You are on page 1of 9




VB-Technical University of Ostrava, Faculty of Mechanical Engineering, Department of Machine Parts and Mechanisms,
17.listopadu15, 70833 Ostrava-Poruba, Czech republic
E-mail:, zdenek.folta@vsb,

lnek se zabv nvrhem dimenzovn ozuben pro rzn typy automobilnch diferencil adli moment. Vnavrenm postupu
jsou pouity nejnovj vpotov postupy podle norem ISO a DIN. Do vpotu jsou aplikovna hypotetick spektra provoznho
zaten, kter jsou odvozena odvlastnch men.

This article deals with the procedure for loading capacity calculation for various types of automobile differentials and torque dividers.
The latest calculation methods in accordance with ISO and DIN standards are applied in this procedure. Hypothetical spectra of
working load derived from own measurements are applied.

The proposed calculation procedures relate to adifferential with The relative circumferential speeds are very low; for example,
spur and bevel gears and various division ratios of torque. The the gears of an axis differential have arelative circumferential
division ratio is defined by relationships JD = T1/T2 1; T1 T2; velocity close to zero when driving straight ahead. Frequencies
TU = T1 + T2, where indexes 1, 2 are marked with an output of load cycles at all load levels are very low and therefore
torque, and their sum TU is usually torque n on the planet carrier. the design approach differs from classic kinematic gears. The
Gears of mechanical differentials are significantly different from vehicle drive train scheme can be very diverse with avariety of
other gear drives, because they have aspecific mesh and method differentials location, as shown in Table 1.
of loading.

TABLE 1: Examples of basic car drive variants

TABULKA 1: Pklady zkladnch variant pohonu automobilu

FIGURE 1: Drive train scheme for 66 vehicles

OBRZEK 1: Schma pohon uvozidla 66

The scheme for fully 66 vehicles is shown in Figure 1, where

each differential type is marked.

Design Procedure for Loading Capacity Calculations for Classic Automobile Differentials
Vladimr Moravec, Zdenk Folta, Petr Marlek MECCA 03 2012 PAGE 22
Download Date | 2/24/17 10:09 AM
for an axial differential with bevel gears and four planets is
DDtorque divider JD=TZ/TP 1 shown in Figure 2.
TZ drive of rear two axles (tandem) [Nm] The scheme and design of a differential with spur gears and
TPdrive of front axle [Nm] division ratio JD = 1 as shown in Figure 3 is used less frequently.
DM inter-axle differential (divider) JD = T2/T3 = 1 The design of adifferential lock that provides connection between
DNaxle differential JD = TR/TL = 1 carrier with sun gear is shown in Figure 3. The differential locks
TR,Ldriving torques for right (R) and left (L) axle shaft [Nm] are used primarily in off-road vehicles, where there is arisk of
reduced mobility when the wheels slip. When the differential
The following are examples of some mechanical differentials lock is used on aroad with high adhesion, parasitic torques arise
and their power loads. An example of afrequently used design and increases the gear load.

FIGURE 2: Scheme and design of axis differential withbevel gears


FIGURE 3: Scheme adesign of adifferential withspur gears

OBRZEK 3: Schma apklad konstruknho een diferencilu selnmikoly

FIGURE 4: Planetary differential (divider)

OBRZEK 4: Planetov diferencil (dli)

