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the Ohio State University Gearlabstudied its effects on root

stresses in helical gears.

By Donald R. Houser

T

THe ISO anD aGMa GeaR RaTInG COMMITTeeS

Have fOR SeveRal yeaRS Been COMpaR-

InG THe ReSulTS Of DIffeRenT RaTInG

MeTHODS fOR SeveRal SeTS Of GeaR

paIRS THaT Have SIMIlaR nORMal SeC-

TIOnS BuT DIffeRenT HelIx anGleS. THe

analySIS pReSenTeD In THIS papeR uSeS a

veRy SOpHISTICaTeD fInITe eleMenT CODe

THaT waS DevelOpeD SpeCIfICally fOR

GeaR anD BeaRInG COnTaCTS TO analyze

THe exaMple GeaR SeTS. analySeS aRe

alSO peRfORMeD uSInG a MORe COn-

venTIOnal lOaD DISTRIBuTIOn analySIS

pROGRaM. THe ReSulTS fOR THe ORIGInal

GeaR SeTS SHOw THaT THe naRROw faCe

wIDTH GeaR TeeTH TwIST SIGnIfICanTly,

THuS MOvInG THe lOaD TO One eDGe Of

THe faCe wIDTH anD eSSenTIally SHOwInG

THaT THe exaMple GeaR SeTS aRe HIGHly

unRealISTIC. wHen analyzeD By THe ISO

anD aGMa RaTInG MeTHODS, THe ReSulTS

DO nOT RefleCT THIS TwISTInG aCTIOn. In

an effORT TO COMe up wITH a valID COM-

paRISOn Of STReSSeS fOR DIffeRenT HelIx

anGleS, THRee aDjuSTMenTS uSInG wIDeR

faCe wIDTHS weRe aTTeMpTeD. THe fIRST

SCHeMe uSeS a wIDeR faCe wIDTH wITH

peRfeCT InvOluTeS. eDGe effeCTS ReSulT

In THe peak STReSSeS aGaIn BeInG neaR

THe enDS Of THe faCe wIDTH. THe SeCOnD

aDjuSTMenT uSeS a wIDeR faCe wIDTH

BuT wITH a naRROw lOaD paTCH In THe

MIDDle Of THe TOOTH paIR anD ReSulTS

In THe STReSSeS InCReaSInG wITH HelIx

anGle. THe THIRD GeOMeTRy fORM, wHICH

uSeS THe wIDe faCe wIDTH TeeTH wITH

leaD CROwn anD TIp RelIef, GIveS THe

MOST ReaSOnaBle ReSulTS, wITH THe

ROOT STReSSeS BeInG aT a MaxIMuM In

THe CenTeR ReGIOn Of THe TOOTH faCe

wIDTHS. THe papeR COMpaReS eaCH Of THe

ReSulTS TO eaRlIeR analySeS peRfORMeD

By OTHeRS uSInG BOTH THe aGMa anD ISO

CalCulaTIOnS.

IntroductIon

This paper reports on the effect of helix angle on root stresses, a topic of discussion for a number of years within

the ISO and aGMa Gear Rating Committees. Current rating methods use either the lewis form factor [1] or the

30-degree tangent method [2] applied to the transverse tooth section to locate the position of maximum root stress.

Corrections are then provided to account for the diagonal lines of contact that occur in helical gear tooth contact.

even though this topic has been discussed extensively for many years, there are still disagreements on how

these factors should be calculated. Gears present significant challenges when trying to come up with changes

in geometry that isolate one effect without affecting others. a geometry set that supposedly isolates helix angle

from all other variables by using a constant normal cross-section for each new helix angle gear was proposed in

documents of the ISO Rating Committee [3, 4]. In order to achieve this, the rack used to generate the normal

cross-section was kept constant. However, in order to change the helix angle and still keep the gears operating

at the same standard center distance, it was necessary to reduce the tooth numbers as the helix angle was

increased. Since tooth numbers must be integers, there are only a few possible helix angles that are possible.

