GEAR NOISE AND VIBRATION – A LITERATURE SURVEY

Mats Åkerblom mats.akerblom@volvo.com Volvo Construction Equipment Components AB SE–631 85 Eskilstuna, Sweden

Abstract This paper is a survey of the literature on gear noise and vibration. It is divided into three parts, “Transmission error”, “Dynamic models” and “Noise and vibration measurement”. Transmission error (TE) is considered to be an important excitation mechanism for gear noise and vibration. The definition of transmission error is “The difference between the actual position of the output gear and the position it would occupy if the gear drive were perfectly conjugate”. Dynamic models of the system consisting of gears, shafts, bearings and gearbox casing are useful in order to understand and predict the dynamical behaviour of a gearbox. Noise and vibration measurement and signal analysis are important tools when experimentally investigating gear noise because gears create noise at specific frequencies, related to number of teeth and the rotational speed of the gear. Keywords: gear, noise, vibration, transmission error, dynamic models.

CONTENTS
1 TRANSMISSION ERROR................................................................................................. 2 1.1 Introduction to transmission error.................................................................................... 2 1.2 Transmission error theory ................................................................................................ 2 1.3 Transmission error measurement..................................................................................... 5 1.4 Gear inspection using transmission error measurement .................................................. 7 1.5 Transmission error calculation......................................................................................... 8 1.6 Correlation between calculated TE, measured TE and measured noise and vibrations 10 1.7 Other noise and vibration measurements....................................................................... 14 1.8 Friction and bending moments as gear noise excitations............................................... 15 2 DYNAMIC MODELS....................................................................................................... 15 2.1 Introduction to dynamic models .................................................................................... 15 2.2 Lumped parameter dynamic models.............................................................................. 15 2.3 Dynamic models of complete gearboxes ....................................................................... 17 2.4 Experimental investigations........................................................................................... 18 2.5 Noise prediction models (equations) ............................................................................. 19 3 NOISE AND VIBRATION MEASUREMENT.............................................................. 20 3.1 Introduction to noise and vibration measurement.......................................................... 20 3.2 Gear noise measurement ................................................................................................ 20 3.3 Gear fault detection........................................................................................................ 21 4 CONCLUSIONS................................................................................................................ 21 REFERENCES ..................................................................................................................... 22

1

If the gears were perfectly rigid and no geometrical errors or modifications were present. and accordingly. independent of small error in centre distance. hypoid and spiral bevel gears. gears sometimes create noise to such an extent that it becomes a problem. grinding worms. 2 .1. It is used for cylindrical spur and helical gears as well as for conical gears like beveloid. Of course. No force variations would exist and hence no vibrations and no sound (noise) could be created. The assumption of no friction leads to that the gears would transmit the torque perfectly. An example of a typical transmission error signal is shown in figure 1. shaper cutters. there are geometrical errors. which means that a constant speed at the input shaft would result in a constant speed at the output shaft. the gears would transmit the rotational motion perfectly. Manufacturing is relatively easy and the same tools can be used to machine gears with different numbers of teeth. This may be expressed as angular displacement or as linear displacement at the pitch point. shaving cutters but not to profile tools like milling cutters and profile grinding wheels). (Applies to hobs. An involute gear can work together with mating gears with different number of teeth. deflections and friction present. The definition of transmission error made by Welbourn [20] is “The difference between the actual position of the output gear and the position it would occupy if the gear drive were perfectly conjugate”. 1. Some characteristics of involute (cylindrical) gears that have made them so common are: • • • • Uniform transmission of rotational motion. The sum of the contact forces is constant and the direction of the total contact force always acts in the same direction. in reality. which means that a constant torque at the input shaft would result in a constant torque at the output shaft.2 Transmission error theory Transmission error (TE) is considered to be an important excitation mechanism for gear noise and vibration.1 Introduction to transmission error The most frequently used type of gear profile is the involute.1 TRANSMISSION ERROR 1.

50 Pinon run out Twice per tooth-pass error Once per tooth-pass error 0 Gear run out -50 -100 Total TE -150 Tooth to tooth TE -200 Figure 1. Examples of deflections: • Contact deformations (hertzian) in the gear mesh • Gear teeth bending deflections • Gear blank deflections • Shaft deflections • Bearing and gearbox casing flexibility Examples of geometrical errors: • Involute alignment deviations • Involute form deviations • Lead deviations • Lead form deviations • Gear tooth bias • Pitch errors • Run-out • Error in bearing position in the casing 3 . The causes of transmission error are deflections. geometrical errors and geometrical modifications.1 Example of typical transmission error signal and its component’s.

