Effect of tooth profile modification on the durability of planetary hub gears

Planetary systems offer the advantage of desired speed-torque variation with a lighter, compact and coaxial construction than the traditional gear trains. Frictional losses and Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH) refinement are the main concerns. Modification of gear teeth geometry to reduce friction between the mating teeth flanks of vehicular planetary hubs, as well as refining NVH under varying load-speed conditions is one of the remedial actions. However, implementing modifications can result in reduced structural integrity and system durability. Therefore, a contradiction may arise between assuring a high degree of durability and achieving better transmission efficiency, which necessitates detailed system optimisation. An integrated multi-disciplinary analytical approach, including tribology and sub-surface stress analysis is developed. As a preliminary step, Tooth Contact Analysis (TCA) is performed to obtain contact footprint shape of meshing gear teeth pairs, as well as contact kinematics and applied load distribution. Then, an analytical time-efficient Elastohydrodynamic Lubrication (EHL) analysis of elliptical point contact of crowned spur gear tooth is carried out to observe the effect of gear tip relief modification upon planetary hub sub-surface stresses.