Design Procedure for Loading Capacity Calculations for Classic Automobile Differentials
Vladimr Moravec, Zdenk Folta, Petr Marlek MECCA 03 2012 PAGE 23
Download Date | 2/24/17 10:09 AM
Atorque divider (inter-axle differential) is used to drive the front For example, from Figure 1 it will follow that:
and rear axles for JD>>1. The division ratio is dependent on the drivetrain 42 mD=1 (for front and rear);
engine and the total power load, or on the load ratio of the rear drivetrain 44 mD=0.5 for divider JD = 1
and front axles. The mechanical torque divider is implemented drivetrain 66 for divider with performance JD1, mDp =
using the planet as shown in Figure 4. 1/(1+JD),mDp = JD/(1+JD). This means that if JD = 2 then
mDp=0.33 for front axle and mDz=0.67 for rear axle.
The division ratio is JD =. 1.7~5. Most transmissions have JD =.2 If the vehicle isnt equipped with an inter-axle differential
for application on a 44 with rear double mounting or 66 (divider), then hypothetically we can assume that the division
with simple mounting. The ratio of axle load when applied to ratio JD is given by the axle load ratio JD=Gz/Gp. If the front axle
a 66 with rear double mounting for off-road vehicles (dump drive can be turned off, then according to the cited relationships
trucks) can be considerably greater JD =. 3~5. When deciding mp = 1/(1+ JD) and mz= 1 for drivetrain 44 or mz= 0.5 for
on the choice of divider the fact that in practically all driving drivetrain 66. Similarly, for the drivetrain 88. This reasoning
modes the rear axle is overload due to acceleration, group, etc. is valid providing that the inter-axle in adouble-axle always has
should be taken into account. An applied example of inter-axle ratio JD = 1.
differential JD =. 2 is shown in Figure 5. Control of a differential torque transmission is performed by
calculating adhesion torque according to the equation:

1 R
TDA = G N g Rd = 9,81G N d , [Nm]
iN iN

G N axle or double-axle load driven by differential [kg],
g gravitational acceleration [ms-2],
=1 agreed coefficient of adhesion [-],
R D dynamic radius of tire [m],
i N ratio between solved differential and tire [-].

Load of axle or double-axle is usually chosen according to the

FIGURE 5: Inter-axle differential withdivision ratio JD =. 2 static weight distribution. The actual dynamic load changes in
OBRZEK 5: Mezinpravov diferencil spomrem dlen JD =. 2 traffic. Rear axles are loaded more precisely in the limit state
(maximum) such as when riding up a hill, overloaded or during
The load of the differential for dimensioning of parts is very acceleration. For evaluation the load capacity can be used for the
difficult to define. Maximum torque from the motor and front differential axle (axles) taking into account the static load
adhesive load, which has an influence on the differential box GN = GP. To calculate the adhesion torque of the rear axle (axles)
(cage), is usually determined according to Table 1. Lets suppose ahigher static load can be assumed than the static load where
that the differential is loaded from the engine torque acting on the ratio is about NZ=(1.11.5) thus GN=(1.11.5), where GP
the differential cage as per the following equation: and GZ are nominal static axle (axles) loads. This is especially
true where over loading of the rear axles is not considered. The
TABLE 2: Allowable load of differential torque
TABULKA 2: Mezn zaten moment diferencilu
TM maximum engine torque[Nm], torques ratio torques size Recommendations for design
iDM maximum ratio between the engine and
TDM<TDA TD = TDM front and rear axle
differential cage [-],
mD proportion of the torque corresponding to the TDM>> TDA TD = TDA only front axle
by more than
controlled differential [-]
50% TD = (1,11,5) TDA rear axle
DM = 1, for comparative calculation the efficiency is
usually neglected. TDMTDA TDM + TDA
TD = rear axle
to 50% 2

Design Procedure for Loading Capacity Calculations for Classic Automobile Differentials
Vladimr Moravec, Zdenk Folta, Petr Marlek MECCA 03 2012 PAGE 24
Download Date | 2/24/17 10:09 AM
TABLE 3: Parameters for determination of load of differentials
TABULKA 3: Parametry pro stanoven zaten diferencil

Type of differential Origin of force on drive differential element d [mm] Coefficient of uneven force distribution [-]
= 1 for n = 2 or for
dm=mn z n = 4 free pin
middle pitch diameter of central wheel
=. 1.2for n = 4 rigid pin

d=mn z12
Spur (straight teeth)
pitch diameter of central wheel
= 1 for n = 2, 3
=. n/(n 1)for n > 3
d=dU =. mn (z1+zs)
center distance between satellite pins

