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An Experimental Investigation of the Effect of Tooth Asymmetry and Tooth Root Shape on Root Stresses and Single Tooth Bending Fatigue Life of Gear Teeth

[+] Author Affiliations
Aaron Sanders, Donald R. Houser, Ahmet Kahraman, Jonny Harianto, Sam Shon

Ohio State University, Columbus, OH

Paper No. DETC2011-48303, pp. 297-305; 9 pages
  • ASME 2011 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 8: 11th International Power Transmission and Gearing Conference; 13th International Conference on Advanced Vehicle and Tire Technologies
  • Washington, DC, USA, August 28–31, 2011
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division and Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5485-3
  • Copyright © 2011 by ASME


In this paper, effects of root fillet geometry and tooth asymmetry on tooth bending stresses and fatigue lives of spur gears are investigated. For this purpose, an existing gear analysis model, the Load Distribution Program (LDP), is employed to define four basic tooth geometry variations. These four variations are (i) symmetric tooth profiles (i.e. identical loaded and unloaded flanks) with full circular root geometry (at the maximum radius possible), (ii) symmetric tooth profiles with an elliptical root geometry, (iii) asymmetric tooth profiles (i.e. loaded and unloaded flanks at different pressure angles) with full circular root geometries, and (iv) asymmetric tooth profiles with an elliptical root geometry on the right (loaded) flank and a circular root geometry on the left flank. Under these conditions, variations (ii), (iii), and (iv) are predicted to have maximum root stresses that are 7.6%, 22.4%, and 24.3% less than that of the baseline case (i). Actual test articles representing these four variations were qualified through dimensional measurements of the profiles and the root fillet regions. The roots of several of the teeth of each gear type were instrumented and strain measurements under various tooth load levels are compared with the predictions. Single tooth bending fatigue tests were also performed to obtain fatigue data for each variation of the test gears. The resultant tooth bending fatigue performance of each gear variation is shown to correlate with the level of root stress reduction achieved. Experiments indicate that the most significant life increases compared to the baseline conditions are achieved with the last variation (asymmetric tooth profiles and an elliptical root shape), where the mean life is increased by more than 30 times. It is also shown through examination of the broken teeth that the critical locations where the cracks initiated agree well with the predicted locations of the maximum root stresses.

Copyright © 2011 by ASME



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