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.
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.
Computer programs have been developed to completely design spur and helical gear shaper cutters starting from the specifications of the gear to be cut and the type of gear shaper to be used. The programs generate the working drawing of the cutter and, through the use of a precision plotter, generate enlarge scaled layouts of the gear as produced by the cutter and any other layouts needed for its manufacture.
The art of gear hobbing has advanced dramatically since the development and introduction of unique machine and tool features such as no backlash, super rigidity, automatic loading of cutting tools, CNC controls, additional machine power and improved cutter materials and coatings. It is essential to utilize all these features to run the machine economically.
A much-used method for checking the tooth thickness of an involute gear tooth is to measure the dimension over two balls placed in most nearly opposite spaces in the case of external gears, and the dimension between the balls in the case of internal gears. This measurement is then checked against a pre-calculated dimension to denote an acceptable part.
The first commandment for gears reads "Gears must have backlash!" When gear teeth are operated without adequate
backlash, any of several problems may occur, some of which may lead to disaster. As the teeth try to force their way through mesh, excessive separating forces are created which
may cause bearing failures. These same forces also produce a wedging action between the teeth with resulting high loads on the teeth. Such loads often lead to pitting and to other failures related to surface fatigue, and in some cases, bending failures.
A pair of spur gears generally has an effective lead error which is caused, not only by manufacturing and assembling errors, but also by the deformations of shafts, bearings and housings due to the transmitted load. The longitudinal load distribution on a contact line of the teeth of the gears is not uniform because of the effective lead error.
For the last few years, the market has been tough for the U.S. gear industry. That statement will cause no one any surprise. The debate is about what to do. One sure sign of this is the enormous attention Congress and the federal government are now placing on "competitiveness."