Table 1 shows the variables that are held constant in this analysis, and Table 2 shows the relationship between

tooth number and helix angle for the sets.

FEBRUARY 2012 31

for these gear sets, fig. 1 shows the results for a variety of

methods that were used to calculate the root stresses. In this fig-

ure the stresses are first calculated for the spur gear (helix angle

= 0) and the values for the other helix angles are normalized to

the value calculated for the spur gear so that all curves start at a

value of 1.0 for a helix angle of zero degrees. previous work by the

ISO document authors shows calculations for two face widths, one

very narrow with the face width being equal to the module and the

Fig. 1: N367 normalized tooth form factor (root stress)

predictions (all data is from [3]-B: Method B from ISO

6336; N: Proposed Norwegian method).

Fig. 2: Transmission3D finite element mesh

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other for an infinite face width. Calculations

have been made using ISO 6336 method

B, aGMa 2001, and a proposed norwegian

method [3]. Some methods predict that

increasing the helix angle will continually

decrease root stresses while other meth-

ods show an ever-increasing trend in root

stresses with helix angle.

each of the methods used to calculate

the root stresses of fig. 1 use standards

type formulas that are used in conjunc-

tion with many other factors to come up

with a stress value. This papers authors

thought that calculations of the real

stresses that the gears experience might

shed some light on the differences in

Fig. 3: Transmission3D model

of the narrow face width mesh.

Fig. 4: Gear tooth load distribution

from Transmission3D for a narrow

face width spur gear tooth.

Fig. 5: Transmission3D load

distribution and root stress pat-

tern for the 42.833 helix angle

pinion.

FEBRUARY 2012 33

each calculation method. Therefore, an

advanced finite element program that

is specifically designed to analyze gear

and bearing contacts, and a more stan-

dard load distribution prediction program

were employed to predict the actual root

stresses for the example gear sets. This

paper provides extensive analyses of

the example gear sets presented in the

original n367 document and also seeks

to provide a more realistic gear geometry

that isolates the effects of helix angle on

root stresses.

ModelIng

Methodology

each of the gear sets presented in this

paper was modeled with two separate

programs to evaluate the root stresses,

the first being the high fidelity three-

Fig. 6: Predicted

normalized root

stress for narrow

face width pinion.

Table 1: Variables held con-

stant in study 1.

Helix angle, degrees Number of pinion teeth Number of gear teeth

0.000 30 120

14.83 29 116

21.04 28 112

25.84 27 108

29.93 26 104

33.56 25 100

36.87 24 96

39.95 23 92

42.83 22 88

Parameter Variable Value

Gear ratio u 4

Normal module, mm m

n

10.0

Center distance, mm a 750.0

Hob addendum, mm h

a0

14.0

Hob tip radius, mm

a0

4.0

Protuberance, mm p 0.3

Normal pressure angle, degrees 20.0

Face width, mm 1 m

n

10.0

Normal tooth thickness, mm t 15.7

36 gearsolutions.com

dimensional finite element program known

as Transmission3D [5, 6]. The second

program is a more conventional load distri-

bution program (lDp) that has been devel-

oped by Houser, et al. [7, 8].

Transmission3D is a linear finite ele-

ment contact analysis program specifically

designed for analyzing gear and bearing

contacts and is based on the Calyx contact

analysis solver. The program has the ability

to model complex gear geometries including

tooth micro-geometries that include lead

and profile modifications. The program uti-

lizes a hybrid algorithm that combines finite

element analysis with the application of a

semi-analytical surface integral solution at

the contact region to produce compliance

terms. These compliance terms are then

used in a Simplex-type solver to evaluate

the load distribution across the tooth.

using Transmission3D, each of the pre-

sented gear sets is modeled as a single

mesh with all non-rotational degrees of

freedom fixed to ground. a tooth mesh tem-

plate (fig. 2) with high resolution in the root

Fig. 8:

Transmission3D

display of load

distribution and

stress contour

of the 42.833

helix angle, 100

mm face width

pinion.

