Effect of tapered roller bearing supports on the dynamic behaviour of hypoid gear pair differentials

Noise and vibration refinement and energy efficiency are the key drivers in powertrain development. The final drive (the differential) is a source of vibration concern and also contributes to the powertrain inefficiency. To optimise differential characteristics for the key objectives of refinement and efficiency, detailed models of the gear interactions as well as the support bearing dynamics are required. This study reports the integrated lubricated bearing and gear contacts with an eight-degree-of-freedom dynamic analysis (a tribo-dynamic model). Non-Newtonian shear behaviour of thin lubricantfilm conjunctions is taken into account in the integrated tribo-dynamic analysis, which has not hitherto been reported in the literature. The results show that the transmitted vibration spectra from the system onto the differential casing are dominated by the bearing frequencies rather than by those due to the meshing of gears. It is also shown that a sufficiently high bearing preload improves the vibration refinement but can lead to a marginally reduced transmission efficiency.