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On noise generation and dynamic

transmission error of gears


Mats Henriksson

Stockholm 2009

Royal Institute of Technology


School of Engineering Sciences
Department of Aeronautical and Vehicle Engineering
The Marcus Wallenberg Laboratory for Sound and Vibration Research

TRITA-AVE 2009:89
ISSN 1651-7660
ISBN 978-91-7415-537-2
c
Mats
Henriksson, November 2009
Printed in Sweden,
Universitetsservice US-AB

Preface
The work in this thesis has been carried out at the department of Aeronautical and
Vehicle Engineering at the Royal institute of Technology (KTH). The funding from
Scania CV AB and the Swedish Agency for Innovation systems - VINNOVA is gratefully
acknowledged. I would also like to thank my supervisor Leping Feng at KTH for help
and guidance in my research and my present manager Anders Abser and my former
managers Mikael Parssinen and Gunnar Strandell for allowing me to perform this work.
I am grateful for all the help from my colleagues at both Scania and KTH. I would also
like to thank my wife Monica and our two children, Alva and Gustav, as well as the rest
of my family for their support during this work.
Mats Henriksson
Stockholm, November 2009

Abstract
Noise from heavy trucks is an important environmental issue. Several sources contribute
to the total noise level of a vehicle, such as the engine, gearbox, tires, etc. The tonal
noise from the gearbox can be very disturbing for the driver, even if the noise level from
the gearbox is lower than the total noise level. The human ear has a remarkable way
of detecting pure tones of which the noise from loaded gears consists of. To be allowed
to sell a heavy truck within the European Union, the so called pass-by noise test must
be completed successfully. The maximum noise level permitted is 80dB(A) and under
certain conditions, the gearbox can be an important contributor to the total noise level.
Gear noise is therefore an important issue for the automotive industry.
In this thesis gear noise and dynamic transmission error is investigated. Traditionally,
transmission error (TE) is considered to be the main excitation mechanism of gear noise.
The definition of TE is the difference between the actual position of the output gear
and the position it would occupy if the gear drive were perfect. Measurements of
dynamic transmission error (DTE) and noise have been performed on a gearbox. The
measurement object was a commercial truck gearbox powered by an electrical motor.
The torque used was in the normal operating range of the gearbox and the correlation
between gear noise and DTE, when the torque is changed, is investigated. The result
differs for different gear pairs and for the first gear stage, located close to the housing,
the correlation is high for most speeds. The measured DTE and noise show a poor
correlation with calculated transmission error. A minimisation of TE therefore does not
necessarily mean a minimisation of gear noise.
A transfer function can be employed to calculate the relationship between DTE and
noise. The general trend of the gear noise is an increase of 6dB per doubling of the
rotational speed together with fluctuations around the mean due to resonances of the
system. The magnitude of the transfer function can be estimated using the amplitudes
of the gear mesh orders and harmonics.
Two gear pairs with similar macro geometry but different profile modifications are
investigated. Although the gear pairs have similar transmission error, the noise level
display a significantly different trend, further strengthening the position that transmission error is not the single most important gear noise excitation mechanism. Further
analysis concludes that shuttling forces and friction forces can be more important than
what is often suggested. A dynamic model including transmission error and shuttling
forces is used to investigate the two gear pairs. The bearing forces show that for some
frequency regions shuttling forces can be of the same order of magnitude as the forces
caused by transmission error.
This work highlights the importance of considering other excitations of gear noise
besides transmission error when designing quiet gears. The influence of transmission
error can not be determined by investigating the gears only. A deeper knowledge of the
gear system is needed in order to minimise gear noise for a specific gear design.

