Gearbox noise : Correlation with transmission error and influence of bearing preload

University dissertation from Stockholm : KTH

Abstract: The five appended papers all deal with gearbox noise and vibration. The first paper presents a review of previously published literature on gearbox noise and vibration.The second paper describes a test rig that was specially designed and built for noise testing of gears. Finite element analysis was used to predict the dynamic properties of the test rig, and experimental modal analysis of the gearbox housing was used to verify the theoretical predictions of natural frequencies.In the third paper, the influence of gear finishing method and gear deviations on gearbox noise is investigated in what is primarily an experimental study. Eleven test gear pairs were manufactured using three different finishing methods. Transmission error, which is considered to be an important excitation mechanism for gear noise, was measured as well as predicted. The test rig was used to measure gearbox noise and vibration for the different test gear pairs. The measured noise and vibration levels were compared with the predicted and measured transmission error. Most of the experimental results can be interpreted in terms of measured and predicted transmission error. However, it does not seem possible to identify one single parameter, such as measured peak-to-peak transmission error, that can be directly related to measured noise and vibration. The measurements also show that disassembly and reassembly of the gearbox with the same gear pair can change the levels of measured noise and vibration considerably. This finding indicates that other factors besides the gears affect gear noise.In the fourth paper, the influence of bearing endplay or preload on gearbox noise and vibration is investigated. Vibration measurements were carried out at torque levels of 140 Nm and 400 Nm, with 0.15 mm and 0 mm bearing endplay, and with 0.15 mm bearing preload. The results show that the bearing endplay and preload influence the gearbox vibrations. With preloaded bearings, the vibrations increase at speeds over 2000 rpm and decrease at speeds below 2000 rpm, compared with bearings with endplay. Finite element simulations show the same tendencies as the measurements.The fifth paper describes how gearbox noise is reduced by optimizing the gear geometry for decreased transmission error. Robustness with respect to gear deviations and varying torque is considered in order to find a gear geometry giving low noise in an appropriate torque range despite deviations from the nominal geometry due to manufacturing tolerances. Static and dynamic transmission error, noise, and housing vibrations were measured. The correlation between dynamic transmission error, housing vibrations and noise was investigated in speed sweeps from 500 to 2500 rpm at constant torque. No correlation was found between dynamic transmission error and noise. Static loaded transmission error seems to be correlated with the ability of the gear pair to excite vibration in the gearbox dynamic system.

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