Static unloaded transmission error is the most commonly used for gear quality inspection purposes because it gives information about the gears manufacturing errors.5 mm and amplitudes of approximately 4μm. In addition to the tooth contact frequency. also the gear flank surface will have undulations (waviness). as a result of cyclic errors in the master worm wheel drive in the grinding machine used to finish cut the gears. the gears should be in the gearbox. because the dynamical properties of the system consisting of gears. used for dressing the grinding wheel.1 Static/dynamic.1. when grinding gears [4]. Usually it is the tooth mesh frequency and its harmonics that causes gear noise. These undulations typically have wavelengths of about 0. shafts. loaded/unloaded transmission error.Examples of some common geometrical modifications: • Lead crowning • Helix angle modification • Profile crowning • Tip relief and root relief Transmission error can be measured statically or dynamically (low or high speed). 4 . The frequency content of the transmission error signal is often acquired by frequency analysis using FFT (Fast Fourier Transform) [1] [6] [25]. causes sidebands to the gear mesh frequency. The diamond grains on the dressing wheel causes undulations on the grinding wheel surface and when grinding the gear. When measuring dynamic transmission error. Static loaded measurement also includes the deflections. These errors are imprinted onto the gear teeth as a helix undulation on each tooth and they are sometimes an important source of transmission error [5]. bearings and casing are important. The once per revolution transmission error is seldom a problem itself because the frequency is relatively low. but the once per revolution transmission error. In production gearboxes it is often difficult to measure transmission error. due to for example run-out. Load (torque) Low High Static Static Unloaded Loaded Dynamic Dynamic Unloaded Loaded Low Speed High Table 1. unloaded or loaded (light or heavy load) see table 1. The most relevant transmission error measurements for noise and vibration predictions are probably the dynamic (loaded or unloaded). “Phantom” frequencies may also originate from the dressing wheel. due to the inaccessibility of free shafts [12].the shaft rotational frequency [1]. with the frequency of tooth mesh frequency +/. there are sometimes “ghost” or “phantom” frequencies.

1. even for automobile gears. Kohler and Regan notes. A typical transmission error measuring arrangement is shown in figure 1. in general. They stated that other researchers were wrong when they assumed that if pitch errors alone are present. in a comment to [8]. except for unity contact ratio gears (εα=1). tooth contact harmonics of significant amplitudes will exist. that pitch error will generate transmission error at tooth contact frequency and its harmonics. It is only quite recently that commercial inspection machines are available for measuring loaded transmission error. The maximum torque available is however not very high. Opitz [21] used seismic mass torsional displacement pickups to measure transmission error. In Welbourn’s earlier analyses of how pitch errors affects transmission error. which gives typically several thousands of pulses per revolution.3 Transmission error measurement Transmission error is often measured with optical encoders. Figure 1. he analysed pitch errors as a series of pulses and not steps as in [7]. 5 .2 Transmission error measurement utilising optical encoders. It may also be questioned if it is relevant to measure dynamic transmission error in a machine with other dynamic characteristics than the gearbox the gears are going to work in.Kohler and Regan [7] investigated the effect of pitch errors on transmission error of a gear pair. The transmission error is acquired by comparing the signals from the two encoders on each shaft [1]. The need for experimental evidence of theoretical results was emphasised. Commercial available inspection machines are usually designed for static unloaded transmission error measurement. The results of Kohler and Regan [7] were questioned by Welbourn [8].2. It was showed (theoretically) that. statically and dynamically. Another possible measurement technique for dynamic transmission error is to measure torsional accelerations on both shafts of the gearbox and taking the difference of the two accelerations (corrected for speed ratio) and then integrate the signal twice to obtain the transmission error signal [12]. the frequency spectrum of the corresponding transmission error will have no component’s either at the tooth mesh frequency or any of its harmonics. that Welbourn does not question the most important conclusion of their paper.

Optical encoders were also used by Mudd et al. Later a higher speed encoder system was used to measure dynamic transmission error. The rig was first run statically with transmission error being measured with the system described earlier. phase comparator and filter). [5] to measure transmission error of marine gears. Conclusions were that the flexibility of a modular system allows testing over a wide range of speeds. The results showed errors below 0. Dependent on number of teeth on the gears. The reason is that large transmission errors affect the magnitude of the torque locked in the system. Sasaoka [6] described an instrument. Torsional stiffness adjustment sections were installed in the power transmission system to control the natural frequencies. two 7. Measurements were made without load (very low load) and for torque 3. with which the transmission error of gears can be measured at various rotating speeds and loads. The predominant oscillation frequency was the tooth mesh frequency.1 seconds of arc at the frequencies likely to be relevant for gear noise and vibration testing. A modular system for transmission error measurement was described by Smith [9]. The system consisted of optical encoders and a number of electronic modules (frequency multiplier. transmission error was measured for two gear pairs mounted in a commercial gearbox.3 r/min) high torque (670 Nm) test rig with two electrical DC motors.) optical encoders back to back. The tested gear pairs were 7. The torsional vibration modes of the power transmission system in the instrument were analysed and the frequency range between the first and second mode was used to avoid the effects of resonant vibrations of the power transmission. and the pulses were processed in a phase detection loop to provide a measure of the difference in the shaft rotations. The limit was imposed by the mechanics of the encoders and was typically a torsional vibration limit at about 1500 Hz. The conclusion was that these small and robust encoders are suitable for measurement of gear transmission error. on four different gear sets. frequency divider. The phase comparator compares the phase of the two signals. manufactured using different MAAG-grinding machines. the multiplier and divider were chosen to give the same number of pulses per revolution (of one of the gears) from both encoders.Smith [3] tested two small (90mm diameter. Measurements were carried out on 560 mm centre distance. Houser and Wesley [12] used four different methods for measuring transmission error under load and at operating speed. 9000 pulses/rev.6 inch diameter and 18000 lines per revolution) and high speed 6 . The dynamic transmission error was measured using optical encoders (3. The error signal was obtained after filtering the output signal from the phase comparator.5 inch centre distance gearboxes were mounted in a back to back arrangement. The transmission error of the helical gear pair was in the same order of magnitude as for the spur gear pair. which in turn causes a shift in the mean transmission error.5 inch centre distance helical and spur gears. typical of those used for the primary reduction of marine gearboxes. from about one revolution per minute to several thousands of revolutions per minute. both gear pairs were hobbed and shaved and they had profiles with significant deviations from ideal.4 kNm (quasi static). In order to measure dynamic transmission error. It was found that this kind of circulating power system is acceptable if no large transmission errors are present. case hardened and ground double helical gears. Transmission error was measured with optical encoders from a commercial system. In a low speed (6. Three different test stands and four different types of instrumentation were used for the transmission error measurements.