Doctoral Thesis
This doctoral thesis consists of this summary and five appended papers listed below and
referred to as Paper A to Paper E.
Paper A
M. Henriksson: Analysis of gear noise and dynamic transmission error measurements. Presented at ASME IMECE04, paper 61077
Paper B
rssinen: On model of gearbox noise and dynamic
L. Feng, M. Henriksson, M. Pa
transmission error. Presented at ICSV12, paper 485
Paper C
M. Henriksson, L. Feng: Analysis of gear noise and dynamic transmission error using
a recursive Kalman filter algorithm. Submitted to International Journal of Acoustics
and Vibration
Paper D
M. Henriksson, Y. Pang, L. Feng: Transmission error as gear noise excitation.
Submitted to International Journal of Acoustics and Vibration
Paper E
M. Henriksson, L. Feng: A dynamic gear model including transmission error and
shuttling forces. Submitted to Journal of Mechanical Design

Contribution from the author of this thesis


Paper A
Performed the measurement, wrote the paper.
Paper B
Performed measurement, Performed analysis together with L. Feng
Paper C
Performed analysis, wrote the paper
Paper D
Performed analysis, wrote the paper
Paper E
Developed model, wrote the paper

Material from this thesis has also been presented at the following two conferences:
Henriksson, M. and Pang, Y., 2009, Transmission Error As Gear Noise Excitation
IDETC/CIE 2009, paper DETC2009-86695.
Henriksson, M. and M. Parssinen,Comparison Of Gear Noise And Dynamic Transmission Error Measurements, ICSV10,2003, paper 61077

Contents
1 Introduction
1.1 Background . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
1.2 Motivation . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

1
1
1

2 Gear noise
2.1 Transmission error . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
2.2 Friction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
2.3 Shuttling forces . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

2
3
4
4

3 Dynamic gear modelling

4 Measurement of gear noise and DTE

5 Summary
5.1 Paper
5.2 Paper
5.3 Paper
5.4 Paper
5.5 Paper

of
A
B
C
D
E

main results
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6 Conclusions and future work

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References

15

1
1.1

Introduction
Background

Noise from heavy trucks is an important environmental issue. Several sources contribute
to the total noise level, such as the engine, gearbox, tires, etc. In this work, gearbox
noise is investigated. The tonal noise from the gearbox can be very disturbing for the
driver, even if the noise level from the gearbox is lower than the total noise level. The
human ear has a remarkable way of detecting pure tones of which the noise from loaded
gears consists of [1]. To be allowed to sell a heavy truck within the European Union,
the so called pass-by noise test must be completed successfully. The maximum noise
level permitted is 80 dB(A) [2, 3] and under certain conditions, the gearbox can be an
important contributor to the total noise level. Gear noise is therefore an important issue
for the automotive industry.
The decreasing time for product development also creates a need for modelling and
optimising the dynamic and acoustic properties of gear systems. The ability to accurately predict the dynamic and acoustic behaviour before a prototype is built can save
both time and money. Also, understanding how a system behaves dynamically is crucial
when trying to find a solution to noise and vibration problems.
Transmission error (TE) is considered to be the main excitation mechanism of gear
noise. The definition of TE is the difference between the actual position of the output
gear and the position it would occupy if the gear drive were perfect [4]. In Dudleys
Gear Handbook [5], prof. D. Houser state that Transmission error is the single most
important factor in the generation of gear noise., other authors also asserts the importance of transmission error as the dominant gear noise excitation [6, 7, 8]. Additional
sources beside TE can also contribute to gear noise. Research show that effects such as
friction and shuttling forces can be important when analysing the dynamic behaviour of
gears [9, 10, 11]. This will be discussed more in the next section.
This thesis analyses the properties of the dynamic transmission error and the possibilities of using it to predict gear noise levels and the importance of other gear noise
sources besides transmission error.

1.2

Motivation

A review of the available literature revealed a need for experimental study of dynamic
transmission error and noise, especially for two stage gearboxes. For example, Davies
et al. [12] writes in a review on gear dynamic behavior that With the increasing power
of predictive methods there is a substantial lack of good correlative experimental data.
Measurement of dynamic transmission error and noise was therefore the first part of this
work. The result shows large deviations from the predicted noise behaviour of the gear
system based on a minimisation of transmission error. Understanding the reason for the
deviation therefore became a natural continuation of the thesis.

