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Question: In the January/February issue of your magazine, we came across the term "electronic gearbox." We have seen this term used elsewhere as well. We understand that this EGB eliminates the change gear in the transmission line, but not how exactly this is done. Could you explain in more detail?
In this installment of Ask the Expert, Dr. Stadtfeld describes the best methods for measuring backlash in bevel gears.
Bevel gears must be assembled in a specific way to ensure smooth running and optimum load distribution between gears. While it is certainly true that the "setting" or "laying out" of a pair of bevel gears is more complicated than laying out a pair of spur gears, it is also true that following the correct procedure can make the task much easier. You cannot install bevel gears in the same manner as spur and helical gears and expect them to behave and perform as well; to optimize the performance of any two bevel gears, the gears must be positioned together so that they run smoothly without binding and/or excessive backlash.
Part I of this paper describes the theory behind double-flank composite inspection, detailing the apparatus used, the various measurements that can be achieved using it, the calculations involved and their interpretation. Part II, which will appear in the next issue, includes a discussion of the practical application of double-flank composite inspection, especially for large-volume operations. Part II covers statistical techniques that can be used in conjunction with double-flank composite inspection, as well as an in-depth analysis of gage R&R for this technique.
Our experts comment on reverse engineering herringbone gears and contact pattern optimization.
The question is quite broad, as there are different methods for setting various types of gears and complexity of gear assemblies, but all gears have a few things in common.
What is the relationship between angular backlash or mean normal backlash change and the axial movement of the ring gear in bevel and hypoid gears?
In terms of the tooth thickness, should we use the formulation with respect to normal or transverse coordinate system? When normalizing this thickness in order to normalize the backlash (backlash parameter), we should divide by the circular pitch. Thus, when normalizing, should this circular pitch be defined in the normal or traverse coordinate system, depending on which formulation has been used? Is the backlash parameter always defined with respect to the tangential plane or normal plane for helical gears?
A best practice in gear design is to limit the amount of backlash to a minimum value needed to accommodate manufacturing tolerances, misalignments, and deflections, in order to prevent the non-driving side of the teeth to make contact and rattle. Industry standards, such as ANSI/AGMA 2002 and DIN3967, provide reference values of minimum backlash to be used in the gear design. However, increased customers’ expectations in vehicle noise eduction have pushed backlash and allowable manufacturing tolerances to even lower limits. This is especially true in the truck market, where engines are quieter because they run at lower speeds to improve fuel economy, but they quite often run at high torsional vibration levels. Furthermore, gear and shaft arrangements in truck transmissions have become more complex due to increased number of speeds and to improve efficiency. Determining the minimum amount of backlash is quite a challenge. This paper presents an investigation of minimum backlash values of helical gear teeth applied to a light-duty pickup truck transmission. An analytical model was developed to calculate backlash limits of each gear pair when not transmitting load, and thus susceptible to generate rattle noise, through different transmission power paths. A statistical approach (Monte Carlo) was used since a significant number of factors affect backlash, such as tooth thickness variation; center distance variation; lead; runout and pitch variations; bearing clearances; spline clearances; and shaft deflections and misalignments. Analytical results identified the critical gear pair, and power path, which was confirmed experimentally on a transmission. The approach presented in this paper can be useful to design gear pairs with a minimum amount of backlash, to prevent double flank contact and to help reduce rattle noise to lowest levels.
I would appreciate if you could assist with a gear failure (occurring) after just seven weeks in service, post installation. This driving gear wheel has been installed in a medium-speed engine with backlash present at four different positions; with additional backlash checked on the mating surfaces. All backlash was found within (OEM)-recommended values. Please note included photos — it seems that the crack has started at the root fillet. Any comments would be appreciated.
Introducing backlash into spline couplings has been common practice in order to provide for component eccentric and angular misalignment. The method presented here is believed to be exact for splines with even numbers of teeth and approximate for those with odd numbers of teeth. This method is based on the reduction of the maximum effective tooth thickness to achieve the necessary clearance. Other methods, such as tooth crowning, are also effective.
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.
The trend toward moving coordinate measuring machines to the shop floor to become an integral part of the manufacturing operations brings real time process control within the reach of many companies. Putting measuring machines on the shop floor, however, subjects them to harsh environmental conditions. Like any measuring system, CMMs are sensitive to any ambient condition that deviates from the "perfect" conditions of the metrology lab.
With growing markets in aerospace and energy technologies, measuring hob cutters used in gear cutting is becoming an essential requirement for workpieces and machine tools. Zoller, a provider of solutions for tool pre-setters, measuring and inspection machines and tool management software, has developed a new partnership with Ingersoll/Germany for shop floor checking of hob cutters by a combined hardware and software approach.
Wait a minute, we don't measure pitch diameter. We're sometimes asked to measure it by customers, though, especially ones with older drawings.
Gears are extremely complex shapes. Coordinate measuring machines, or CMMs, are designed to measure complex shapes. It seems to follow that CMMs world, therefore, be the ideal tool for measuring gears. But the answer is not so simple.
The traditional way of controlling the quality of hypoid gears' tooth flank form is to check the tooth flank contact patterns. But it is not easy to exactly judge the tooth flank form quality by the contact pattern. In recent years, it has become possible to accurately measure the tooth flank form of hypoid gears by the point-to-point measuring method and the scanning measuring method. But the uses of measured data of the tooth flank form for hypoid gears have not yet been well developed in comparison with cylindrical involute gears. In this paper, the tooth flank form measurement of generated face-milled gears, face-hobbed gears and formulate/generated gears are reported. The authors discuss the advantages and disadvantages of scanning and point-to-point measuring of 3-D tooth flank forms of hypoid gears and introduce some examples of uses of measured data for high-quality production and performance prediction.
I have heard that X-ray diffraction does not tell the whole story and that I should really run a fatigue test. I understand this may be the best way, but is there another method that gives a high degree of confidence in the residual stress measurement?
Our experts tackle the topic of measuring involute masters, including both master gears and gear inspection artifacts.
simplified equations for backlash and roll test center distance are derived. Unknown errors in measured tooth thickness are investigate. Master gear design is outlined, and an alternative to the master gear method is described. Defects in the test radius method are enumerated. Procedures for calculating backlash and for preventing significant errors in measurement are presented.