they can work together with just any of its mating gear individuals. Two different torsional accelerometer types were used for transmission error measurements. Furthermore conventional gear inspection gives information about elemental errors and hence. The major speed limitation was the natural frequency of the encoder rotary inertia / shaft / coupling. can have low transmission error when tested against each other. These accelerometers were used to measure transmission errors of both spur and helical gears. the quality of hypoid. and lapped together as finishing operation. but transmission error is not “additive” because geometrical errors can either counteract or interact. Both the encoders and the torsional accelerometers appeared to have the capability to measure transmission error in the μ-in resolution range. using the torsional accelerometers. Each of the four methods for measuring transmission error that were investigated had its limitations. been frequently used. Transmission error for just one gear can be measured using a master gear. Conclusions drawn by Kohler and Regan [7] are that the combination of gear elemental errors to give a total transmission error is a non-linear process (in the mathematical sense) and it is not correct to determine the total transmission error spectrum by the summation of elemental spectra. mechanical resonance of the transducers seemed to limit measurements to an upper frequency of 2000 Hz. which used two opposing linear accelerometers. Finally a commercial torsional accelerometer was used. which was at about 2000 Hz. that must be kept together. 1. when tested against a master gear.processing of the information was achieved by using different electronic circuitry. which makes the pinion and the gear a pair.and spiral bevel (conical) gear sets is often checked by measuring transmission error in a single flank tester. A gear pair with certain elemental errors will have a certain transmission error and a gear pair with different elemental errors might have the same transmission error. Conical gears are often manufactured as gear sets. it is easier to make changes in the production process to correct these errors. 7 . This means that two gears with high transmission error. the use of transmission error measurements for inspection of production quality has not. at least so far. For example. This means that knowledge of elemental gear errors leads to transmission error but transmission error does not lead to knowledge about elemental gear errors.4 Gear inspection using transmission error measurement The use of TE–measurement for quality inspection of production gears is attractive because it gives information about the gear pairs noise and vibration characteristics. For cylindrical gears. The combined torsional accelerometer calibration did not work out well due to large variation in amplitude with frequency. Several methods of computing the dynamic transmission error were tried. Cylindrical gears are usually not manufactured as matched pairs. The first was a tangential type. In particular. The reasons are probably the differences in manufacturing methods between cylindrical gears and conical gears.

In order to calculate transmission error. The methodology was also extended to helical gears. lead crowning. To obtain input to dynamic models of gear systems. A mathematical model for transmission error calculation must take into account flexibility and gear tooth errors and modifications. Determine gear tooth modifications like crowning and tip relief (magnitude and starting point) to minimise transmission error. profile slope. Wear simulations showed that for helical gears without lead crowning or tip relief. The gear teeth are designed to assume an involute shape under load. Kato et al.1. The method results in a more uniform static transmission error compared to standard involute profile. some examples are: • • • • To choose appropriate gear geometry to minimise the variations in mesh stiffness. i. Sweeney [1] developed a mathematical model which took into consideration mesh stiffness (contact deformation and tooth body deflection) and geometrical modifications/errors such as tip relief. Input to the program was tooth surface modifications and load conditions.5 Transmission error calculation The calculation of transmission error is useful for several purposes. as an example of a typical algorithm: 8 . manufacturing tolerances and the gear mesh compliance. This ensures conjugate motion under load. A parameter study was conducted to compare the cubic splines based gear profile to involute profile and those based on the use of linear or parabolic tip relief. The transmission error calculation algorithm is described below. lead deviation and tooth spacing errors (pitch errors). DeJong and Manning [13] used a numerical model of the gear mesh to calculate transmission error of a gear pair. [10] used a computer program to calculate transmission error. Yoon [2] proposed a method to reduce noise from involute gears. In an angle stepping numerical simulation the transmission error was calculated for each step. profile crowning. The idea is to use cubic splines to describe the tooth profile. Calculated transmission error was shown to agree well with measured. determine module. root relief. The concept of optimal modification of the plane of action was used to calculate the new profile. helix angle and contact ratio. The calculations of transmission error took into account geometrical errors and modifications. A dynamic analysis of the gear drive was performed to establish the fact that a reduction in transmission error reduces the gear vibration and noise due to smaller dynamic tooth loads. Investigate how different manufacturing errors influence gear noise and vibration characteristics. Flodin [28] investigated mild wear of spur and helical gears. Numerous researchers have described methods for calculation of transmission error. Methods for transmission error calculation and tooth contact analysis were discussed by Houser [22] and different methods for calculating tooth compliance (plate theory and FEA) were compared. the simulated wear reduced calculated transmission error.e.