Figure 1: Truck gearbox similar to the one used in measurements

Gear noise

Gear noise is normally divided into two parts, gear whine and gear rattle [13]. Gear
whine is described as gear mesh frequency and their harmonics and is the main focus
of this thesis. Lightly loaded gears have been shown to exhibit non-linear behaviour
when the surfaces of the gear teeth loose contact and later collide. Rattle can be excited
by external speed fluctuations, for example in the timing gears of internal combustion
engines where the irregular speed of the crank shaft can excite rattling of the gears. The
internal excitation of the gears can also be a source of rattling and is often modelled
as a transmission error excitation [14, 15]. Gear whine on the other hand originates
from loaded gears. Gear whine can also display non-linear behaviour due to for example
partial contact loss, which is a result of the increased mesh stiffness for increased loads.
Gear noise is often described as a source-path-receiver problem where the excitation
occurs in the gear mesh and is then transmitted via the gear body, shafts and bearings
to the gearbox housing where it is radiated as noise. In figure. 1, a two stage truck
gearbox, similar to the gearbox used in the thesis, can be seen.
Transmission error, friction and shuttling forces will be discussed more in the following sections, although other excitations also exist. Air and lubrication entrapment
2

occurs for high speed gears when air or lubricants get trapped between the gear surfaces
and is squeezed out. Windage noise can also have an influence for high speed gears.
These excitations are only important for high speed gears and are not considered to
have an impact in the tested and modelled gears of this thesis.

2.1

Transmission error

Theoretically, for two gears with perfect involutes and an infinite stiffness, the rotation of
the output gear would be a function of the input rotation and the gear ratio. A constant
rotation of the input shaft would therefore result in a constant rotation of the output
shaft. Due to both intended shape modifications and unintended modifications, such as
manufacturing errors, gears will normally not have a perfect involute shape. Also, due
to a finite gear mesh stiffness, there will be a motion error of the output gear relative to
the input gear. This error in motion is the transmission error and is calculated according
to:
T E(t) = Rb,p p (t) + Rb,g g (t)

(1)

Where Rb,p and Rb,g are the base radius and p (t) and g (t) are the rotation of
pinion(p) and gear(g). In eq.1, transmission error is described as a length along the line
of action. The line of action can be seen in fig. 2. It can also be described as an angular
displacement of the pinion or gear and the TE is then divided by the base radius of the
pinion or gear. Measuring TE in a single flank measurement machine is often employed
by gear manufacturers to verify the shape of the gear. The measurement gives no
information of the gear strength, only the shape deviations. The gears are mounted
with adequate spacing, representing the working conditions of the gear pair with only
one flank of the gears are in contact.
The transmission error and mesh stiffness variation is often considered to be the
primary excitation of gear noise and a minimisation of the transmission error is believed
to minimise noise. Several comparisons show the correlation between TE and noise, for
one speed and torque the correlation can be high, although changing the speed or torque
can reduce the correlation, making it difficult to see a relationship between TE and noise.
Akerblom [16] compares TE and measured noise for several gear pairs with different
finishing methods and profile modifications. For one torque there seem to be a correlation
between noise and TE but for another torque the correlation is lacking. Houser et. al.
also compared measured noise levels to calculated TE levels and a correlation was found
in some cases but not in others [17]. N. Yildiri et. al. [18] successfully reduces noise from
a helicopter transmission by changing the profile modifications and thereby reducing TE
for high contact ratio spur gears.
Akerblom [16] presents an improved gear design with
decreased transmission error which also demonstrate a decreased noise level, although
the width of the new gear pair is increased and the module decreased thus increasing
the total contact ratio with 36%. An increase in contact ratio has for a long time been
known as an important method of reducing gear noise [19].
3

55

50

Pitch point
45

40

Base circel

Pitch circle

35

Line of action
30

25

20view of a gear
10
0
10 and pitch20circles and 30
Figure 30
2: Schematic
pair showing
the base
the line
of action

2.2

Friction

In the gear contact, the sliding friction produces friction forces that acts perpendicular
to the line of action and is characterised by a mixed sliding and rolling motion. At the
pitch point, there is purely rolling motion although outside the pitch point, which can
be seen in fig 2, there is always sliding. As the gear contact passes the pitch point, the
direction of siding changes, thus creating time-varying forces.
Friction has been reported to have an effect on both the DTE and noise of a gear
pair [20]. Velex and Cahouet [21] compares a dynamic model which includes sliding
friction with measurement result and show an important contribution from friction for
the dynamic bearing forces for speeds below 200rad/s (1900rpm) for the investigated gear
pair. As the speed increases further, the influence of friction decreases rapidly. Rebbechi,
Oswald and Townsend [22] performs measurements of dynamic tooth friction in order to
calculate a friction coefficient. The friction coefficient reported is approximately 0.04 to
0.06 with increasing values at lower speeds. Many dynamic models has been presented
in order to calculate the influence of friction. [20, 23, 24]. S. He and R. Singh [25] reports
that friction has marginal effects on the dynamic transmission error for helical gears, as
compared with spur gears where the effect is much larger.