resulting agreed torques acting on aplanet carrier (differential Rotations of the differential gear are theoretically zero when
cage) for the comparative strength calculations are summarized driving is straight. The spinning of the differential gear occurs
for various operating conditions in Table 2. under the following conditions:
The forces between the teeth of all the differentials are given by driven wheel tires have different rolling radii and
the equation: different load,
driven wheels or axles move along an unequal length
2000 TU , [N] of the roadway (curves, transverse and longitudinal
FT =
d n irregularities),
uneven traction of tires on one axle (or axles for inter-
where axle differentials) due to uneven adhesion or different
TU=TD torque moment on the driving element of characteristics of tire slip.
adifferential given by Table 2[Nm], The rotation frequency of differential gears depends on speed,
n number of planetary gears or pairs of planetary vehicle load, traffic density, climatic conditions and other factors
gears[-], (adhesion, uneven off-road). Determining the load spectrum for
degree of inequality of aforce distribution differential gears (with respect to load cycles or rotations on load)
(Table3)[-], is very difficult. For orientation and abasic idea of all relationships,
d reference or the pitch diameter of driving element load characteristics were measured on akoda Fabia car.
of adifferential [mm]. During the measurements instantaneous values of rotations on the
The rotation load of differential gears, such as number of cycles, left and right wheel axles were directly recorded. The value of the
differs significantly over avariety of vehicle driving conditions. rotations difference is positive or negative. When calculating the

FIGURE 6: Evaluation of recorded differences in rotations from the left and right wheel
OBRZEK 6: Vyhodnocen zznam urozdlu otek zlevho apravho kola

Design Procedure for Loading Capacity Calculations for Classic Automobile Differentials
Vladimr Moravec, Zdenk Folta, Petr Marlek MECCA 03 2012 PAGE 25
Download Date | 2/24/17 10:09 AM
TABLE 4: Rotations evaluation of the differential gears
TABULKA 4: Vyhodnocen potu otek ozubench kol diferencilu

Measured values Calculated values

rotations of central wheel
length on1km
of the section
difference of
travel time average speed na 3600
Type of roadway Measured section
t vp v p t rotations ni =
[s] [km/h]
l= na = |nL nR| vp
3600 [s-1]
in section average

motorway to Bohumn I 102.14 86.16 2.44 0.08473 3.540

motorway motorway to Bohumn II 463.58 81.23 10.46 0.03458 1.532 3.083

Klimkovice Pustim 3600.0 122.35 122.35 0.14194 4.177

Pvoz areal VB-TU 1653.0 32.81 15.06 0.06741 7.397

centrum Michlkovice 1136.0 30.06 9.49 0.08522 10.206

town 9.059
Michlkovice Radvanice 1601.0 28.97 12.88 0.08929 11.093

Radvanice areal VB-TU 1239.6 31.34 10.79 0.06564 7.541

roadway class areal VB-TU Petvald 1386.34 43.25 16.65 0.05033 4.190
Ioutside the city Petvald Kopivnice 1004.91 52.29 14.60 0.09237 6.360

roadway class II Opava Blovec 2068.4 50.00 28.73 0.08112 5.841 5.841

Total traffic 5.815

differential loads, differences in the absolute value of the rotation For the assessment of differential gear life it is necessary to
difference between the left and the right half axle: na=|nL-nR| determine the frequency rather than speed differential, depending
are also taken into account. on distance traveled. The log records the measured values of the
An example of difference and frequency of rotations of average velocity vp, time driving t and the average value of the
automobile wheels during city driving is shown in Figure 6. relative rotation na , which was evaluated for each type of driving
in Table 4. This Table lists the driving evaluated by calculating
resulting frequency of sun gear rotations in test vehicles per 1km.
TABLE 5: Load spectrum parameters For lifetime calculation of differential gears a hypothetical load
TABULKA 5: Parametry spekter zaten
spectrum was created frommeasured values on acar, see Table 4.
relative number of The load spectrum is usually expressed as torque as afunction of
spectrum cycles degree the number of cycles (in absolute or relative values) for adefined
for of spectrum roadway. For further use in the lifetime calculations, mathematical
type of roadway torque
maximal total aggressiveness compensation for load spectrum was performed using the equation:
load NC s

(Mi) s
motorway 970 110 -3
1 2.2 Np ,
Ni = N C
town 1650 1.210-5 1 1.2
roadway class I 1150 110-5 1 1.9
Ni cumulative number of load cycles on the i-th level,
NC total number of spectrum cycles,
roadway class II 1350 310-4 1 1.07 NP number of cycles at the highest level,
Mi relative medium torque on the i-th level,
total with
1620 1.7210-6 1 1.3 s degree of spectrum aggressiveness.
weight 0.25

