One important source of noise in drive trains are transmissions. In numerous applications, it is necessary to use helical instead of spur gear stages due to increased noise requirements. Besides a superior excitation behaviour, helical gears also show additional disadvantageous effects (e.g. axial forces and tilting moments), which have to be taken into account in the design process. Thus, a low noise spur gear stage could simplify design and meet the requirements of modern mechanical drive trains.
The authors explore the possibility of combining the low noise properties of helical gears with the advantageous mechanical properties of spur gears by using spur gears with variable tip diameter along the tooth width. This allows the adjustment of the total length of active lines of action at the beginning and end of contact and acts as a mesh stiffness modification. For this reason, several spur gear designs are experimentally investigated and compared with regard to their excitation behaviour.
The experiments are performed on a back-to-back test rig and include quasi-static transmission error measurements under load as well as dynamic torsional vibration measurements. The results show a significant improvement of the excitation behaviour for spur gears with variable tip diameter.