2.3

Shuttling forces

Shuttling forces were examined by Borner and Houser [11], and is the result of the
motion of the contact lines across the gear surface as the gears mesh. As the contact
lines move across the teeth, the resulting force is not centred on the tooth but moves
slightly back and forth along the width of the gear. This results in time varying bearing
4

Ip

p
Rbp

km

cm
TEs

Ig
Rbg

g
Figure 3: Singel degree of freedom gear model

forces which can be calculated in a quasi-static analysis. There has been little research
covering the importance of the shuttling force although it is naturally included in models
that calculate the dynamic contact conditions and do not rely on an excitation such as
transmission error [21, 26]. Velex and Cahouet [21] notices differences in the bearing
reaction forces of the pinion and suggest the difference is due to the shuttling force.

Dynamic gear modelling

Calculating static transmission error is a standard procedure, commercial gear calculation softwares are available to predict TE. As the rotational speed of the gears increase,
TE changes from being a purely geometry and load dependant property to also including
the dynamics of the system. As the mesh frequency and the harmonics coincide with
different eigenfrequencies of the system, the resulting DTE is a function the dynamic
properties of the system. Since the DTE describes the complete system , including gears,
shafts, bearings and housing, this makes the DTE more complex to analyse. DTE is
often predicted by dynamic models of gear systems. Static TE is commonly used as
excitation in order to calculate bearing forces, enabling the prediction of vibration and
sound radiation from the housing. To make a dynamic model of a gear system it is important to have a correct model of the gear-mesh interaction. Models vary from simple
one-degree-of-freedom lumped models [27, 24, 28], which can be seen in fig. 3, to large
FE-models [29, 9, 14, 30]. The single-degree of-freedom model seen in fig. 3 describes
5

the system as a purely rotational model without shafts. The system consists of two
inertias (I) connected with the mesh stiffness (km ) and mesh damping (cm ) at the base
radius (Rb ) for pinion(p) and gear(g). The transmission error is treated as an angular
displacement in the gear mesh. Despite the large range of complexity between published
models, the aim is to obtain a model that describes the gear system accurately enough,
depending on the properties of interest. Many models do not take the effect of axial
forces, due to the helix angle or bending vibrations of the shafts, into account when
modelling the gears. Since a gear system is a very complex system, many assumptions
are made to simplify the system.
Many dynamic gear models use TE as excitation and if the purpose of the model is
to simulate rattle, no load TE can be used, since rattle in most cases occurs in lightly
loaded gears [14]. It has been shown that gear with low contact rations(typically spur
gears), loss of contact can occur for higher torques at the gear mesh resonance. Instead
of using TE, the variation in mesh stiffness is sometimes treated as an excitation [31], but
in most cases the variations in mesh stiffness is included in the TE. Gear whine models
often use measured or calculated quasi-static TE under load as the excitation [32].
Velex and Ajmi [33] use a theoretical approach to determine the possibility of using
TE as excitation when modelling gears. Their conclusion is that the major excitation is
the difference between the no load transmission error and the quasi-static transmission
error under load. Previous research has often used quasi-static TE under load alone as
the excitation. Limitations of the use of TE as the excitation are also discussed, such as
gear body deflections when the contact conditions between the teeth no longer can be
considered to be quasi-static.
In paper E, a dynamic model of a single gear pair is presented. The model is a
torsional model with flexible bearings including transmission error and shuttling forces.
The shaft only has a torsional stiffness and is considered to have an infinite bending
stiffness. The rotation is modelled as a reference frame with superimposed flexible
degrees of freedom. Gear mesh forces and bearing forces are examined for two different
gear designs.