where Cii is the local compliance of the contact point. 3. Each contact point is assigned an initial separation. This algorithm has a first phase in which the load distribution among the points in contact is obtained. gear/shaft torsion and bending. The local deflection. local Hertzian deformation. sliding velocities or deflections. The nominal lines of contact along the gear teeth are discretized into a series of points. Yi. By definition εi ≥ 0. and bearing deflection. δi . since there can only be a force at a contact point if there is no separation and visa versa. any number of linear constraints can be put on the variables such as maximum levels of the contact stresses. The compliance matrix for the gear mesh is obtained from finite element analyses or from analytical models of the gear elements. misalignment. δii = CiiFi. at a contact point is defined as the sum of the deflections of the two teeth at that point under a force. between contact points. equal to the sum of the deviations from involute of the two tooth profiles in contact at that point. etc. in the zone of contact is constrained to be equal to the applied load. εi. By defining a relative rigid body displacement. 6. whose spacing are chosen to minimise quantization error. The deflection at any point is thus determined from the spatial distribution of forces in the zone of contact. The sum of all forces. 5.1. The compliance matrix includes contributions from the tooth bending and root rotation. 2. In addition to the performance criterion. of a contact point is then given by: δ i = ∑ δ ij = ∑ C ij F j j j It is assumed that only compressive forces normal to the surfaces occur at each contact point so that Fi ≥ 0 and δi ≥ 0. of the two gears at the mesh and an instantaneous separation. A contact point may also be deflected due to forces at other contact points due to a cross compliance. α. Fi. modifications. Cij or δij = CijFj . 4. δii. The net deflection. Fi. These quantities are related by. then compatibility can be used to relate the above variables at each contact point by: Yi – δi = εi – α Inserting the forces into the equation and converting to matrix notation to encompass all the nominal contact points gives: {F } = [C ]−1 {Y − ε + α } where either Fi = 0 or Yi = 0. An efficient revised simplex algorithm for solving this set of equations is used. 9 . The deviations from involute can be due to profile errors. A second phase then optimises a set of parameters based on a performance criterion specified as a linear combination of the variables or parameters of the system.

especially for the type II gears (spur. noise and torque fluctuations.6 Correlation between calculated TE. The position of the teeth is moved incrementally through the mesh and a new value for the transmission error is computed for each position. shaved and heat treated helical gears. A general opinion seems to be that transmission error is a useful tool when working with gear noise. Type II – Hobbed. The spectrum of the TE is computed by Fourier analysis to give a vibration excitation function. The result was that it was difficult to draw any broad conclusions about the relationships of various quantities measured. The correlation between measured and calculated transmission error was good. ground). It was also emphasised that there is no physical basis for an ideal correlation between transmission error. Measured and calculated transmission error were compared for both types of gears for: ƒ ƒ ƒ Shaft speed 2Hz Torque 20 Nm and 70 Nm Parallel shafts and for 1/500 misalignment. even if some researchers have assumed that vibration and noise emission are the direct (and linear) result of TE. heat treated and ground spur gears. other than that they generally trend in the same direction with variation in torque and speed. vibration (casing).7. Alternatively the force distribution on the gear teeth is computed as a function of time to be used as an input to a dynamic model of the gear structure. measured transmission error. Transmission error was measured with optical encoders and vibrations were measured on the gearbox casing with an accelerometer and noise was measured with a microphone. A gear test rig was designed and built for verification of the mathematical model used to calculate transmission error. vibration and noise in the general case. even though it is sometimes questioned if vibrations and noise are the direct (and linear) result of TE [1]. Sweeney [1] carried out a test program to investigate the effects of load (mean torque) and speed on transmission error. shaved. In addition to transmission error there are also other possible excitation mechanisms [18]. 10 . Both types of gears were considered being below automotive production quality. Two different types of gears were used for verification of the TE calculations: ƒ ƒ Type I – Hobbed. The relative rigid body displacement of the two gears in mesh under load gives the value for the transmission error for a given position of the teeth in mesh. 1. measured vibrations and measured noise. measured TE and measured noise and vibrations Numerous researchers have investigated the correlation between calculated transmission error.

The evaluation was made at 4200 r/min where the vibration levels reached its maximum due to the vibration characteristics of the test apparatus.278.901. lead crowning and tooth profile bias. pressure angle 20 deg. helix angle 35 deg. Calculated transmission error was shown to agree well with measured. The result showed that gears with bias-in contact and true involute gears caused a lower vibration level than bias out gears. number of teeth 29 and 35. of a signal..Mudd et al. module 2 mm. Experimental measurements were made on a gearbox with two gear pairs with number of teeth 20/28 respectively 20/25. Different lead errors and different amount of lead crowning was investigated. face width 14 mm. [5] measured transmission error and bearing cap vibration and a comparison showed that all (frequency-) component’s measured using transmission error. It is a function of delay time. Gear noise level was shown to correspond with the magnitude of measured transmission error for a gear pair. [10]. is defined as the fourier transform of the log spectrum of the signal. Resonance and mobility checks indicated that the primary wheel was the source of most of this resonant response. Cepstral analysis allows for the time signal to be reconstructed. Nakagawa et al. An investigation was made on the effects of lead error on gear tooth contact. the value of each modification factor were determined and as a result a significant improvement in noise level was achieved. 433 and 1368 r/min). DeJong and Manning [13] used cepstral analysis of measured gear vibration in order to understand the fundamental mechanisms of vibration excitation at the gear mesh. tooth profile crowning. lead modification. The cepstrum. [11] carried out experimental measurements of the mechanical vibration of a gearbox equipped with a pair of helical gears. Technical data for the gears used were: centre distance 75 mm. cy. Vibrations were measured with an accelerometer at the housing and cepstral analysis was used to take out the effects of resonant response of the system. The maximum load and speed was 120 Nm and 5400 r/min. Transmission error measurements showed the same tendencies as the vibration measurements on the gearbox. The studied factors were pressure angle modification. y(t). exhibited themselves at the bearing cap vibration under (at least) one of the three conditions (different speeds 214. An analytical procedure to determine the optimum tooth surface modifications was developed by Kato et al. which is useful for monitoring machine performance. The dynamics of the system changed dramatically between different speeds. FEM calculation showed the same tendencies as the experimental data. overlap ratio 1. τ in the same way as an autocorrelation function: c y (τ ) = FT { log[Y (2π f )]} where Y (2π f ) = FT {y (t )} 11 . transverse contact ratio 1. For a test gear pair.. FEM calculations were compared to measurements of transmission error.

