Detection of impending gear tooth failure is of interest to every entity that utilizes geared transmissions. However, it is of particular significance at the Gear Research Institute (GRI), where sponsored
efforts are conducted to establish
gear material endurance limits, utilizing gear fatigue tests. Consequently, knowing when a gear is about to fail in each and every test, in a consistent manner, is essential for producing reliable and useful
data for the gear industry.
This presentation introduces a new procedure that - derived from exact calculations - aids in determining the parameters of the validation testing of spiral bevel and hypoid gears in single-reduction axles.
Effective gear designs balance strength, durability, reliability, size, weight, and cost. Even effective designs, however, can have the possibility of gear cracks due to fatigue. In addition, truly robust designs consider not only crack initiation, but also crack propagation trajectories. As an example, crack trajectories that propagate through the gear tooth are the preferred mode of failure compared to propagation through the gear rim. Rim failure will lead to catastrophic events and should be avoided. Analysis tools that predict crack propagation paths can be a valuable aid to the designer to prevent such catastrophic failures.
Surface-hardened, sintered powder metal gears are increasingly used in power transmissions to reduce the cost of gear production. One important problem is how to design with surface durability, given the porous nature of sintered gears. Many articles have been written about mechanical characteristics, such as tensile and bending strength, of sintered materials, and it is well-known that the pores existing on and below their surfaces affect their characteristics (Refs. 1-3). Power transmission gears are frequently employed under conditions of high speed and high load, and tooth surfaces are in contact with each other under a sliding-rolling contact condition. Therefore it is necessary to consider not only their mechanical, but also their tribological characteristics when designing sintered gears for surface durability.
Aircraft transmissions for helicopters, turboprops and geared turbofan aircraft require high reliability and provide several thousand hours of operation between overhauls. In addition, They should be lightweight and have very high efficiency to minimize operating costs for the aircraft.
In the 1960's and early 1970's, considerable work was done to identify the various modes of damage that ended the lives of rolling element bearings. A simple summary of all the damage modes that could lead to failure is given in Table 1. In bearing applications that have insufficient or improper lubricant, or have contaminants (water, solid particles) or poor sealing, failure, such as excessive wear or vibration or corrosion, may occur, rather than contact fatigue. Usually other components in the overall system besides bearings also suffer. Over the years, builders of transmissions, axles, and gear boxes that comprise such systems have understood the need to improve the operating environment within such units, so that some system life improvements have taken place.
Spur gear endurance tests were conducted to investigate the surface pitting fatigue life of noninvolute gears with low numbers of teeth and low contact ratios for the use in advanced application. The results were compared with those for a standard involute design with a low number of teeth. The gear pitch diameter was 8.89 cm (3.50 in.) with 12 teeth on both gear designs. Test conditions were an oil inlet temperature of 320 K (116 degrees F), a maximum Hertz stress of 1.49 GPa (216 ksi), and a speed of 10,000 rpm. The following results were obtained: The noninvolute gear had a surface pitting fatigue life approximately 1.6 times that of the standard involute gear of a similar design. The surface pitting fatigue life of the 3.43-pitch AISI 8620 noninvolute gear was approximately equal to the surface pitting fatigue life of an 8-pitch, 28-tooth AISI 9310 gear at the same load, but at a considerably higher maximum Hertz stress.
Pitting and micropitting resistance of case-carburized gears depends on lubricants and lubrication conditions. Pitting is a form of fatigue damage. On this account a short time test was developed. The test procedure is described. The "pitting test" was developed as a short time test to examine the influence of lubricants on micropitting. Test results showing the influence of case-carburized gears on pitting and micropitting are presented.
The search for greater gear life involves improvement in cost, weight and increased power output. There are many events that affect gear life, and this paper addresses those relating to fatigue, gear tooth pitting, fatigue strength losses due to the heat treating processes and shot peening technique. The capability of shot peening to increase fatigue strength and surface fatigue life eliminate machine marks which cause stress risers, and to aid in lubrication when properly controlled, suggests increased use and acceptance of the process.