Fig. 9:

Predicted nor-

malized root

stress for 100

mm face width

pinion (perfect

involute).

Fig. 10: Flat lead crown applied

to narrow contact patch gears.

Fig. 7: Transmission3D model of

the 100 mm face width mesh.

Table 2: Gear pairs used in

study 1.

Helix angle, degrees Number of pinion teeth Number of gear teeth

0.000 30 120

14.83 29 116

21.04 28 112

25.84 27 108

29.93 26 104

33.56 25 100

36.87 24 96

39.95 23 92

42.83 22 88

Parameter Variable Value

Gear ratio u 4

Normal module, mm m

n

10.0

Center distance, mm a 750.0

Hob addendum, mm h

a0

14.0

Hob tip radius, mm

a0

4.0

Protuberance, mm p 0.3

Normal pressure angle, degrees 20.0

Face width, mm 1 m

n

10.0

Normal tooth thickness, mm t 15.7

Fig. 11:

Transmission3D

predicted load

distribution and

root stresses

for the narrow

contact patch

25 helix angle

pinion.

FEBRUARY 2012 37

region is used to accurately capture the

stress gradients within the entire root fillet.

each simulation is then run for one mesh

cycle (one base pitch of rotation). The

root stresses are found by searching the

entire root fillet for the maximum principal

stresses across the face width. while most

tooth root stress calculation procedures

only evaluate stresses for one tooth pair at

a time, this method evaluates all lines of

contact simultaneously and also includes

the deflections of the entire gear blank.

The second program used to model the

gear sets is the load Distribution program

(lDp). lDp is a program that analyzes

single mesh gear pairs using a finite plate

compliance calculation in conjunction with

the inclusion of Hertzian deflections and

deflections of the tooth base [7]. The root

stresses for each gear set are computed

using a two dimensional boundary element

[9] that has been extended to the third

dimension using a procedure developed by

jaramillo [10]. lDp also has the ability to

use finite element created compliance func-

tions as well as performing finite element

calculations of the root stresses.

Study 1: narrow Face

wIdth gearS [n367]

The original study was based on the n350

and n367 documents from the ISO Rating

Committee proceedings [3,4] that presented

Fig. 12:

Predicted

normalized

root stress

plot for

the nar-

row contact

patch pin-

ion.

Fig. 13:

Pinion

micro-geom-

etry modifi-

cation.

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nine gear sets with varying helix angles as given in Table 2. The

face width is equal to the normal module, m

n

, which provides a

very narrow gear with a pinion face width to diameter (F/d) ratio of

0.031. It was assumed that this was done in order to essentially

create a helical gear tooth form that acts like a spur gear, since

one can literally define a highest point of single tooth pair contact,

even for the highest helix angle gear pair.

The gear sets of this study have perfect involute profiles, a nar-

row face width of 10mm, and constant normal tooth thickness.

By holding the normal tooth thickness constant and keeping the

face width narrow, the effect of the diagonal line of contact on

the moment arm distance to the root centerline is reduced. This

allows the results to be normalized and compared to the spur

gear geometry where the lines of contact are parallel to the shaft

axis. analysis was performed on each of the nine sets using both

Transmission3D and lDp.

figure 3 shows the finite element mesh used in Transmission3D

while fig. 4 shows both the predicted load distribution at the high-

est point of single tooth pair contact and the root stresses for a

single spur gear tooth. Initial observations showed that the normal-

ized root stress never reduced and increased much more rapidly

than the 1/cos() path that is similar to the upper curve of fig. 1.

further investigation showed significant twisting of the loaded

tooth as the helix angle increased. This twist can be seen in fig.

5 for the 42.83 helix angle gear pair. This twisting shifts the load

to one side of the tooth and thus causing an unusual stress pat-

tern in the root with the maximum root stress being located oppo-

site to where the tooth is loaded. This twisting induces increased

stresses in the root due to the shift in load distribution to one

side of the tooth causing what seem to be the highly unrealistic

results shown in fig. 6. The lDp predictions, which do not include

the twisting effect, show increasing root stress with helix angle,

but to a much lesser degree than the 1/cos() curve.