If these two signals have different delay characteristics. If the spectrum of signal y is the product of input spectrum X and a transfer function H Y =H⋅X then the cepstrum of y is given by: c y = FT { log H + log X } = c h + c x The function x(t ) is the input time signal and h(t ) is the impulse response of the transfer system. In the gear pair which realises Fdn=0 under no load. If the signal is represented by a magnitude. A design method to realise the index Fdn=0 was discussed theoretically. Experimental measurement of the noise from a test gearbox was compared with calculated Fdn. This dynamic incremental load is a function of velocity and operating load. as a function of frequency. and a phase. A cepstrum of only the log amplitude function can be defined as: c′y (τ ) = FT {log Ay } and is called the real or power cepstrum. and the correlation was good. Ay (2π f ) . Examples were shown on measured spectra and cepstrum of bearing housing acceleration (vibration). The cepstrum of this function is called the complex cepstrum. the tooth surface is not modified and the equivalent tooth pair spring constant does not vary. Fdn. φ y (2π f ) . with the parameter of tooth surface modifications. they can be separated in the cepstral domain even though they overlap in the frequency domain.The vibration signal from a gear with mesh tones at 400 Hz and its harmonics will have peaks in the cepstrum at delay times of 2. 12 . tooth pair spring constant and static load which minimises Fdn. f. can be used as an index of the dynamic performance (like noise and vibration) of a gear pair. The log operation on the spectrum can also be used to separate the input and transfer function aspects of a measured signal. when the dimensions and the tooth pair spring constant of the gear pair is given.5 ms and integer multiples. then the log spectrum is given by: log[Y (2π f )] = log Ay (2π f ) + jφ y (2π f ) which is a function with complex amplitude. which clarified that there are combinations of tooth surface modifications. Honda [16] proposed that a dynamic incremental load.

crowning. First the misalignment was measured or calculated. but further increase of the contact ratio will not be helpful to reduce transmission error. Transmission error and dynamic forces were calculated for a helical gear pair. The combined tip and root relief on both the gear and the pinion teeth gave the best results. selected from three classes (quiet. contact area and root stress. Modifications of tooth surfaces were proposed by Iwase and Miyasaka [24] in order to reduce transmission error and gear noise from automobile gears. and hence shifting the tooth bearing point to the tooth surface centre. It was found that gears with spacing errors resulted in modifications similar to those without spacing errors. Influence functions obtained from finite element analysis were used when solving the load-deflection equations. slightly noisy and noisy). Results were decreased transmission error (calculated) and decreased gear noise (experimentally measured). Different optimisation parameters were shown to provide different levels of optimisation of the objective function. Lorea et al. reducing the curvature of tooth surface and obtaining larger bias-in modification. An experimental set up was used to verify the calculations A procedure to optimise profile modifications based on the Fourier harmonics of the single flank transmission error of a spur gear pair was described by Tavakoli and Houser [27]. Park [25] described a method for calculating transmission error. It was shown that even a small misalignment (60 μm) might cause considerable transmission error and high dynamic forces. 13 . load distribution. Next step was to optimise the shape parameters: profile modification. the effects of manufacturing errors and contact ratio were investigated for helical gears. assuming the gear is in contact over the entire tooth face. Statistical methods of classification and discrimination were used on the recorded transmission error signal. A mass/damping/non-linear spring model was used to calculate torsional vibration levels due to tooth errors. Finally one conclusion was that tooth face errors are the major cause of transmission error and different number of teeth in contact is less likely to generate transmission error. Transmission error was calculated for gears with different errors and different total contact ratios. [17]. The ability to predict the effects of off-optimum loads or manufacturing errors on the transmission error was shown to be important. It was proposed that the adopted approach could be used to predict the noise class of an unknown gearbox on which the transmission error has been measured. Gears with relatively small errors will have the minimum transmission error at slightly higher total contact ratio than an integer. Conclusions were that transmission error can be improved (decreased) by increasing the real contact ratio as much as possible. This can be realised by modifying and correcting gear misalignment resulting from transmission case production error and other defects. transmission error decreases considerably with increased total contact ratio. tip relief and bias. [23] used statistical analysis of transmission error data to predict the acoustic behaviour of gears. It was shown that for gears with relatively large errors. then tilt parameters were optimised. made by Kawamoto et al.In a study of gear noise reduction. The effect of misalignment on helical gear vibration excitation was investigated theoretically by Smith [19]. Transmission error was measured for 30 gear pairs from 30 gearboxes.