Measurement of gear noise and DTE

A large number of papers concerning gear dynamics have focused on dynamic models.
Little work concerning the comparison between simulation and measurements has been
published. Research on multi-stage gearboxes are especially hard to find. Special equipment has to be used when TE is measured on a complete gearbox. Instead of just giving
information of the shape deviations of the gear flanks, the measurement describes the
complete gear system. Factors such as shape deviations, misalignment of shafts, eccentricities and clearances in bearings all have influence on the results. Deflections also have
influence if the system is measured under load. Since many gearboxes consist of more
than one gear pair, the measurements includes transmission errors from several gear
pairs. A complete gearbox is a very complex system and the result can be very different
6

kerblom and Parssinen [16] reports


when disassembling and reassembling the gearbox. A
up to 7dB difference in overall noise level for certain speeds.
Akerblom also reports
large differences in noise levels depending on bearing pre-load. In paper D, the noise
level from two different gear pairs were tested. The test object was a two-stage gearbox
where the investigated gears were located as the first gear stage. The noise level from
the second gear stage, which was the same during all the test, was examined in order to
investigate the dynamic properties when the first gear stage has been changed. The two
different measurements were surprisingly similar, indicating that the dynamic properties
of the system remained the same when the first gear stage was changed.
The definition of TE and DTE also becomes more complicated for a complete gear
system. Often encoders are used and the location of the encoders affects the result.
Similar difference can be seen when comparing single-degree-of-freedom (SDOF) models
and multi-degree-of-freedom (MDOF) models. In the case of a MDOF model, the results
depend on which nodes that are used to calculate the TE. In most cases, the measurement
determine the definition of TE since the location of the encoders can be difficult to
change.
Measurements of dynamic transmission error have been performed in order to investigate non-linear behaviour of lightly loaded gears. The measurement setup is often
designed in order to model the gear pair as a single degree of freedom system[14, 15]. The
excitation used is transmission error and a good correlation with measurement result has
been obtained.
For paper A to C, DTE and noise were measured on a truck gearbox in a noise test
rig. The gearbox is powered by an electrical motor, capable of speeds up to 2000 rpm.
Another electrical motor is used for torque reaction. Each motor is located in a separate room next to the measurement room, in order to minimise the noise contribution.
Walls and ceiling are covered with acoustic absorbents to reduce the acoustic reflections.
Rotational encoders are located on the input shaft, side shaft and output shaft. The
encoder location can be seen in figure 4. This enables calculation of the DTE from the
first and second gear stage separately, as well as for the complete gear system. Four
microphones and four accelerometers were used. Measurements were made at different
torques and speeds, typical of the operating conditions of the gearbox.
The measurement object was a standard gearbox from Scania ,similar to the gearbox
displayed in fig. 1. The gearbox has a three-speed main section, a range and a splitter
function, resulting in 12 forward speeds. The range gear is a planetary gear with two
possible gear ratios. In all measurements, the planetary gear was set in high range,
which means that the complete planetary gear rotates as one unit. Therefore, the
analysis does not include the planetary gear. Instead the properties of the helical gears
in the main section of the gearbox are investigated. All gears in the gearbox are rotating
and contribute to the total noise level. The noise from the unloaded gears is of broad
band character and no gear mesh orders for the unloaded gears can be detected.
The main gearbox has three gears which can be used in high or low split, resulting in
six gears. The torque is transmitted from the input shaft to the side shaft via the high or
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Range
planetary gear

3x encoder

1:st gear mesh

2:nd gear mesh

Figure 4: Schematic view of the gearbox

low split gear pair. From the side shaft to the output shaft, the gear pair corresponding
to the first, second or third gear is selected and locked to the output shaft. In fig. 4
a sketch of the working principles of the gearbox can be seen with the location of the
encoders included.
For paper D the measurement facility is the same and a similar measurement object
is used, although twelve microphones were used instead of the previous four and no
measurement was made of the rotation of the shafts. Two different gear designs were
used in the measurements, details can be found in the paper.

