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Articles About gear failure analysis
"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.
When gears are case-hardened, it is known that some growth and redistribution of stresses that result in geometric distortion will occur. Aerospace gears require post case-hardening grinding of the gear teeth to achieve necessary accuracy. Tempering of the case-hardened surface, commonly known as grinding burn, occurs in the manufacturing process when control of the heat generation at the surface is lost.
I. Inspect failed components as soon as possible. If an early on-site inspection is not possible, someone at the site must preserve the evidence based on your instructions.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
"General Explanations on Theoretical Bevel Gear Analysis" is part 1 of an eight-part series from Gleason's Dr. Hermann Stadtfeld.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The diagnosis and prevention of gear tooth and bearing wear requires the discovery and understanding of the particular mechanism of wear, which in turn indicates the best method of prevention. Because a gearbox is a tribologically dependent mechanism, some understanding of gear and bearing tribology is essential for this process. Tribology is the general term for the study and practice of lubrication, friction and wear. If tribology is neglected or considered insignificant, poor reliability and short life will result.
A series of bench-top experiments was conducted to determine the effects of metallic debris being dragged through meshing gear teeth. A test rig that is typically used to conduct contact fatigue experiments was used for these tests. Several sizes of drill material, shim stock and pieces of gear teeth were introduced and then driven through the meshing region. The level of torque required to drive the “chip” through the gear mesh was measured. From the data gathered, chip size sufficient to jam the mechanism can be determined.
Point-surface-origin (PSO) macropitting occurs at sites of geometric stress concentration (GSC) such as discontinuities in the gear tooth profile caused by micropitting, cusps at the intersection of the involute profile and the trochoidal root fillet, and at edges of prior tooth damage, such as tip-to-root interference. When the profile modifications in the form of tip relief, root relief, or both, are inadequate to compensate for deflection of the gear mesh, tip-to-root interference occurs. The interference can occur at either end of the path of contact, but the damage is usually more severe near the start-of-active-profile (SAP) of the driving gear.
This article summarizes the use of laboratory fatigue data for bearings and gears coupled with probabilistic life prediction and EHD theories to predict the life and reliability of a commercial turboprop gearbox.
There are great advantages in dry hobbing, not only for friendliness toward the environment, but also for increasing productivity and for decreasing manufacturing cost. Dry hobbing, however, often causes failures in hob cutting edges or problems with the surface quality of gear tooth flanks. These difficulties are not present when hobbing with cutting oil. Pinching and crushing of generated chips between the hob cutting edge and the work gear tooth flank is considered a major cause of those problems.
Some results of evaluation by this method in the automotive industry.
High speed gearing, operating with low viscosity lubricants, is prone to a failure mode called scoring. In contrast to the classic failure modes, pitting and breakage, which generally take time to develop, scoring occurs early in the operation of a gear set and can be the limiting factor in the gear's power capability.
Gear flank breakage can be observed on edge zone-hardened gears. It occurs, for example, on bevel gears for water turbines, on spur gears for wind energy converters and on single- and double-helical gears for other industrial applications.
The Integral Temperature Method for the evaluation of the scoring load capacity of gears is described. All necessary equations for the practical application are presented. The limit scoring temperature for any oil can be obtained from a gear scoring test.
Surface-hardened, sintered powder metal gears are increasingly used in power transmissions to reduce the cost of gear production. One important problem is how to design with surface durability, given the porous nature of sintered gears. Many articles have been written about mechanical characteristics, such as tensile and bending strength, of sintered materials, and it is well-known that the pores existing on and below their surfaces affect their characteristics (Refs. 1-3). Power transmission gears are frequently employed under conditions of high speed and high load, and tooth surfaces are in contact with each other under a sliding-rolling contact condition. Therefore it is necessary to consider not only their mechanical, but also their tribological characteristics when designing sintered gears for surface durability.
A common design goal for gears in helicopter or turboprop power transmission is reduced weight. To help meet this goal, some gear designs use thin rims. Rims that are too thin, however, may lead to bending fatigue problems and cracks. The most common methods of gear design and analysis are based on standards published by the American Gear Manufacturers Association. Included in the standards are rating formulas for gear tooth bending to prevent crack initiation (Ref. 1). These standards can include the effect of rim thickness on tooth bending fatigue (Ref 2.). The standards, however, do not indicate the crack propagation path or the remaining life once a crack has started. Fracture mechanics has developed into a useful discipline for predicting strength and life of cracked structures.
In the 1960's and early 1970's, considerable work was done to identify the various modes of damage that ended the lives of rolling element bearings. A simple summary of all the damage modes that could lead to failure is given in Table 1. In bearing applications that have insufficient or improper lubricant, or have contaminants (water, solid particles) or poor sealing, failure, such as excessive wear or vibration or corrosion, may occur, rather than contact fatigue. Usually other components in the overall system besides bearings also suffer. Over the years, builders of transmissions, axles, and gear boxes that comprise such systems have understood the need to improve the operating environment within such units, so that some system life improvements have taken place.
This is the final part of a three-part series on the basics of gear lubrication. It covers selection of lubricant types and viscosities, the application of lubricants, and a case history
This is a three-part article explaining the principles of gear lubrication. It reviews current knowledge of the field of gear tribology and is intended for both gear designers and gear operators. Part 1 classifies gear tooth failures into five modes and explains the factors that a gear designer and operator must consider to avoid gear failures. It defines the nomenclature and gives a list of references for those interested in further research. It also contains an in-depth discussion of the gear tooth failure modes that are influenced by lubrication and gives methods for preventing gear tooth failures.
What follows is Part 2 of a three-part article covering the principles of gear lubrication. Part 2 gives an equation for calculating the lubricant film thickness, which determines whether the gears operate in the boundary, elastohydrodynamic, or full-film lubrication regime. An equation for Blok's flash temperature, which is used for predicting the risk of scuffing, is also given.
Understanding the morphology of micropitting is critical in determining the root cause of failure. Examples of micropitting in gears and rolling-element bearings are presented to illustrate morphological variations that can occur in practice.