The helical gear pair with total contact ratio less than 2 behaved like spur gears. especially for overlap ratios over 1. Out of 28 control factors that were identified. The result was lower noise levels with preservation of tolerance width. 8 primary factors were selected (involute and lead for each of the four gears). The experiment was carried out on a 5– speed manual transmission for medium and light duty trucks. where gears. The test gears were classified into three categories: I – total contact ratio (εα+εβ) less than 2 II – total contact ratio over 2 and overlap ratio (εβ) less than 1 III – overlap ratio (εβ) over 1 Rotational and axial vibrations were measured with accelerometers on the gears.1.7 Other noise and vibration measurements Some investigations on gear noise and vibration without discussing transmission error are summarised below. The gear noise was evaluated using a subjective road test rating. were selected from the production line and built into transmissions and tested. Finally a confirmation run was carried out. whose lead and involute averages fell at the extremities. All tests had an average subjective evaluating of 8 and above. to achieve the same low noise levels as for ground gears but without the higher cost that grinding leads to. 14 . Beuler [29] investigated the influence of manufacturing errors and gear teeth modifications on noise from a gearbox. Errors possible to occur when shaving and hardening gears were discussed and methods to control the shaving and hardening processes were pointed out. Shetty and Kinsella [15] implemented the method of Dr. It was shown that the sensitivity for helix angle error was different dependent on the direction of the error and for that reason a non-symmetric tolerance area was proposed. Umezawa et al. Optimum manufacturing tolerances were then set using the results of the experiments. The conclusion was that high quality and customer satisfaction was achieved at a low cost. The results showed that: • • An increase in the overlap ratio reduces the vibration. [14] investigated the relation between contact ratio and vibration for helical test gears with different contact ratios. Taguchi’s Design of Experiments on the speed gear pairs of a manual transmission. Different combinations of gear geometry characteristics were tested. Ehren and Becker [26] carried out experimental noise measurements in a test rig to investigate the effect of helix angle error on noise and vibrations from a helical gear pair. with a ten-point scale.

2 Lumped parameter dynamic models Özguven and Houser [30] reviewed the literature on mathematical models used in gear dynamics. An off-line of action friction component that is not totally cancelled due to opposite directions of relative sliding of the teeth. The first dynamic models were used to determine dynamic loads on gear teeth. masses and viscous damping. The noise characteristics of a gearbox can be controlled already at the drawing board when designing the gearbox.1. This cause the bearing forces to vary.8 Friction and bending moments as gear noise excitations In addition to transmission error there are other possible time varying noise excitation mechanisms that might be in the same order of magnitude as transmission error. depending on the distance between bearings. That is of special interest because an often-used design criterion for low noise gears is axial contact ratio εβ≈1. They classified the models in five groups: 15 . The bending moments due to the location of the contact lines in the plane of action have to be paid attention particularly in the range of an axial contact ratio between 0. For more complex models. it is necessary not only to have knowledge about the gears.25 because they exceed the amount of transmission error excitation in this range. shafts. Bending moments in the off-line of action direction that result from shuttling of the friction force in a manner similar to the line of action forces. finite element modelling is often used. because all the components have an important effect on the acoustical output [43]. These mechanisms were investigated theoretically by Borner and Houser [18] and the mechanisms are: • Bending moment caused by an axial shuttling of the centroid of line of action gear forces as the contact lines move across the gear tooth. • • Calculations of these forces for gear pairs with different axial contact ratio showed that the variation of the bearing forces have to be considered as a noise source in the case of low transmission error gears.1 Introduction to dynamic models To understand and control gear noise. For relatively simple gear–systems it is possible to use lumped parameter dynamic models with springs. the first mass–spring models were introduced in the 1950s [30]. and they were developed in the 1920s.75 and 1. but also about the dynamic behaviour of the system consisting of gears. bearings and gearbox casing. 2. The review is very extensive and includes 188 references. 2 DYNAMIC MODELS 2. which includes for example the gearbox casing. This is valid for the friction forces only for spur gears and for helical gears with a very small helical angle. from 1915 and up to 1986.

4. Models for gear dynamics. to investigate the non-linear frequency response characteristics. Two solution methods. 16 . Transmission error due to variation in mesh stiffness was used as internal excitation and low frequency torque variations were used as external excitation. In a study by Cheng and Wang [31]. As excitation of the system. Analytical predictions were shown to match satisfactorily with experimental data available in the literature. random and harmonic transmission error was used. However there is also a group of studies in which the flexibility of gear teeth is neglected and a torsional model of a geared system is constructed by using torsionally flexible shafts connected with rigid gears. In such models. bearings. The models in the third and fourth groups consider the flexibility of gear teeth including a constant or time varying mesh stiffness in the model. The dynamics of the gears was modelled as a non-linear time-correlated. 3. There is an overlap between the first group and this group since such simple models are sometimes developed for the sole purpose of determining the dynamic factor. the transverse vibrations of a gear carrying shaft are considered in two mutually perpendicular directions. That is. thus allowing the shaft to whirl. digital simulation technique and the method of harmonic balance. stationary stochastic process. The studies in this group may be viewed as pure torsional vibration problems. The gears were supported by elastic bearings with viscous damping present. Such models include the flexibility of the other elements as well as the tooth compliance. the flexibility of shafts. 5. The equations of motion were solved by numerical integration. Varying mesh stiffness and friction in the gear mesh were included in the model. These studies include empirical and semi-empirical approaches as well as recent dynamic models constructed just for the determination of a dynamic factor. Models with tooth compliance. are all neglected. A parameter study showed that the mean load determined the conditions for no impacts. In some studies. Of particular interest have been the torsional flexibility of shafts and the lateral flexibility of the bearings and shafts along the line of action. Optimisation of gear parameters were made to avoid resonance. the torsional vibration of the system is usually considered. There are a very large number of studies that include only the tooth stiffness as the potential energy storing element in the system. Simple dynamic factor models. etc. A six–degree of freedom model of a spur gear pair was developed by Torby [47].1. for both internal and external excitations. The vibrations excited by random and harmonic transmission error and time varying mesh stiffness was investigated at different speeds and different loads. This group includes most of the early studies in which a dynamic factor that can be used in gear root stress formulae is determined. In such studies the system is usually modelled as a single degree of freedom spring–mass system. singlesided impacts and double-sided impacts. rather than gear dynamic problems. were used to develop the steady state solutions for the internal sinusoidal excitation. Models for torsional vibrations. 2. Kahrmann and Singh [32] used a two-degree-of-freedom model of a spur gear pair with backlash. the vibrations of spur gears were simulated. Models for geared rotor dynamics.

