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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.
The essence of designing gears is often by necessity risk-averse, given that many of them are used in applications where loss of life is a distinct possibility. The Gear Research Institute (GRI) at The Pennsylvania State University conducts risk reduction testing with the same goal in mind - whether it be gears in fighter jets, Ferris wheels, tanks, or countless other gear-reliant vehicles and machinery.
AGMA925–A03 scuffing risk predictions for a series of spur and helical gear sets of transmissions used in commercial vehicles ranging from SAE Class 3 through Class 8.
Gear manufacturers are moving into an era that will see changes in both engineering practices and industry standards as new end-products evolve. Within the traditional automotive industry, carbon emission reduction legislation will drive the need for higher levels of efficiency and growth in electric and hybrid vehicles. Meanwhile, the fast growing market of wind turbines is already opening up a whole new area of potential for gearbox manufacturers, but this industry is one that will demand reliability, high levels of engineering excellence and precision manufacturing.
Aerospace manufacturing has seen quite a turnaround in the past few years. The world's manufacturers of airplanes, helicopters, missiles, space vehicles and satellites are all extremely busy right now--and that's keeping quite a few gear manufacturers busy as well.
Capstan Atlantic, located in Wrentham, Massachusetts, produces powder metal gears, sprockets and complex structural components. The company has provided unique powder metal products in a variety of industries including automotive, business machines, appliances, lawn and garden equipment and recreational vehicles.