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This paper addresses the lubrication of helical gears - especially those factors influencing lubricant film thickness and pressure. Contact between gear teeth is protected by the elastohydrodynamic lubrication (EHL) mechanism that occurs between nonconforming contact when pressure is high enough to cause large increases in lubricant viscosity due to the pressure-viscosity effect, and changes of component shape due to elastic deflection. Acting together, these effects lead to oil films that are stiff enough to separate the contacting surfaces and thus prevent significant metal-to-metal contact occurring in a well-designed gear pair.
This review of elastohydrodynamic lubrication (EHL) was derived from many excellent sources (Refs. 1â€“5). The review of Blokâ€™s flash temperature theory was derived from his publications (Refs. 6â€“9). An excellent general reference on all aspects of tribology is the Encyclopedia of Tribology (Ref. 10).
What follows is Part 2 of a three-part article covering the principles of gear lubrication. Part 2 gives an equation for calculating the lubricant film thickness, which determines whether the gears operate in the boundary, elastohydrodynamic, or full-film lubrication regime. An equation for Blok's flash temperature, which is used for predicting the risk of scuffing, is also given.