which was used to predict the forced response. Also changes in stiffness of the transmission case. The ring gear and shaft resonance’s and the tailstock housing stiffness were found to be significant design factors that influenced the gear–whine. Force coupling between gears and dynamic coupling due to for example unbalance was discussed.2. Joachim. Basic formulations used in modelling different types of gears were discussed. The model was used to investigate the effects of different component’s inertia. Model construction issues were discussed as well as correlation of predicted gear noise traces with operating measurements. transmission and radiation from mechanical structures. The output from the torsional vibration model was mesh forces. and gear case response. As input for the FE calculation of forced response. [35] described a systematic approach to reduce the overall gear noise from a four speed automatic transaxle. stiffness and resonance. 17 . helical. They calculated transmission error and time varying stiffness of the gear mesh by using a finite element based computer program.3 Dynamic models of complete gearboxes Numerous researchers have modelled complete gearboxes in order to predict gear noise. A simplified automotive transmission was analysed to demonstrate the features of the proposed gear noise reduction technique. they used the dynamic bearing forces of the shafts in the gearbox. A procedure for calculating the dynamic mesh force generated. and the gear noise level was reduced substantially. The effect of the modifications was verified experimentally. were shown to affect the gear noise. Campell et al. The vibration characteristics were identified by finite element analysis. Ariga et al. As a result of the simulations. Dynamic models of typical automotive gearing applications using spur. A basic approach to gearbox noise prediction was described by Mitchell [38]. Raffel and Rainer [40] used numerical methods to calculate gear noise from a transmission. These models were designed for use in finite element models of gearing systems for simulating gear-whine. per unit transmission error was proposed. A direct time integrating method was used to predict sound generation. A new gear train structure that would be effective in reducing gear noise was investigated. a modified gearbox was tested in a car and the gear noise was substantially reduced. which were transformed to the frequency domain and used as input to a finite element model of the gearbox. calculated by a MBS (multi-body system) software. They used finite element analysis to calculate natural frequencies and forced vibrations of the gearbox structure (housing). hypoid and planetary gear sets were developed by Donley et al. Stoffels and Troska [46] optimised the gear noise from a car gearbox. The computational strategy for the determination of the dynamic response of the internal gearbox components was described. The transfer matrix approach was used for the analysis and a benchmark example was presented to verify the calculation method. [36]. Hellinger. [33] used finite element dynamic modelling methods to predict gear noise from a rear wheel drive automatic transmission. The proposed method was dynamic modelling of the gearbox from inside out. bevel. The results were used as input to a torsional vibration model of the power train (from the engine to the wheels). Finite element analysis was used by Nurhadi [41] to investigate the influence of gear system parameters on noise generation. at locations supporting the gear train bearings.

The influence of bearing positions on sound radiation from a single stage spur gear system was investigated by Zhou et al. They also decreased the noise level by decreasing the diameter and stiffness of the pinion shaft. This had the effect of decreasing the vibration level of the hypoid gear itself and changing the resonance frequency of the driveline. The natural frequencies for torsional vibrations of the gearing system and the natural frequency for bending vibration of the gear shaft also influenced displacements. [44]. predicted with a simple single degree of freedom mass spring model. He showed experimentally that gears with larger errors could be quieter than gears with smaller errors and proposed the use of gear deviations to dampen resonances. The causes and effects of amplitude modulation in rear axle gears were analysed. Displacements were shown to depend on the bending stiffness of gear shafts and bearing stiffness. making the dynamical system non-symmetric. For example. [34] investigated the dynamics of straight bevel gears. They used a disk machine in which rolling and sliding contact were generated between two disks. The effect of tooth surface roughness on gear noise and gear noise transmitting path was investigated by Ishida and Matsuda [42]. They showed that the bearing offset. The results were compared with results from a gear system in a gear noise testing machine. by adding an inertia disk at one sideflange of the final drive. Experimental studies of a variety of rear axles confirmed the existence of a peak in vibration and corresponding observed noise. Abe and Hagiwara [48] reduced rear axle gear noise in a car. Terauchi et al. The radiated sound power increased with the offset. Also Runge [45] discussed the influence of resonances on gear related noise from axles in vehicles.4 Experimental investigations There are also some experimental studies on gear dynamics. The frequency. considerably influenced the vibration and radiated noise.2. was close to the frequency of the observed noise peak. Pinion motion response spectrums obtained from rear axle assemblies and hypoid gear test machines were shown to relate gear quality measurements to individual gear manufacturing errors like run–out and heat treatment distortions. Remmers [37] studied the dynamical system of rear axle gears and predicted the existence of a vertical resonance of the pinion. The vibrations of high frequencies (gear mesh frequency and multiples thereof) were shown to appear in axial direction. from the centre of the housing wall. A power circulating gear test rig equipped with contact–less inductance type accelerometers were used to measure the vibrations of straight bevel gears in three directions. 18 .

