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Gear noise can be a source of intense annoyance. It is often the primary source of annoyance even when it is not the loudest noise component. This is because of the way it is perceived. Gear noise is a collection of pure tones which the human ear can detect even when they are 10dB lower than the overall noise level. Another reason for our sensitivity to transmission noise is that we associate it with impending mechanical failure.
Our research group has been engaged in the study of gear noise for some nine years and has succeeded in cutting the noise from an average level to some 81-83 dB to 76-78 dB by both experimental and theoretical research. Experimental research centered on the investigation into the relation between the gear error and noise. Theoretical research centered on the geometry and kinematics of the meshing process of gears with geometric error. A phenomenon called "out-of-bound meshing of gears" was discovered and mathematically proven, and an in-depth analysis of the change-over process from the meshing of one pair of teeth to the next is followed, which leads to the conclusion we are using to solve the gear noise problem. The authors also suggest some optimized profiles to ensure silent transmission, and a new definition of profile error is suggested.
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.
There are many different causes of gear noise, all of them theoretically preventable. Unfortunately, the prevention methods can be costly, both in equipment and manpower. If the design of the gear and its application are appropriate, in theory all that is necessary is to have a tight control on the process of producing the finished gear. In reality, there are many variables that can cause a process, no matter how well-controlled, to deteriorate, and thus cause errors, some of which will cause a gear to produce unwanted noise when put to use.
When designing hardened and ground spur gears to operate with minimum noise, what are the parameters to be considered? should tip and/or root relief be applied to both wheel and pinion or only to one member? When pinions are enlarged and he wheel reduced, should tip relief be applied? What are the effects on strength, wear and noise? For given ratios with enlarged pinions and reduced wheels, how can the gear set sized be checked or adjusted to ensure that the best combination has been achieved?
The acceptance by discerning customers of passenger cars is dependent upon both the actual noise lever and the subjective noise character. The subjective noise character itself can contain, among other features, undesirable noise phenomena which become apparent at certain points in the vehicle operating range. One such critical phenomenon is gear rattle, which is mainly present under low speed, high load conditions. Due to changes in the angular velocity of the crankshaft, gear rattle under driving conditions occurs at the unloaded gears and splines.
Due to increasing requirements regarding the vibrational behavior of automotive transmissions, it is necessary to develop reliable methods for noise evaluation and design optimization. Continuous research led to the development of an elaborate method for gear noise evaluation. The presented methodology enables the gear engineer to optimize the microgeometry with respect to robust manufacturing.
Vehicle gear noise testing is a complex and often misunderstood subject. Gear noise is really a system problem.(1) most gearing used for power transmission is enclosed in a housing and, therefore, little or no audible sound is actually heard from the gear pair.(2) The vibrations created by the gears are amplified by resonances of structural elements. This amplification occurs when the speed of the gear set is such that the meshing frequency or a multiply of it is equal to a natural frequency of the system in which the gears are mounted.
This article provides an overview of the benefits of using psychoacoustic characteristics for describing gear noise. And with that, human hearing and the most important psychoacoustic values are introduced. Finally, results of noise tests with different gear sets aree presented. The tests are the basis for a correlation analysis between psychoacoustic values and gear characteristics.
Anyone involved in the design, manufacture and use of gears is concerned with three general characteristics relative to their application: noise, accuracy, and strength or surface durability. In the article, we will be dealing with probably the most aggravating of the group, gear noise.
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.
At Muncie Power, the objective of noise and vibration testing is to develop effective ways to eliminate power take-off (PTO) gear rattle, with specific emphasis on PTO products. The type of sound of largest concern in this industry is tonal.
It is said that “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.” Ok, but what about gear noise? We talked to three experts with considerable knowledge and experience in this area.
Studies to evaluate low-noise Formate spiral bevel gears were performed. Experimental tests were conducted on a helicopter transmission test stand...
The connection between transmission error, noise and vibration during operation has long been established. Calculation methods have been developed to describe the influence so that it is possible to evaluate the relative effect of applying a specific modification at the design stage. These calculations enable the designer to minimize the excitation from the gear pair engagement at a specific load. This paper explains the theory behind transmission error and the reasoning behind the method of applying the modifications through mapping surface profiles and determining load sharing.
