Gear Crack Propagation Path Studies-- Guidelines Developed for Ultrasafe Design
- Lewicki, David G.
- March 2002.
- Physical Description:
- 1 electronic document
- Restrictions on Access:
- Unclassified, Unlimited, Publicly available.
- Effective gear designs balance strength, durability, reliability, size, weight, and cost. However, unexpected gear failures may occur even with adequate gear tooth design. To design an extremely safe system, the designer must ask and address the question "What happens when a failure occurs?" With regard to gear-tooth bending fatigue, tooth or rim fractures may occur. For aircraft, a crack that propagated through a rim would be catastrophic, leading to the disengagement of a rotor or propeller, the loss of an aircraft, and possible fatalities. This failure mode should be avoided. However, a crack that propagated through a tooth might or might not be catastrophic, depending on the design and operating conditions. Also, early warning of this failure mode might be possible because of advances in modern diagnostic systems. An analysis was performed at the NASA Glenn Research Center to develop design guidelines to prevent catastrophic rim fracture failure modes in the event of gear-tooth bending fatigue. The finite element method was used with principles of linear elastic fracture mechanics. Crack propagation paths were predicted for a variety of gear tooth and rim configurations. The effects of rim and web thicknesses, initial crack locations, and gear-tooth geometry factors such as diametral pitch, number of teeth, pitch radius, and tooth pressure angle were considered. Design maps of tooth and rim fracture modes, including the effects of gear geometry, applied load, crack size, and material properties were developed. The occurrence of rim fractures significantly increased as the backup ratio (rim thickness divided by tooth height) decreased. The occurrence of rim fractures also increased as the initial crack location was moved down the root of the tooth. Increased rim and web compliance increased the occurrence of rim fractures. For gears with constant-pitch radii, coarser-pitch teeth increased the occurrence of tooth fractures over rim fractures. Also, 25 degree pressure angle teeth increased the occurrence of tooth fractures over rim fractures in comparison to 20 pressure angle teeth. For gears with a constant number of teeth or for gears with constant diametral pitch, varying size had little or no effect on crack propagation paths.
- NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) Collection.
- Document ID: 20050203751. and Research and Technology 2001; NASA/TM-2002-211333.
- No Copyright.
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