5
5.1

Summary of main results


Paper A

Correlation between noise and DTE is examined. The method uses fixed speed and
calculates the correlation as the torque is increased. Eight different speeds, typical
of the operating conditions of the gearbox, were used during the measurements. At
each speed, the torque was varied between 600 to 2000 Nm in 200 Nm increments.
The correlation between noise and DTE varies for different gear pairs. The highest
correlation is found for the low split gear pair, which is located closest to the gearbox
housing. The correlation also seems to increase as the applied torque increases. There
can be a number of reasons for a reduction in the correlation between noise and DTE.
Some resonances can be found where the correlation is low, but not all resonances result
in low correlation.
Comparing the measured DTE and calculated static TE for the gear teeth shows an
increase in DTE and noise but a decrease in calculated TE as the torque is increased,
8

Figure 5: Calculated static p-p TE and measured dynamic p-p TE for three different
speeds for the first gear stage using the fifth gear in low split

Figure 6: Calculated static TE and noise level (lp ) for three different speeds for the fifth
gear in low split

Figure 7: Averaged DTE of one tooth 1: 600 Nm; 2: 800; 3: 1000; 4: 1200; 5: 1400; 5:
1600; 7: 1800; 8: 2000Nm

as can be seen in fig. 5. If the system is linear and the static TE is considered to be
the excitation, the DTE should follow the same pattern. Non-linear effects and other
sources can be an explanation to the lack of correlation between the calculated static
TE and measured DTE. Similar conclusions are made when comparing the noise and
the calculated TE, which can be seen in fig. 6. The correlation between noise and DTE
is much better. As the torque is increased the same trend can be seen in both DTE and
noise.

5.2

Paper B

Dynamic transmission error has a close relation with the excitation of a gear system.
Below a certain limit, it is independent of the speed of rotation but has a certain dependence on the torque applied, due to the limited stiffness of teeth. An average of the
DTE for a gear mesh can be seen in fig. 7. The radiated sound from a gear system is
generally increased with the increase of the rotating speed at the rate of 6 dB per doubled rotating speed, with the fluctuations due to the shifted transfer functions, as can be
seen in fig. 8. The sound pressure is very dependent on the structure and how the gear
pairs are mounted. Identical gear pairs may produce totally different sound power when
mounted in different systems or stages. It is possible to estimate the transfer function
between DTE and the sound pressure by using a speed sweep measurement.

10

Figure 8: Sound pressure levels at the meshing frequency of the first gear stage The
center dotted line shows 6 dB per doubled speed.

5.3

Paper C

Measurements of DTE and gear noise have been used to assess the possibilities of using
a linear model to describe the system. An order tracking method using a Kalman filter
was employed to calculate the amplitudes of the gear mesh orders. Close orders and
overlapping sidebands limited the possibility of using a standard FFT order tracking
method.
The magnitude of the transfer function between DTE and noise is calculated using
the result from the Kalman filter. There seems to be a linear relationship between noise
and DTE for the higher torques measured, which is consistent with the result in paper
A and paper B.
Many dynamic models of gear systems use a linear approach to calculate dynamic
forces and the radiated noise. Assuming a dynamic model that is linear with rotating
speed, the non-linear effects in the measurement will be the error of the model. For each
frequency, the average of the normalised gear mesh order and harmonics are calculated.
No information can be given the first part of the gear mesh order, since an overlapping
order is required to assess the difference between the orders. Therefore no information
can be given below 1200 rpm for the gear mesh order. This results in an average
transfer function for all the orders. To calculate the gear mesh order, the estimated
transfer function is multiplied with a suitable constant, the same applies to the rest of
the harmonics.
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With friction force (a=1)


1

0,8

0.8

Correlation coefficient

Correlation coefficient

Without friction force (a=0)


1
0,6
0,4
0,2
0
0,2
0,4
0,6

0.4
0.2
0
Gear mesh order A
First harmonic A
Gear mesh order B
First harmonic B

0.2
0.4

0,8
1
0

0.6

20

40

60

80

0.6
0

100

Stiffness k(kN/m)

20

40

60

80

100

Stiffness k(kN/m)

Figure 9: Correlation coefficient between suggested excitation and measured noise level
for different values of k

5.4

Paper D

Two gear pairs with different micro geometry but similar macro geometry has been
tested using a complete truck gear box in a noise test rig. The difference in noise level
for different torques can not be explained using transmission error alone as excitation.
The measurement result indicate that for this gearbox, shuttling forces and friction forces
can be very important when assessing the noise properties of the tested gears. Minimising transmission error does not necessarily minimise noise even though the transmission
error multiplied with the mesh stiffness seems to be the dominating excitation force.
The reason is that multiplying TE with the mesh stiffness significantly overestimates
the importance of transmission error for a gear pair not operating above the critical gear
mesh resonance. In a complex gear system, the deflection does not necessarily take place
at the gear mesh. The correlation coefficient is calculated between the measured noise
level and the suggested excitation for different values of stiffness k, which is multiplied
with the transmission error. The correlation coefficient or gear mesh orders and first
harmonics for both gear pairs can be seen in figure 9, with and without the contribution
from friction. Multiplying the transmission error with a much weaker stiffness significantly increases the correlation with the measured result, something which reduces the
TE excitation to the same level as shuttling forces and friction forces.

