on reverse engineering herringbone gears and contact pattern optimization.
An experimental and theoretical analysis of worm gear sets with contact patterns of differing sizes, position and flank type for new approaches to calculation of pitting resistance.
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.
This article describes some of the most important tests for prototypes conducted at Winergy AG during the product development process. It will demonstrate that the measurement results on the test rig for load distribution are in accordance with the turbine measurements.
Would you like to be able to see the condition of the gears in your transmissions without having to open the box and physically examine them? There is a way, and not too many people know about it. It's called Wear Particle Analysis, or ferrography, and it is just starting to get noticed.
"Gear Train" is a new Gear Technology section focusing on training and education in the gear industry. For the first installment, we've focused on AGMA's online and video training programs.
This paper will provide examples of stress levels from conventional root design using a hob and stress levels using an optimized root design that is now possible with PM manufacturing. The paper will also investigate how PM can reduce stresses in the root from transient loads generated by abusive driving.
Historically, wind turbine gearbox failures have plagued the industry. Yet an effective oil analysis program will increase the reliability and availability of your machinery, while minimizing maintenance costs associated with oil change-outs, labor, repairs and downtime. Practical action steps are presented here to improve reliability.
This paper addresses the lubrication of helical gears — especially those factors influencing lubricant film thickness and pressure. Contact between gear teeth is protected by the elastohydrodynamic lubrication (EHL) mechanism that occurs between nonconforming contact when pressure is high enough to cause large increases in lubricant viscosity due to the pressure-viscosity effect, and changes of component shape due to elastic deflection. Acting together, these effects lead to oil films that are stiff enough to separate the contacting surfaces and thus prevent significant metal-to-metal contact occurring in a well-designed gear pair.
Optimizing the running behavior of bevel and hypoid gears means improving both noise behavior and load carrying capacity. Since load deflections change the relative position of pinion and ring gear, the position of the contact pattern will depend on the torque. Different contact positions require local 3-D flank form optimizations for improving a gear set.
The present article contains a preliminary description of studies carried out by the authors with a view toward developing asymmetrical gear teeth. Then a comparison between numerous symmetrical and asymmetrical tooth stress fields under the same modular conditions follows. This leads to the formulation of a rule for similar modules governing variations of stress fields, depending on the pressure angle of the nonactive side. Finally a procedure allowing for calculations for percentage reductions of asymmetrical tooth modules with respect to corresponding symmetrical teeth, maximum ideal stress being equal, is proposed. Then the consequent reductions in size and weight of asymmetrical teeth are assessed.
Photography is an essential part of gear failure analysis. It not only provides a fast, convenient way to accurately document the appearance of gear failure, but also is an effective diagnostic tool because the magnification obtained through photographic enlargement and slide projection often discloses evidence that may have been missed if the gears were not photographed.
Recent advances in spiral bevel gear geometry and finite element technology make it practical to conduct a structural analysis and analytically roll the gear set through mesh. With the advent of user-specific programming linked to 3-D solid modelers and mesh generators, model generation has become greatly automated. Contact algorithms available in general purpose finite element codes eliminate the need for the use and alignment of gap elements. Once the gear set it placed in mesh, user subroutines attached to the FE code easily roll it through mesh. The method is described in detail. Preliminary result for a gear set segment showing the progression of the contact line load is given as the gears roll through mesh.
This article illustrates a structural analysis of asymmetrical teeth. This study was carried out because of the impossibility of applying traditional calculations to procedures involved in the specific case. In particular, software for the automatic generation of meshes was devised because existing software does not produce results suitable for the new geometrical model required. Having carried out the structural calculations, a comparative study of the stress fields of symmetrical and asymmetrical teeth was carried out. The structural advantages of the latter type of teeth emerged.
We need a method to analyze cumulative fatigue damage to specify and to design gear drives which will operate under varying load. Since load is seldom constant, most applications need this analysis.
In a modern truck, the gear teeth are among the most stressed parts. Failure of a tooth will damage the transmission severely. Throughout the years, gear design experience has been gained and collected into standards such as DIN (Ref. 1) or AGMA (Ref. 2). Traditionally two types of failures are considered in gear design: tooth root bending fatigue, and contact fatigue. The demands for lighter and more silent transmissions have given birth to new failure types. One novel failure type, Tooth Interior Fatigue Fracture (TIFF), has previously been described by MackAldener and Olsson (Refs. 3 & 4) and is further explored in this paper.
An offshore jack-up drilling rig is a barge upon which a drilling platform is placed. The barge has legs that can be lowered to the sea floor to support the rig. Then the barge can be “jacked up” out of the water, providing a stable work platform from which to drill for oil and gas. Jack-up drilling rigs were first introduced in the late 1950s. Rack-and- pinion-type jack-up units were introduced soon after that and have dominated the industry ever since.
