An experimental methodology to study engine gear rattle problems



Gear induced noise represents a major part of overall automotive drivetrain noise. Gear rattle noise is caused by strongly nonlinear dynamic behavior of the gear pair, primarily due to external torque of speed fluctuations under lightly loaded conditions. Such loading conditions cannot be generated by using the conventional gear dynamics test set-ups that employ power recirculating gearbox arrangements or conventional electric motors. In this paper, a new test set-up is introduced to emulate the actual torque/velocity fluctuations of the input and/or output members of a gear train through three-phase synchronous servo-motors.  In addition to establishing backlash boundaries, a pair of absolute encoders are used to measure the relative motions of the gears as well as their impacts along the drive and coast sides flanks or gears.  Torsional vibratory behavior of a gear pair is presented at different backlash values under several input/output fluctuation conditions along with the companion sound pressure measurements.