With the aim of reducing the operating noise and vibration of planetary gear sets used in automatic transmissions, a meshing phase difference was applied to the planet gears that mesh with the sun and ring gears.
The data discussed in this article was taken from an upright vacuum cleaner. This was a prototype cleaner that was self-propelled by a geared transmission. It was the first time that the manufacturer had used a geared transmission in this application.
Could the tip chamfer that manufacturing people usually use on the tips of gear teeth be the cause of vibration in the gear set? The set in question is spur, of 2.25 DP, with 20 degrees pressure angle. The pinion has 14 teeth and the mating gear, 63 teeth. The pinion turns at 535 rpm maximum. Could a chamfer a little over 1/64" cause a vibration problem?
A major source of helicopter cabin noise (which has been measured at over 100 decibels sound pressure level) is the gear box. Reduction of this noise is a NASA and U.S. Army goal.
The NASA Lewis Research Center investigated the effect of tooth profile on the acoustic behavior of spur gears through experimental techniques. The tests were conducted by Cleveland State University (CSU) in NASA Lewis' spur gear testing apparatus. Acoustic intensity (AI) measurements of the apparatus were obtained using a Robotic Acoustic Intensity Measurement System (RAIMS). This system was developed by CSU for NASA to evaluate the usefulness of a highly automated acoustic intensity measurement tool in the reverberant environment of gear transmission test cells.
In this article, a new tip relief profile modification for spur gears is presented. The topography proposed here is a classical linear profile modification with a parabolic fillet.
Non-uniform gear wear changes gear topology and affects the noise performance of a hypoid gear set. The aggregate results under certain vehicle driving conditions could potentially result in unacceptable vehicle noise performance in a short period of time. This paper presents the effects of gear surface parameters on gear wear and the measurement/testing methods used to quantify the flank wear in laboratory tests.
Transmission error (TE) is recognized as one of the most important causes of gear acoustic emissions...
This article offers an overview of the practical design of a naval gear for combined diesel or gas turbine propulsion (CODOG type). The vibration performance of the gear is tested in a back-to-back test. The gear presented is a low noise design for the Royal Dutch Navy's LCF Frigate. The design aspects for low noise operation were incorporated into the overall gear system design. Therefore, special attention was paid to all the parameters that could influence the noise and vibration performance of the gearbox. These design aspects, such as tooth corrections, tooth loading, gear layout, balance, lubrication and resilient mounting, will be discussed.
LMS International helped a Fiat subsidiary develop a new, dynamic vibro-acoustic prediction method to reduce design time and engineering costs through accurate prediction of gear noise in the design phase.
Material selection can play an important role in the constant battle to reduce gear noise. Specifying tighter dimensional tolerances or redesigning the gear are the most common approaches design engineers take to minimize noise, but either approach can add cost to the finished part and strain the relationship between the machine shop and the end user. A third, but often overlooked, alternative is to use a material that has high noise damping capabilities. One such material is cast iron.
NVH — noise, vibration and harshness — is a key issue in the design and development of modern transmission and driveline systems.
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.
Joe Arvin comments on his recent trip to Scandinavia and how U.S. defense dollars are being spent overseas. J.D. Smith responds to an article on gear noise from the previous issue.
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.
As a result of extensive research into the vibration characteristics of gear drives, a systematic approach has evolved, by which damaging resonances can be eliminated. The method combines finite element techniques with experimental signature and modal analyses. Implementation of the bulk of the method can be carried out early in the design stage. A step-by-step description of the approach, as it was applied to an existing accessory drive, is given in the text. It is shown how premature bearing failures were eliminated by detuning the torsional oscillations of a gearshaft. A dramatic reduction in vibration levels was achieved as a result of detuning the problem gear. The proposed approach can be extended to other types of rotating machines.
A graphical procedure for selecting optimum combinations of profile and lead modifications.