5.5

Paper E

A dynamic model has been set up using transmission error and shuttling force as excitation. In the sub-harmonic region, the system behaves quasi-statically. If all forces

12

acted along the line of action and a constant torque was applied by an engine and break
there would not be any fluctuating gear mesh forces, only a constant gear mesh force
due to the applied torque. Since the constant gear mesh force moves back and forth
over the gear tooth there is a shuttling force at the bearings. In the region above the
first resonances, dominated by the engine and break, but below the next resonance, the
time varying bearing force is controlled by the shaft stiffness and the loaded transmission error together with the shuttling force. The reason is that the inertia of the gear
and engine are vibrationally stationary, only rotating with a constant angular speed.
Since the shafts in this model are considerably weaker than the gear mesh, which often
is the case, the transmission error acts as a forced angular displacement. The weakest
component, here the shafts, then deflects which determines the reaction force in the gear
mesh. Due to the small time varying force due to transmission error, shuttling forces can
become very important and dominate the excitation in this frequency region. At super
critical frequencies, above the highest resonance frequency, the system is controlled by
the inertia forces. This means that the rotations of all inertias are a function of the
rotating speed and gear ratio. Another way of describing the motion is to say that the
peak-to-peak angular transmission error is zero between all inertias. The deflection of
the gear teeth is then equal to the loaded static TE and the force equal to the deflection
(T Es ) multiplied with the active stiffness which is the gear mesh stiffness, km .
Some conclusions can also be drawn for the resonant areas. For the resonances
which primarily includes the torsional degrees of freedom, the amplitude of the gear
mesh force and bearing force is depending on the transmission error. Depending on the
mode shape, different stiffnesses will be important. For the lower torsional resonances,
the shafts stiffness are the most important and the trend of the gear mesh force is that
of the transmission error multiplied with a constant stiffness. For the critical gear mesh
resonance, the most important stiffness is the gear mesh stiffness and the trend of the
gear mesh force therefore follows the trend of transmission error multiplied with the
mesh stiffness. The rocking mode of the shaft is excited by the shuttling force and
therefore following the trend of the shuttling force.
Although other sources of gear noise such as friction and bending moments has been
proposed, TE has often been seen as the dominating excitation [11]. One of the reasons
is that the TE excitation force has been approximated as km T E [11, 34], but below the
gear mesh resonance the gear mesh force is dominated by the TE and the shaft stiffness.
Since the shaft stiffness in this case is significantly lower than the gear mesh stiffens, the
corresponding force will also be lower, increasing the importance of other sources such
as shuttling forces.

Conclusions and future work

The measurements of dynamic transmission error and noise show a correlation between
the two properties of the tested gearbox. The correlation was highest for the input gear
stage located close to the gearbox housing and lower for the second gear stage, which
13

is located closer to the centre of the gearbox. One reason for the lack of correlation
between DTE and noise can be that other forces such as shuttling and friction forces
have little influence on DTE but a larger influence of emitted noise. This is evident for
the measurements presented in paper D where the explanation for the difference between
the measured gear pairs can be found in the friction forces, but most of all the shuttling
forces.
This shows the importance of including other forces beside transmission error and
also to have a dynamic model of the gear system in order to accurately predict the noise
behaviour of a gear system. Since different excitations have a different sensitivity to
different resonances of the system, a dynamic model of the system is needed.
Much of the work done in gear dynamics has to do with gears without manufacturing
errors. In the future, the influence of production error such as runout, pitch error
and gear shape errors must be included in the dynamic models in order to predict the
dynamic excitation for a gear pair with typical manufacturing errors. Depending on the
chosen manufacturing process, it would be of interest to be able to predict the standard
deviation of bearing forces for a specific gear design and production method.

14

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