Study 2: 100 MM Face wIdth gearS

while the previous gear sets presented in the n367 document

had a novel idea for isolating the effects of helix angle, the narrow

face width prevented the current analyses from producing realistic

results more common to most gear applications that have much

wider face widths. To reduce the tooth twist effect, the face width

was simply increased from 10 mm to 100 mm (F/d = 0.31 with

the face contact ratio varying from 0 to 2.16, depending on helix

angle) with all other geometry data being kept the same as for the

previous gear sets. The pinion torque was increased by a factor of

10 in order to remain at the same load per unit face width as in

the previous narrow face width study. perfect involute profiles were

assumed so some localized twisting is still expected at the corners

while tip interference due to tooth deflection is also expected.

although not of infinite face width that is plotted for the second

set of data in fig. 1, the results for this face width were expected

to be comparable to the infinite face width gear pair.

again, the nine gear sets were modeled and analyzed using the

two programs. figure 7 shows the finite element mesh used in

Transmission3D, and fig. 8 shows the loading and stresses for

one mesh position of the 42.83 helix angle pinion. although the

tooth twist has been reduced, the predicted peak helical gear

Fig. 15: Root stress distribution

for the 36.87 helix angle pinion

using the three analysis meth-

ods: a) Transmission3D load and

root stresses at one meshing

position; b) LDP finite element

composite root stresses; 3) LDP

boundary element root stresses

at nine difference face width

positions.

Fig. 14: Contact stress distribution for 36.87

helix angle.

40 gearsolutions.com

root stresses shown in fig. 9 still occur at the edge of the tooth

face width and seem abnormally high relative to the gear rating

models. It is interesting to note that the highest fidelity model,

Transmission3D, predicted the highest stresses since it still

shows the twisting effect as well as having increased stresses

due to the reduced tooth backing because of the angled tooth

edge. The lDp fe model predicted less twist and hence less

stress and finally, the simple lDp model that does not model the

twist, predicts stresses that are slightly lower.

Study 3: narrow contact

Patch gearS

In order to isolate the effects of helix angle, while at the same time

eliminating the edge effects, it was decided to try analyzing a gear

pair that had features of each of the two previous studies. In this

study, the face width was kept at 100 mm, but a contact patch

only 10mm in width was applied down the center of the tooth. This

patch was achieved by applying abnormally high-end relief across

45 percent of each end of the face width, leaving only 10 percent

of the face width in contact. figure 10 shows the end relief speci-

fication. The Transmission3D finite element mesh is the same as

that used in Study 2. In order to make the gear set act like a spur

gear pair, the outside diameters were reduced so that the profile

contact ratio was kept close to 1.0. figure 11 shows the load dis-

tribution and root stress pattern for the 25 helix angle pinion. The

effects of helix angle on root stress that are shown in fig. 12 are

now much better behaved, with all of the models giving somewhat

similar results and each of them roughly following the inverse of

the cosine of the helix angle plot. However, if one stops to think

about this a bit, the tooth normal cross-sections are very similar,

but the normal load increases by the cosine of the helix angle, so

following the inverse of the helix angle trend is expected.

Study 4: tyPIcal gear PaIr

each of the previously studied gear pairs has some feature that

makes the gear set unrealistic. In order to get a more realistic

gearing situation, the face width was kept at 100 mm and circular

profile and lead modifications were applied such that end effects

and tip interference were reduced. The typical micro-geometry of

the pinion is shown in fig. 13. The earlier finite element model

was used for the Transmission3D analysis.

The contact stress distribution plot of fig. 14 shows complete

contact across the tooth flank with a rolling off of stress at

the extremes of the tooth face width and the profile. figure 15

shows the root stress patterns of the three models, namely,

Transmission3D, lDp-finite element, and lDp boundary ele-

ment, respectively. The lDp boundary element results show root

stresses plotted in 11 percent increments across the face width.