A transverse-torsional dynamic model of a spur gear pair is employed to investigate the influence of gear tooth indexing errors on the dynamic response. With measured long-period quasi-static transmission error time traces as the primary excitation, the model predicts frequency-domain dynamic mesh force and dynamic transmission error spectra. The dynamic responses due to both deterministic and random tooth indexing errors are predicted.
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.
The concept of "transmission error" is relatively new and stems from research work in the late 1950s by Gregory, Harris and Munro,(1) together with the need to check the accuracy of gear cutting machines. The corresponding commercial "single flank" testing equipment became available in the 1960s, but it was not until about ten years ago that it became generally used, and only recently has it been possible to test reliably at full load and full speed.
If you want to find the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency and vibration. — Nikola Tesla
This article investigates fillet features consequent to tooth grinding by generating methods. Fillets resulting from tooth cutting and tooth grinding at different pressure angles and with different positions of grinding wheel are compared. Ways to improve the final fillet of the ground teeth with regard to tooth strength and noise, as well as the grinding conditions, are shown. "Undergrinding" is defined and special designs for noiseless gears are described.
Profitable hard machining of tooth flanks in mass production has now become possible thanks to a number of newly developed production methods. As used so far, the advantages of hard machining over green shaving or rolling are the elaborately modified tooth flanks are produced with a scatter of close manufacturing tolerances. Apart from an increase of load capacity, the chief aim is to solve the complex problem of reducing the noise generation by load-conditioned kinematic modifications of the tooth mesh. In Part II, we shall deal with operating sequences and machining results and with gear noise problems.
For a long time, relatively high noise levels have been generally accepted for industrial gear units in the 10-100 kW power range. However, due to changing environmental awareness - both in and around industrial sites - customers expectations have moved drastically towards low noise as a key differentiating factor.
Trying to figure out what’s going on in this crazy economy of ours seems a bit like reading tea leaves—one part pseudoscience and three parts wild conjecture. Of course some pundits are telling us that this bull market has legs, while others insist that we’re due for a major correction. Some pump us up with positive news, while others remind us about scary stuff like the budget deficit, the European financial crisis and unemployment.
More than 1,350 engineers and technicians have attended the basic course at Ohio State's GearLab.
When hardened steel components are ground, there is always the possibility of damage to the steel in the form of residual stress or microstructural changes. Methods for detecting this sort of damage have always had one or more drawbacks, such as cost, time, complexity, subjectivity, or the use of hazardous chemicals.
Fred Young, CEO of Forest City Gear, talks about sophisticated gear manufacturing methods and how they can help solve common gear-related problems.
There are numerous engineering evaluations required to design gear sets for optimum performance with regard to torque capacity, noise, size and cost. How much cost savings and added gear performance is available through optimization? Cost savings of 10% to 30% and 100% added capacity are not unusual. The contrast is more pronounced if the original design was prone to failure and not fit for function.
Modern gear design is generally based on standard tools. This makes gear design quite simple (almost like selecting fasteners), economical, and available for everyone, reducing tooling expenses and inventory. At the same time, it is well known that universal standard tools provide gears with less than optimum performance and - in some cases - do not allow for finding acceptable gear solutions. Application specifies, including low noise and vibration, high density of power transmission (lighter weight, smaller size) and others, require gears with nonstandard parameters. That's why, for example, aviation gear transmissions use tool profiles with custom proportions, such as pressure angle, addendum, and whole depth. The following considerations make application of nonstandard gears suitable and cost-efficient:
The need for improved power transmissions that use gears and gearboxes with smaller overall dimensions and with lower noise generation has left manufacturing engineers searching for different methods of gear processing. This search has led to the requirement of hardened gears.
The author has written this book primarily from the viewpoint of analyzing vibrations on heavy industrial and mill gearing that may have been in service for a prolonged time. The purpose is to diagnose problems, especially the source or cause of failure. However, the principles and analysis techniques can be used for all types and sizes of gears, as well as for gear noise analysis.
Aurstempered 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.
Gear grinding is one of the most expensive and least understood aspects of gear manufacturing. But with pressures for reduced noise, higher quality and greater efficiency, gear grinding appears to be on the rise.