This article summarizes results of research programs on RCF strength of wrought steels and PM steels.
This paper deals with analysis of the load sharing percentage between teeth in mesh for different load conditions throughout the profile for both sun and planet gears of normal and HCR gearing—using finite element analysis. (FEA).
One of the most effective methods in solving the edge loading problem due to excess misalignment and deflection in aerospace actuation gearing is to localize tooth-bearing contact by crowning the teeth. Irrespective of the applied load, if the misalignment and/or deflection are large enough to cause the contact area to reduce to zero, the stress becomes large enough to cause failure. The edge loading could cause the teeth to break or pit, but too much crowning may also cause the teeth to pit due to concentrated loading. In this paper, a proposed method to localize the contact bearing area and calculate the contact stress with crowning is presented and demonstrated on some real-life examples in aerospace actuation systems.
Gears with an asymmetric involute gear tooth form were analyzed to determine their bending and contact stresses relative to symmetric involute gear tooth designs, which are representative of helicopter main-drive gears.
This is part II of a two-part paper that presents the results of extensive test programs on the RCF strength of PM steels.
This paper will demonstrate that, unlike commonly used low-contact-ratio spur gears, high-contact-ratio spur gears can provide higher power-to-weight ratio, and can also achieve smoother running with lower transmission error (TE) variations.
As is well known in involute gearing, “perfect” involute gears never work perfectly in the real world. Flank modifications are often made to overcome the influences of errors coming from manufacturing and assembly processes as well as deflections of the system. The same discipline applies to hypoid gears.
The manufacturing quality of spiral bevel gears has achieved a very high standard. Nevertheless, the understanding of the real stress conditions and the influences. of certain parameters is not satisfactory.
After a period of operation, high-speed turbo gears may exhibit a change in longitudinal tooth contact pattern, reducing full face width contact and thereby increasing risk of tooth distress due to the decreased loaded area of the teeth. But this can be tricky—the phenomenon may or may not occur. Or, in some units the shift is more severe than others, with documented cases in which shifting occurred after as little as 16,000 hours of operation. In other cases, there is no evidence of any change for units in operation for more than 170,000 hours. This condition exists primarily in helical gears. All recorded observations here have been with case-carburized and ground gear sets. This presentation describes phenomena observed in a limited sampling of the countless high-speed gear units in field operation. While the authors found no existing literature describing this behavior, further investigation suggests a possible cause. Left unchecked and without corrective action, this occurrence may result in tooth breakage.
Traditionally, gear rating procedures consider manufacturing accuracy in the application of the dynamic factor, but only indirectly through the load distribution are such errors in the calculation of stresses used in the durability and gear strength equations. This paper discusses how accuracy affects the calculation of stresses and then uses both statistical design of experiments and Monte Carlo simulation techniques to quantify the effects of different manufacturing and assembly errors on root and contact stresses.
In high precision and heavily loaded spur gears, the effect of gear error is negligible, so the periodic variation of tooth stiffness is the principal cause of noise and vibration. High contact ration spur gears can be used to exclude or reduce the variation of tooth stiffness.
With the publishing of various ISO draft standards relating to gear rating procedures, there has been much discussion in technical papers concerning the various load modification factors. One of the most basic of parameters affecting the rating of gears, namely the endurance limit for either contact or bending stress, has not, however, attracted a great deal of attention.
A major source of helicopter cabin noise (which has been measured at over 100 decibels sound pressure level) is the gearbox. Reduction of this noise is a NASA and U.S. Army goal. A requirement for the Army/NASA Advanced Rotorcraft Transmission project was a 10 dB noise reduction compared to current designs.
Austempered irons and steels offer the design engineer alternatives to conventional material/process combinations. Depending on the material and the application, austempering may provide the producers of gear and shafts with the following benefits: ease of manufacturing, increased bending and/or contact fatigue strength, better wear resistance or enhanced dampening characteristics resulting in lower noise. Austempered materials have been used to improve the performance of gears and shafts in many applications in a wide range of industries.
A very important parameter when designing a gear pair is the maximum surface contact stress that exists between two gear teeth in mesh, as it affects surface fatigue (namely, pitting and wear) along with gear mesh losses. A lot of attention has been targeted to the determination of the maximum contact stress between gear teeth in mesh, resulting in many "different" formulas. Moreover, each of those formulas is applicable to a particular class of gears (e.g., hypoid, worm, spiroid, spiral bevel, or cylindrical - spur and helical). More recently, FEM (the finite element method) has been introduced to evaluate the contact stress between gear teeth. Presented below is a single methodology for evaluating the maximum contact stress that exists between gear teeth in mesh. The approach is independent of the gear tooth geometry (involute or cycloid) and valid for any gear type (i.e., hypoid, worm, spiroid, bevel and cylindrical).