Design Procedure for Loading Capacity Calculations for Classic Automobile Differentials
Vladimr Moravec, Zdenk Folta, Petr Marlek MECCA 03 2012 PAGE 26
Download Date | 2/24/17 10:09 AM
FIGURE 7: Relative cumulative frequency of torque level
OBRZEK 7: Pomrn kumulativn etnost vskytu hladiny momentu

For each type of road specified in Table 4 the load spectrum the frequency of maximum load for differential gears is
was evaluated (torque in relation to the cumulative number of low and it is used to reduce by tire adhesion,
cycles). Subsequently asubstitution was performed according to the number of loading cycles is derived from the
the relationship with the parameters in Table 5. The measured rotation difference of driven parts (axles, half-axles) and
values of the spectrum sum and their total compensation are is very low,
shown in Figure 7. formation of higher relative rotation from high torque is
The plot of the relative load spectrum from the measured values unlikely,
can be hypothetically accepted as abasis for estimating the load no internal dynamic forces arise because circumferential
of all types of vehicles with regard to their specific destination. velocities are very low during differential gears meshing.
The maximum load corresponds to the maximum torque Gears of automobile differentials are loaded in low cycle fatigue.
specified in Table 1. The number of cycles can be derived for sun This means that the maximum stress occurs when the number
gear from speed per 1 kilometer (Table 4) times the estimated of cycles is in the order of lower than 104 cycles. Load control is
expected life of the vehicle in kilometers. The estimated number performed by modified procedures according to DIN 3990-T41,
of cycles of load spectrum for the basic vehicle types is shown which is practically identical to ISO 6336, which is intended for
in Table 6. the design of automobile gears.
The design of automotive differential gears requires adifferent For comparative calculations of allowable stress of differential
approach to other drive aggregates of vehicles for the following gears, factors influencing additional load due to bending and
reasons: contact can be neglected

TABLE 6: Estimated number of cycles for vehicle load spectrum

TABULKA 6: Odhady pot cykl spekter zaten automobil
Vehicle type

Personal automobile Van Truck

Estimate of expected life LD[km] 2.5105 5105 2106

35 510 1020
Mean value of rotation nsi [cycles/km]
(measured) (measured) (estimated)

Total length of spectrum NC=LDnsi[cycles] 7.51051.3106 2.51065106 21074107

Total number of cycles at maximum load level in lifetime NP [spectrum] 7.513 2550 200400

Design Procedure for Loading Capacity Calculations for Classic Automobile Differentials
Vladimr Moravec, Zdenk Folta, Petr Marlek MECCA 03 2012 PAGE 27
Download Date | 2/24/17 10:09 AM
s s 2 , 3 hFa
To calculate the bending stress of an automobile differential YSa = 1, 2 + 0,13 Fn Fn 1, 21+
s Fn
gear it is appropriate to use the DIN 3390-3 method C, which hFa 2 Fn
considers the force on the head of the tooth according to
Figure8. Bending stress in gears with straight teeth will equal stress correction factor

Calculation of the limit contact stress (modified Hertzian

relationship) to the tooth contact is given by the equation:

Ft u + 1
H = Z H Z E Z
d b u
Ft tangential load identical with calculation of
bending stress,
d planet reference diameter (virtual gears for bevel
gears) [mm],
b tooth width for calculating the contact stress[mm],
u gear ratio z1/z2 and virtual gears for bevel gears zv1/
2cos wt
ZH = zone factor,
FIGURE 8: Scheme of tooth load for the calculation of bending stress cos 2 t sin wt
OBRZEK 8: Schma zaten zubu pro vpoet napt vohybu

Z E = 190 [MPa] (steel-steel) elasticity factor,

F = YFa YSa Y
bF mn
4 -
Z = contact ratio factor.
where 3

2000TD Determination of allowable bending stress and contact based

FT = tangential load [N] on the fatigue properties is set out in the cited ISO and DIN
standards. Gears of automotive differentials are made almost
T D agreed torque according to differential type [Nm], entirely of carburizing steels alloyed with Cr-Mo or Cr-Mn with
bF tooth width for calculation of the bending stress medium quality (MQ). Fatigue properties in bending and contact
[mm] can generally be described by the diagram in Figure 9 and data
mn normal module [mm] according to Table 6.
d reference diameter of drive differential element