Gear noise associated with tooth surface topography is a fundamental problem in many applications. Operations such as shaving, gear grinding and gear honing are usually used to finish the gear surface. Often, gears have to be treated by a combination of these operations, e.g. grinding and honing. This is because gear honing operations do not remove enough stock although they do create a surface lay favorable for quiet operation. See Fig. 1 for typical honing process characteristics. Gear grinding processes, on the other hand, do remove stock efficiently but create a noisy surface lay.
Calculation of gear tooth flexibility is of interest for at least two reasons: (a) It controls, at least in part, the vibratory properties of a transmission system hence, fatigue resistance and noise: (b) it controls load sharing in multiple tooth contact.
Transmission errors, axial shuttling forces and friction result in bearing forces that serve as the major excitations of gear noise. This paper will use these factors as well as gear stresses and tribological factors to assist in obtaining optimal gear designs.
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.
The honing of gears - by definition - facilitates ease of operation, low noise and smoother performance in a transmission. Honing also contributes to reduced friction in the powertrain. Both the intense cutting (roughing process) as well as the functionally fine- finishing of transmission gears can be performed in one setup, on one machine.
This paper proposes a new method — using neural oscillators — for filtering out background vibration noise in meshing plastic gear pairs in the detection of signs of gear failure. In this paper these unnecessary frequency components are eliminated with a feed-forward control system in which the neural oscillator’s synchronization property works. Each neural oscillator is designed to tune the natural frequency to a particular one of the components.
If only there were some source of endless knowledge, experience and wisdom to guide you through your gear-related problems. If only there were some philosopher on a mountaintop whose sole purpose was to bring enlightenment to your gear noise problems, to unravel the mysteries of profile shift, to provide insight to a critical gear manufacturing problem or to explain the meaning of life (gear life, that is).
Vibration and noise from wind turbines can be significantly influenced - and therefore reduced - by selecting suitable gearing modifications. New options provided by manufacturers of machine tools and grinding machines, and especially state-of-the-art machines and controls, provide combined gearing modifications - or topological gearing corrections - that can now be reliably machined. Theoretical investigations of topological modifications are discussed here with the actual machining and their possible use.
There is a great need for future powertrains in automotive and industrial applications to improve upon their efficiency and power density while reducing their dynamic vibration and noise initiation. It is accepted that planetary gear transmissions have several advantages in comparison to conventional transmissions, such as a high power density due to the power division using several planet gears. This paper presents planetary gear transmissions, optimized in terms of efficiency, weight and volume.
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.
A gear design optimization approach applied to reduce tooth contact temperature and noise excitation of a high-speed spur gear pair running without lubricant. Optimum gear design search was done using the Run Many Cases software program. Thirty-one of over 480,000 possible gear designs were considered, based on low contact temperature and low transmission error. The best gear design was selected considering its manufacturability.
Most gear cutting shops have shelves full of expensive tooling used in the past for cutting gears which are no longer in production. It is anticipated that these cutters will be used again in the future. While this may take place if the cutters are "standard," and the gears to be cut are "standard," most of the design work done today involves high pressure angle gears for strength, or designs for high contact ratio to reduce noise. The re-use of a cutter under these conditions requires a tedious mathematical analysis, which is no problem if a computer with the right software is available. This article describes a computerized graphical display which provides a quick analysis of the potential for the re-use of shaving cutters stored in a computer file.
Precision gears play a vital role in today's economy. Through their application, automobile transmissions are more compact and efficient, ships sail faster, and diesel locomotives haul more freight. Today great emphasis is being placed upon the reduction of noise in all gear applications and, to be quiet, gears must be accurate.
In the hypercompetitive race to increase automobile efficiency, Metaldyne has been developing its balance shaft module line with Victrex PEEK polymer in place of metal gears. The collaborative product development resulted in significant reductions in inertia, weight and power consumption, as well as improvement in noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) performance.
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.