Results are fairly similar in load distribution and also show similar

root stress trends with all models showing the highest stressed

region being on one side of the tooth. as seen in fig. 16, the root

stresses are less than the reference spur gear for helix angles

less than 25, which shows that this model not only captures

the effect of helix angle, but also incorporates the effect of the

helical factor that is part of the effect predicted by the rating

standards. It is interesting to note that Transmission3D and the

lDp finite element give almost identical results with the exception

of the highest helix angle data. at low and medium helix angles,

the inverse of the helix angle is higher than any of the predictions.

although the aGMa prediction shown in fig. 1 is for a different

face width set, its values would lie beneath any of the predicted

values of fig. 16.

SuMMary

This paper has presented the results of a high fidelity finite ele-

ment analysis of the n367 gear sets that were previously used for

the evaluation of the helix angle effect on root stresses of helical

gears [3]. The initial analysis showed an unrealistic load distribu-

tion shift for higher helix angle gear pairs due to substantial twist

of the narrow face width teeth.

alternate gear geometries were then proposed that might bet-

ter isolate the effects of helix angle variation while also using

more realistic tooth loadings. Of the four studies that were per-

formed, the Study 4 arrangement, which uses a reasonably wide

face width tooth with modifications that center the load on the

teeth gives results that would be best for comparing sophisti-

cated model results with rating calculations.

One major conclusion is that the end effects of narrow face

width helical gears can result in tooth twisting that might abnor-

mally increase edge loading. proper profile and lead modifica-

tions can minimize these effects and advanced load distribution

analysis is a means of detecting such issues.

Fig. 16: Predicted normalized root stress plot for

the more typical pinions.

FEBRUARY 2012 41

reFerenceS

1) lewis, w., 1893, Investigation of the Strength of Gear Teeth,

proceedings of engineers Club, philadelphia.

2) Dudley, D., 1984, Handbook of practical Gear Design. Gear-

Strength Calculations, Chapter 2, McGraw Hill, 1984.

3) Sandberg, e., 1989, ISO/TC 60/wG 6 n

367. letter. 04 apr.

1989.

4) ISO/TC 60/wG 6 n 385. 11-13 Sep. 1989.

5) vijayakar, S., 1991, a Combined Surface Integral and finite

element Solution for a Three-Dimensional Contact problem, Int.

j. numer. Methods eng. 31, pp. 525545.

6) vijayakar, S., Houser, D.R.,1991 Contact analysis of Gears

using a Combined finite element and Surface Integral Method,

proceedings of the aGMa fall Technical Meeting, paper

91fTM16.

7) Conry, T.f. and Seireg, a., 1973. a Mathematical programming

Technique for the evaluation of load Distribution and Optimal

Modifications for Gear Systems. j. eng. Ind., Trans. aSMe, vol.

95, no. 4, pp. 1115-1123.

8) Houser, D., 2009, Theoretical Basis of The Ohio State load

Distribution program (lDp) The Ohio State university, Columbus,

OH.

9) Clapper, M., and Houser, D., 1994, a Boundary element

procedure for predicting Helical Gear Root Stresses and load

Distribution factors, proceedings of aGMa Technical Conference,

St. louis.

10) jaramillo, T.j., 1950, Deflections and Moments Due to a

Concentrated load on a Cantilever plate of Infinite length, j.

appl. Mech., Trans. aSMe, vol. 72, pp. 67-72

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS:

Donald R. Houser is professor emeritus and founder

of The Ohio State universitys Gear and power

Transmission Research laboratory (Gearlab). Go

online to www.gearlab.org.

The author would like to thank advanced numerical Solutions

lCC for the use and support of Transmission3D. also,

sincere thanks go to the sponsors of the Gear and power

Transmission Research laboratory as well as the aGMa

foundation, who provided fellowship support for the second

author of this study. printed with permission of the copy-

right holder, the american Gear Manufacturers association,

1001 n. fairfax Street, 5

th

floor, alexandria, virginia 22314.

Statements presented in this paper are those of the authors

and may not represent the position or opinion of the american

Gear Manufacturers association.

42 gearsolutions.com

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