Coefficients for the calculation of bending stress:

cos Fan
mn form factor,
YFa = 6 2
s Fn
cos n

Y = 0, 25 + contact ratio factor, where transverse
contact ratio, FIGURE 9: Fatigue properties of differentials
OBRZEK 9: navov vlastnosti ozubench kol diferencil

Design Procedure for Loading Capacity Calculations for Classic Automobile Differentials
Vladimr Moravec, Zdenk Folta, Petr Marlek MECCA 03 2012 PAGE 28
Download Date | 2/24/17 10:09 AM
Parameters of S-N curves for gear materials 20MnCr5 (1.7147) Hlim 1
and 20MoCr4 (1.7321) are directly determined and shown in SH = = 0,625
Hlim Z NT Z NT
the summary Table 6 according standard DIN 3990-41. Fatigue
limit in bending sFE is defined in the ISO standard in terms of
The validity of these relationships is generally determined by the
amplitude, but standards DIN and SN indicate pulsating cycles
shape of the operating load spectrum. This spectrum is strongly
where the following applies:
dependent on operating conditions, type of vehicle and type of
differential (axial, inter-axle). The hypothetical spectrum that
FEN = 2Flim
was used to calculate the comparison differential gear life was
created on the basis of measurements.
Fatigue limit in bending and contact simply marked
This calculation was performed for car applications listed in
slim are shown in Table. 6.
Table 5. Maximum stress max was chosen at the upper limit of
the highest class (p=10), which corresponds to the maximum
level allowable static load p according to Table 6. This is the
highest load, if not allowing loading based on the yield strength.
for bending,
min= 0 is chosen as the minimum stress of the spectrum in the
P = HlimZNT lowest class (p=1) . The numbers of spectrum cycles NP and NC
are shown in Table 4. For minimum safety levels SF and SH the
for contact. intensity of damage is listed in Table 8.
The intensity of damage DH relates to the spectrum length LP,
TABLE 7: Fatigue characteristics of hardened gears which is given by an estimate of the life of the vehicle (Table 5).
TABULKA 7: navov charakteristiky cementovanch ozubench kol The calculated lifetime is given by Lzv=LP/DH.
When assessing the resistance of contact and bending the shape
Common Bending Contact
of the S-N curve must be taken into account. This depends on the
parameter of S-N ISO DIN ISO DIN
curve 6336-5 3990-41 6336-5 3990-41 number of cycles Nlim and exponent q (Table 6). At the same load
Vickers [HRC] 5864 5864 bending damage will be at afar lower number of cycles than the
lim[MPa] 922 (1000) 920 1500 contact damage. Circumferential and slide velocities are so small
P[MPa] - 1840 (2300) - 2400 that contact damage of the differential gears cannot be expected.
Nlim - 3106 - 5107 The intensity of differential gear damage for those vehicles where the
YNT, ZNT - 2 (2.5) - 1.6 requirements for the total lifetime are in the range (0.51)106km,
NP - 103 - 105 is very low. The results of service life calculation of heavy trucks are
q - 11.5 (8.3) - 13.2
broadly consistent with the required minimum safety levels.

Values in Table 6 apply for the probability of damage P=1%.

Values in brackets are for steels with higher carbon content
The design of automobile differentials can be checked with
(according to ISO standard smaller value applies for the strength
sufficient reliability in terms of safety to fatigue limit. This
in the core min. 850 MPa, the higher value is for strength in the
assumption is confirmed by measurements and calculations.
core of min. 1000 MPa).
Contact safety (SH<0.625) is not to be observed on the basis of
The safety of differential gears, which are loaded in low cycle
the comparative life calculations, so can be designed to select
fatigue, can be defined by common inequalities:
the value of safety:
S Slim = SF = SH> 0.5
Vehicles intended for mixed traffic and terrain are equipped with
for bending stress safety can be calculated from the equation: a mechanical differential lock. This prevents slippage of tires
with reduced adhesion. A permanent differential lock causes
FEN 2 Flim 1 1 the formation of parasitic torques, which increase the load,
SF = = = = 0, 5 0, 4
FEN YNT 2 Flim YNT YF 2 2,5 and it gives rise to higher requirements for the resistance of
differentials. Adequate safety for different types of vehicles can
and for contact: be summarized as follows:

Design Procedure for Loading Capacity Calculations for Classic Automobile Differentials
Vladimr Moravec, Zdenk Folta, Petr Marlek MECCA 03 2012 PAGE 29
Download Date | 2/24/17 10:09 AM
personal automobile 42 with classicaldifferentials
without lock:
This article is performed at VB-Technical University of Ostrava.
Slim =. 0.5 0.6 The research on VB-Technical University of Ostrava has been
vans and trucks for road use without differential lock: subsidized by the Czech Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports
Slim =. 0.6 0.7 Project 1M0568 Josef Boek Research Center.
trucks and vehicles for off-road and all vehicles with
differential locks:
Slim > 0.7.
[1] Folta, Z., Dejl, Z. (2011). Analza ztnho spektra
diferencilu osobnho automobilu. D19-VCJB21A413/2011,
Ostrava, 10p. (in Czech).
[2] Folta, Z., Hrudikov, M. (2008). Zpracovn ztnch
TABLE 8: The calculation of lifetime for differential maximum load
spekter pevodovky osobnho automobilu zarznch
TABULKA 8: Vpoet ivotnosti pro maximln zaten diferencilu
jzdnch podmnek. D14VCJB 3.3.3/2008, Ostrava, 32p.
Vehicles Personal automobile Van (inCzech).
Traffic hilly heavy [3] Moravec, V. (1972). Kontroln vpoet dli adiferencil
Damage F H F H osobnch ankladnch automobil svjimkou
P 1840 2300 2400 1840 2300 2400 samosvornch diferencil. Vzkumn zprva VMV
Spectrum NP 13 50 Z-74/72, Praha, 16p. (in Czech).
by Tables [4] Moravec, V. (1994). Kontroln vpoet mezinpravovho
5 and 6 NC 1.3e6 5e6
diferencilu skorunovmi koly. Intern zprva TATRA
S 1.3 1.3
.06.01.815-2-57, Kopivnice, 24p. (in Czech).
lim 920 920 1500 920 920 1500 [5] Deutsches Institut fr Normung e. V. (1987).
S-N curve Tragfhigkeitsberechnung von Stirnrdern Teil 15.
Nlim 3e6 3e6 5e7 3e6 3e6 5e7 Berlin.
by Table 6
q 11.5 8.3 13.2 11.5 8.3 13.2 [6] Deutsches Institut fr Normung e. V. (1990).
Tragfhigkeitsberechnung von Stirnrdern Teil 41: Anwen
required lifetime
250000 500000 dungsnormfrFahrzeuggetriebe. DIN 3990-41. Berlin.
LP [km]
intensity of
[7] ad pro normalizaci amen. (1988) Pevnostn vpoet
damage 0.0369 0.0916 0.0002 0.1418 0.3523 0.0009 elnch akuelovch ozubench kol. SN 014686 st 15.
DH (Haibach) Praha.
Smin 0.5 0.4 0.62 0.5 0.4 0.62 [8] esk normalizan institut. (2005). Vpoet nosnosti
elnch ozubench kol apmmi aikmmi zuby st5:
vehicle truck
daje opevnosti akvalit materil. SN ISO 6336-5.
traffic combined off-road Praha.
damage F H F H
P 1840 2300 2400 1840 2300 2400
spectrum NP 200 400
by Tables
5 and 6 NC 2e7 4e7
S 1.3 1.3
lim 920 920 1500 920 920 1500
S-N curve
parameters Nlim 3e6 3e6 5e7 3e6 3e6 5e7
by Table 6
q 11.5 8.3 13.2 11.5 8.3 13.2
required lifetime
LP [km]
intensity of damage
0.567 1.4092 0.0035 1.134 2.8183 0.0069
DH (Haibach)
Smin 0.5 0.4 0.62 0.5 0.4 0.62

Design Procedure for Loading Capacity Calculations for Classic Automobile Differentials
Vladimr Moravec, Zdenk Folta, Petr Marlek MECCA 03 2012 PAGE 30
Download Date | 2/24/17 10:09 AM