19 .56 /(5.56 Where: L : overall noise level at 1 meter from a gearbox β : helix angle u : gear ratio εα : transverse contact ratio W : transmitted power in kW v : pitch line speed in m/s ~ X : Vibration displacement amplitude normalised by static deflection. a new prediction equation was proposed by Masuda et al.2.56 + v) and adding the effects of dynamics. New prediction equation: L= 20(1 − tan (β / 2)) • 8 u 4 εα 5. [39]. The equation was obtained by adding a dynamics term to Kato’s equation. Predicted noise levels were compared with experimental noise measurements for hobbed gears and gears ground with two different grinding methods and the correlation was good. Katos equation: L= 20(1 − tan (β / 2 )) • 8 u + 20 log W dB( A) f v 4 εα Where: L : overall noise level at 1 meter from a gearbox β : helix angle u : gear ratio εα : transverse contact ratio W : transmitted power in hp fv : speed factor (analogous to dynamic factor in JIS – B1702) The new prediction equation was derived by replacing the speed factor fv by AGMA’s recommendation f v 0 = 5. calculated by vibration analysis using a simple torsional dynamic model.56 + v ~ dB( A) + 20 log W + 20 log X 5.5 Noise prediction models (equations) In order to obtain a more accurate prediction method of gear noise.

without the need for a complete vehicle. For each order of interest (gear mesh frequency and its harmonics) the pass/fail target levels were defined by testing a selection of gearboxes which had noise characteristics regarded as just acceptable. Vibrations were measured on the final drive casing and the corresponding forces and torques in the gearing were calculated. such as testing different part specimens or even re-assembly with the same parts. increasing either the profile or face contact ratio reduced the noise. used in machine diagnostics in order to detect gear failures before catastrophic failure occurs. related to the rotational speed and number of teeth of the gear. A noise testing equipment. The investigation gave information about the dynamics of the driving gear and the possibility to make comparisons between different driving gears. In noise reduction tests. Closely related is also vibration measurement and signal analysis for the purpose of gear fault detection. High contact ratio spur gears showed a noise reduction of about 2 dB over standard spur gears. Nine different spur and helical gear designs were tested in a gear noise test rig to compare the noise radiated from the gearbox top for the various gear designs and the results were: • • • • • The total contact ratio was the most significant factor for reducing noise. The non-involute spur gears were 3–4 dB noisier than involute spur gears. For each gear of the gearbox. [52] investigated the influence of gear design on gearbox radiated noise. the speed was ramped up while measuring noise with three microphones. It is also possible to detect different errors like for example run out (eccentricity) due to side-band generation [1]. utilising low cost digital analysis and control techniques was described. 3. Gears create noise at specific frequencies.3 NOISE AND VIBRATION MEASUREMENT 3. may be of the same order of magnitude as the effect of deliberate design changes 20 .2 Gear noise measurement Middelton [50] discussed noise testing of gearboxes in the production line. Oswald et al. A test rig was developed by Gielisch and Heitmann [51] to investigate gear noise from a car rear axle. The noise level of double helical gears averaged about 4 dB higher than otherwise similar single helical gears.1 Introduction to noise and vibration measurement Noise and vibration measurement and signal analysis are important tools when experimentally investigating gear noise. variation due to unintended effects.

Noise and vibration measurement and signal analysis are important tools when experimentally investigating gear noise because gears create noise at specific frequencies. Both torsional and translational vibrations were measured. For more complex models. 21 . Different methods for condition assessment were compared.3. 4 CONCLUSIONS Most authors seem to agree that transmission error is an important excitation mechanism for gear noise and vibration. For relatively simple gear-systems it is possible to use lumped parameter dynamic models with springs. which includes for example the gearbox casing. Pseudo-Wigner-Ville-distribution. The definition of transmission error is “The difference between the actual position of the output gear and the position it would occupy if the gear drive were perfectly conjugate”. A new telemetric torsional vibration sensor was developed. In addition to transmission error.3 Gear fault detection Methods for vibration measurement and gear fault detection were investigated and developed by Limmer [49]. The use of time-frequency-analysis (TFA) in machine diagnostics was discussed by Klein and Stockmanns [53]. related to number of teeth and the rotational speed of the gear. GaborTransformation. shafts. at least in the case of low transmission error gears. finite element modelling is often used. bearings and gearbox casing are useful in order to understand and predict the dynamic behaviour of a gearbox. Choi-Williams-distribution and Wavelet transformation were described. masses and viscous damping. A four square test rig was used to obtain vibration data from a run to gearfailure. The different TFA methods: Short-Time-Fourier-Transformation. Dynamic models of the system consisting of gears. friction and bending moment are other possible time varying noise excitation mechanisms that might be in the same order of magnitude as transmission error.

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