Different ways of looking at the involute and developing gears from theoretical principles can help optimize designs, especially when considering nontraditional manufacturing methods such as 3D printing or injection molding, where the tooth form doesn't need to be generated by a straight-sided cutting tool.
Beginning with our June Issue, Gear Technology is pleased to present a series of full-length chapters excerpted from Dr. Hermann J. Stadtfeld’s latest scholarly — yet practical — contribution to the gear industry — Gleason Bevel Gear
Technology. Released in March, 2014 the book boasts 365 figures
intended to add graphic support of a better understanding and easier recollection of the covered material.
Measurement institutions of seven different countries — China, Germany, Japan, Thailand, Ukraine, United Kingdom and the U.S. — participated in the implementation of the first international comparison of involute gear measurement standards. The German metrology institute Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) was chosen as the pilot laboratory as well as the organizer. Three typical involute gear measurement standards provided by the PTB were deployed for this comparison: a profile, a helix and a pitch measurement standard. In the final analysis, of the results obtained from all participants, the weighted mean was evaluated as reference value for all 28 measured parameters. However, besides the measurement standards, the measured parameters, and, most importantly, some of the comparison results from all participants are anonymously presented. Furthermore, mishandling of the measurement standards as occurred during the comparison will be illustrated.
This paper presents a unique approach and methodology to define the limits of selection for gear parameters. The
area within those limits is called the “area of existence of involute gears” (Ref. 1). This paper presents the definition and construction of areas of existence of both external and internal gears. The isograms of the constant operating pressure
angles, contact ratios and the maximum mesh efficiency (minimum sliding) isograms, as well as the interference
isograms and other parameters are defined. An area of existence allows the location of gear pairs with certain characteristics. Its practical purpose is to define the gear pair parameters that satisfy specific performance requirements before
detailed design and calculations. An area of existence of gears with asymmetric teeth is also considered.
In the last section, we discussed gear inspection; the types of errors found by single and double flank composite and analytical tests; involute geometry; the involute cam and the causes and symptoms of profile errors. In this section, we go into tooth alignment and line of contact issues including lead, helix angles, pitch, pitchline runout, testing and errors in pitch and alignment.
It is very common for those working in the gear manufacturing industry to have only a limited understanding of the fundamental principals of involute helicoid gear metrology, the tendency being to leave the topic to specialists in the gear lab. It is well known that quiet, reliable gears can only be made using the information gleaned from proper gear metrology.
What is so unique about gear manufacturing and inspection? Machining is mostly associated with making either flat or cylindrical shapes. These shapes can be created by a machine's simple linear or circular movements, but an involute curve is neither a straight line nor a circle. In fact, each point of the involute curve has a different radius and center of curvature. Is it necessary to go beyond simple circular and linear machine movements in order to create an involute curve? One of the unique features of the involute is the fact that it can be generated by linking circular and linear movements. This uniqueness has become fertile soil for many inventions that have simplified gear manufacturing and inspection. As is the case with gear generating machines, the traditional involute inspection machines take advantage of some of the involute properties. Even today, when computers can synchronize axes for creating any curve, taking advantage of involute properties can be very helpful. I t can simplify synchronization of machine movements and reduce the number of variables to monitor.