Surface Roughness of Drivetrain Gears

Date
2015-04-14
Authors
Keep, Patrick
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Altmetrics
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Mechanical Engineering
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Mechanical Engineering
Abstract

Surface roughness of gear surfaces has a significant impact on the life of gear tooth contacts in a drivetrain. We use an optical profilometer to scan the surface of a gear tooth from the drivetrain. Although the profilometer does several calculations, we are looking for more options and capabilities to aid in the gear sample analysis. To meet this goal, a MATLAB program was developed to calculate the average of absolute values (Ra), root mean squared (RMS), skewness, kurtosis, and average correlation length for each set of data. In addition, the program removes large spikes and fills in null points. It was found that the deddendum region had about twice the average Ra and RMS of the rest of the gear tooth. This region is one place where gear teeth slide against each other when interlocking. Lower Ra and RMS values are preferred since it will result in a lower coefficient of friction leading to less wear. An understanding of the effect of surface roughness on the life of a gear contact can help prevent future failures of drivetrains or similar components.

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