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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.
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).
For a high-speed gearbox, an important part of power losses is due to the mesh. A global estimation is not possible and an analytical approach is necessary with evaluations of three different origins of power losses: friction in mesh contact, gear windage and pumping effect between teeth.
This article reviews mathematical models for individual components associated with power losses, such as windage, churning, sliding and rolling friction losses.