The traditional way of controlling the quality of hypoid gears' tooth flank form is to check the tooth flank contact patterns. But it is not easy to exactly judge the tooth flank form quality by the contact pattern. In recent years, it has become possible to accurately measure the tooth flank form of hypoid gears by the point-to-point measuring method and the scanning measuring method. But the uses of measured data of the tooth flank form for hypoid gears have not yet been well developed in comparison with cylindrical involute gears. In this paper, the tooth flank form measurement of generated face-milled gears, face-hobbed gears and formulate/generated gears are reported. The authors discuss the advantages and disadvantages of scanning and point-to-point measuring of 3-D tooth flank forms of hypoid gears and introduce some examples of uses of measured data for high-quality production and performance prediction.
In recent years, gear inspection requirements have changed considerably, but inspection methods have barely kept pace. The gap is especially noticeable in bevel gears, whose geometry has always made testing them a complicated, expensive and time-consuming process. Present roll test methods for determining flank form and quality of gear sets are hardly applicable to bevel gears at all, and the time, expense and sophistication required for coordinate measurement has limited its use to gear development, with only sampling occurring during production.
In some gear dynamic models, the effect of tooth flexibility is ignored when the model determines which pairs of teeth are in contact. Deflection of loaded teeth is not introduced until the equations of motion are solved. This means the zone of tooth contact and average tooth meshing stiffness are underestimated, and the individual tooth load is overstated, especially for heavily loaded gears. This article compares the static transmission error and dynamic load of heavily loaded, low-contact-ratio spur gears when the effect of tooth flexibility has been considered and when it has been ignored. Neglecting the effect yields an underestimate of resonance speeds and an overestimate of the dynamic load.
Service performance and load carrying capacity of bevel gears strongly depend on the size and position of the contact pattern. To provide an optimal contact pattern even under load, the gear design has to consider the relative displacements caused by deflections or thermal expansions expected under service conditions. That means that more or less lengthwise and heightwise crowning has to be applied on the bevel gear teeth.
An investigation of transmission errors and bearing contact of spur, helical, and spiral bevel gears was performed. Modified tooth surfaces for these gears have been proposed in order to absorb linear transmission errors caused by gear misalignment and to localize the bearing contact. Numerical examples for spur, helical, and spiral bevel gears are presented to illustrate the behavior of the modified gear surfaces with respect to misalignment and errors of assembly. The numerical results indicate that the modified surfaces will perform with a low level of transmission error in non-ideal operating environments.
The most conclusive test of bevel and hypoid gears is their operation under normal running conditions in their final mountings. Testing not only maintains quality and uniformity during manufacture, but also determines if the gears will be satisfactory for their intended applications.
Spur gear endurance tests were conducted to investigate the surface pitting fatigue life of noninvolute gears with low numbers of teeth and low contact ratios for the use in advanced application. The results were compared with those for a standard involute design with a low number of teeth. The gear pitch diameter was 8.89 cm (3.50 in.) with 12 teeth on both gear designs. Test conditions were an oil inlet temperature of 320 K (116 degrees F), a maximum Hertz stress of 1.49 GPa (216 ksi), and a speed of 10,000 rpm. The following results were obtained: The noninvolute gear had a surface pitting fatigue life approximately 1.6 times that of the standard involute gear of a similar design. The surface pitting fatigue life of the 3.43-pitch AISI 8620 noninvolute gear was approximately equal to the surface pitting fatigue life of an 8-pitch, 28-tooth AISI 9310 gear at the same load, but at a considerably higher maximum Hertz stress.
The load capacity rating of gears had its beginning in the 18th century at Leiden University when Prof. Pieter van Musschenbroek systematically tested the wooden teeth of windmill gears, applying the bending strength formula published by Galilei one century earlier. In the next centuries several scientists improved or extended the formula, and recently a Draft International Standard could be presented.
Minimizing gear losses caused by churning, windage and mesh friction is important if plant operating costs and environmental impact are to be minimized. This paper concentrates on mesh friction losses and associated scuffing risk. It describes the preliminary results from using a validated, 3-D Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and Tooth Contact Analysis (TCA) program to optimize cylindrical gears for low friction losses without compromising transmission error (TE), noise and power density. Some case studies and generic procedures for minimizing losses are presented. Future development and further validation work is discussed.
News Items About contact analysis
1 KISSsoft Updates Features in the Contact Analysis (July 13, 2011)
In the contact analysis of KISSsoft, the effects of shaft deformations may now be precisely evaluated (module ZA30). The results of shaft... Read News
2 KISSsoft Extends Contact Analysis for Cylindrical Gears (October 9, 2013)
The contact analysis for cylindrical gears in KISSsoft (module ZA30) has been extended and improved. Experience gained from a comparison ... Read News