In comparison with the traditional gear design approach based on preselected, typically standard generating rack parameters, the Direct Gear Design method provides certain advantages for custom high-performance gear drives that include: increased load capacity, efficiency and lifetime; reduced size, weight, noise, vibrations, cost, etc. However, manufacturing such directly designed gears requires not only custom tooling, but also customization of the gear measurement methodology. This paper presents definitions of main inspection dimensions and parameters for directly designed spur and helical, external and internal gears with symmetric and asymmetric teeth.
Modern gearboxes are characterized by high torque load demands, low running noise and compact design. In order to fulfill these demands, profile and lead modifications are being applied more often than in the past. This paper will focus on how to produce profile and lead modifications by using the two most common grinding processes—threaded wheel and profile grinding. In addition, more difficult modifications—such as defined flank twist or topological flank corrections—will also be described in this paper.
This paper presents a new approach in roll testing technology of spiral bevel and hypoid gear sets on a CNC roll tester applying analytical tools, such as vibration noise and single-flank testing technology.
The gear tooth fillet is an area of maximum bending stress concentration. However, its profile is typically less specified in the gear drawing and hardly controlled during gear inspection in comparison with the gear tooth flanks. This paper presents a fillet profile optimization technique for gears with symmetric and asymmetric teeth based on FEA and a random search method. It allows achieving substantial bending stress reduction in comparison with traditionally designed gears. This bending stress reduction can be traded for higher load capacity, longer lifetime, lower noise and vibration and cost reduction.
More strength, less noise. Those are two major demands on gears, including bevel and hypoid gears.
Gear shaving is a free-cutting gear finishing operation which removes small amounts of metal from the working surfaces of the gear teeth. Its purpose is to correct errors in index, helical angle, tooth profile and eccentricity. The process can also improve tooth surface finish and eliminate, by crowned tooth forms, the danger of tooth end load concentrations in service. Shaving provides for form modifications that reduce gear noise. These modifications can also increase the gear's load carrying capacity, its factor of safety and its service life.
If you make hardened gears and have not seen any micropitting, then you haven’t looked closely enough. Micropitting is one of the modes of failure that has more recently become of concern to gear designers and manufacturers. Micropitting in itself is not necessarily a problem, but it can lead to noise and sometimes other more serious forms of failure. Predicting when this will occur is the challenge facing designers.
Primitive gears were known and used well over 2,000 years ago, and gears have taken their place as one of the basic machine mechanisms; yet, our knowledge and understanding of gearing principles is by no means complete. We see the development of faster and more reliable gear quality assessment and new, more productive manufacture of gears in higher materials hardness states. We have also seen improvement in gear applications and design, lubricants, coolants, finishes and noise and vibration control. All these advances push development in the direction of smaller, more compact applications, better material utilization and improved quietness, smoothness of operation and gear life. At the same time, we try to improve manufacturing cost-effectiveness, making use of highly repetitive and efficient gear manufacturing methods.
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.
The benefits of ground gears are well known. They create less noise, transmit more power and have longer lives than non-ground gears. But grinding has always been thought of as an expensive process, one that was necessary only for aerospace or other high-tech gear manufacturing.
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)
Almost all machines or mechanical systems contain precision contact elements such as bearings, cams, rears, shafts, splines and rollers. These components have two important common requirements: first, they must possess sufficient mechanical properties, such as, high hardness, fatigue strength and wear resistance to maximize their performance and life; second, they must be finished to close dimensional tolerances to minimize noise, vibration and fatigue loading.
This article was originally published 20 years ago, in Gear Technology’s first issue. It describes a method of evaluating the smoothness, or lack of smoothness, of gear motion. This lack of smoothness of motion, known as “transmission error,” is responsible for excitation of gear noise and problems of gear accuracy and sometimes has a relationship to gear failure.
Eliminating noise, weight and wear proves valuable in 2012.
October 5-8, 1986 AGMA Fall technical Conference & Gearing Exhibit September 17-19, 1986 Ohio State University Gear Noise Seminar November 11-13, 1986 SME Gear Processing and Manufacturing Clinic November 19-21, 1986 Seminar: Gear System Design for Minimum Noise
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