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When we have problems with gearset failure, a common diagnosis is misalignment. What exactly is that and how do we prevent it? The second most common "killer" of good gear sets is misalignment (dirt, or abrasive wear, is first). Gear teeth simply won't carry the load if they don't touch, and the portion that does touch has to carry an overload to make up for the missing contact area.
In this study, the combined influence of shaft misalignments and gear lead crown on load distribution and tooth bending stresses is investigated. Upon conclusion, the experimental results are correlated with predictions of a gear load distribution model, and recommendations are provided for optimal lead crown in a given misalignment condition.
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.
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.
Noisy gear trains have been a common problem for gear designers for a long time. With the demands for smaller gear boxes transmitting more power at higher rpms and incumbent demands for greater efficiency, gear engineers are always searching for new ways to reduce vibration and limit noise without increasing costs.
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.
Fred Young, CEO of Forest City Gear, talks about sophisticated gear manufacturing methods and how they can help solve common gear-related problems.
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.
A finite elements-based contact model is developed to predict load distribution along the spline joint interfaces; effects of spline misalignment are investigated along with intentional lead crowning of the contacting surfaces. The effects of manufacturing tooth indexing error on spline load distributions are demonstrated by using the proposed model.
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.
Involute spur gears are very sensitive to gear misalignment. Misalignment will cause the shift of the bearing contact toward the edge of the gear tooth surfaces and transmission errors that increase gear noise. Many efforts have been made to improve the bearing contact of misaligned spur gears by crowning the pinion tooth surface. Wildhaber(1) had proposed various methods of crowning that can be achieved in the process of gear generation. Maag engineers have used crowning for making longitudinal corrections (Fig. 1a); modifying involute tooth profile uniformly across the face width (Fig. 1b); combining these two functions in Fig. 1c and performing topological modification (Fig. 1d) that can provide any deviation of the crowned tooth surface from a regular involute surface. (2)
How important is the right choice of coupling in determining successful machine design? Consider the following example. A transmission of appropriate size was needed to transfer the speed of the engine driver to that of the driven generator. The transmission was properly selected and sized to endure the rated power requirements indefinitely, but after only a short time in operation, it failed anyway. What happened? The culprit in the case was a coupling. It provided the necessary power and protection against misalignment but it lacked the ability to isolate the gears from the torque peaks of the diesel engine.