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The use of dimensionless factors to describe gear tooth geometry seems to have a strong appeal to gear engineers. The stress factors I and J, for instance, are well established in AGMA literature. The use of the rack shift coefficient "x" to describe nonstandard gear proportions is common in Europe, but is not as commonly used in the United States. When it is encountered in the European literature or in the operating manuals for imported machine tools, it can be a source of confusion to the American engineer.

Three experts tackle the question of profile shift in this issue's edition of "Ask the Expert."

A reader asks: We are currently revising our gear standards and tolerances and a few questions with the new standard AGMA 2002-C16 have risen. Firstly, the way to calculate the tooth thickness tolerance seems to need a "manufacturing profile shift coefficient" that isn't specified in the standard; neither is another standard referred to for this coefficient. This tolerance on tooth thickness is needed later to calculate the span width as well as the pin diameter. Furthermore, there seems to be no tolerancing on the major and minor diameters of a gear.

The geometry factor, which is a fundamental part of the AGMA strength rating of gears, is currently computed using the Lewis parabola which allows computation of the Lewis form factor.(1) The geometry factor is obtained from this Lewis factor and load sharing ratio. This method, which originally required graphical construction methods and more recently has been computerized, works reasonably well for external gears with thick rims.(2-6) However, when thin rims are encountered or when evaluating the strength of internal gears, the AGMA method cannot be used.

Although there is plenty of information and data on the determination of geometry factors and bending strength of external gear teeth, the computation methods regarding internal gear design are less accessible. most of today's designs adopt the formulas for external gears and incorporate some kind of correction factors for internal gears. However, this design method is only an approximation because of the differences between internal gears and external gears. Indeed, the tooth shape of internal gears is different from that of external gears. One has a concave curve, while the other has a convex curve.

Questions: I have heard the terms "safety factor," "service factor," and "application factor" used in discussing gear design. what are these factors an dhow do they differ from one another? Why are they important?

Chicago- Results of recent studies on residual stress in gear hobbing, hobbing without lubricants and heat treating were reported by representatives of INFAC (Instrumented Factory for Gears) at an industry briefing in March of this year.

One of the best ways to learn the ISO 6336 gear rating system is to recalculate the capacity of a few existing designs and to compare the ISO 6336 calculated capacity to your experience with those designs and to other rating methods. For these articles, I'll assume that you have a copy of ISO 6336, you have chosen a design for which you have manufacturing drawings and an existing gear capacity calculation according to AGMA 2001 or another method. I'll also assume that you have converted dimensions, loads, etc. into the SI system of measurement.

A discussion of ISO and AGMA standards for gears, shafts and bearings, and the art of designing a gearbox that meets your requirements.

I have a query (regarding) calculated gear life values. I would like to understand for what % of gear failures the calculated life is valid? Is it 1-in-100 (1% failure, 99% reliability) or 1-in-one-thousand (0.1% failure)?

Accurate prediction of gear dynamic factors (also known as Kv factors) is necessary to be able to predict the fatigue life of gears. Standards-based calculations of gear dynamic factors have some limitations. In this paper we use a multibody dynamic model, with all 6 degrees of freedom (DOF) of a high-speed gearbox to calculate gear dynamic factors. The findings from this paper will help engineers to understand numerous factors that influence the prediction of dynamic factors and will help them to design more reliable gears.

A reader asks: I'd like to know about the different approaches and factors considered while determining the value of Ka in regards to the DIN 3990 and AGMA standards.

I felt a tap on my shoulder. Turning, I saw the chief draftsman who said, "You're in charge of gears." And he walked away. Dumbfounded, I stared at the back of his head, and sat down at my drafting board. It was November, 1963, shortly after JFK was assassinated, and after I was discharged from the U.S. Army.