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.
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.
Presumably, everyone who would be interested in this subject is already somewhat familiar with testing of gears by traditional means. Three types of gear inspection are in common use: 1) measurement of gear elements and relationships, 2) tooth contact pattern checks and 3) rolling composite checks. Single Flank testing falls into this last category, as does the more familiar Double Flank test.