Loughborough University
Thesis-2012-Koronias.pdf (12.9 MB)

Elastomultibody dynamics of RWD axle whine phenomena

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posted on 2012-04-24, 11:27 authored by George Koronias
Automotive industry is faced with numerous power train Noise, Vibration and Harshness issues. Particularly, in the driveline area of vehicles a noise commonly referred as differential axle whine which is a tonal response and becomes apparent under cruising conditions. This is one of the key concerns in rear wheel drive commercial vehicles. Although not a failure state, it is regarded as a quality issue and a source of annoyance, which can lead to warranty concerns. The associated cost of palliation to Ford Motor Company was estimated to be $25,000,000 in 2003. There have been several ways of studying axle whine through experimentation and numerical analysis. In this thesis, a new approach for investigating axle whine is highlighted, which is more integrative and detailed. Multi-body dynamics model of a light truck s driveline is developed with all the appropriate components, using constrained Lagrangian dynamics. Component flexibility is included for driveshaft pieces, rear axle half-shafts and the suspension elements. The connectivity of the components is accurately modelled such as the floating effect of rear half-shafts, linear bushings between driveline components to chassis connections, as well as the non-linear effect of tapered roller bearings, supporting the wheel hubs and gears. Furthermore, integrated to the previously described large scale model a detailed hypoid gear pair model is devised. This incorporates micro-scale physics for tooth contact analysis to predict geometric properties and deflections for the gear pair. At the same time thermo-elastohydrodynamic lubrication theory with non-Newtonian friction is applied. All these phenomena at different physical scales, such as large displacement rigid body dynamics and analytical equations for the detailed model are solved simultaneously, all within the same modelling environment. This multi-physics, multi-scale approach has not hitherto been reported in the literature, and constitutes a significant contribution to knowledge. Comparative studies of the model predictions and detailed vehicle tests are carried out, the combination of which points to resonant conditions in system responses and flexible component behaviour, coincident with the adverse conditions in the hypoid gear meshing. It is shown that vehicle drive and coast conditions, promoting teeth pair separations lead to irregular (improper) meshing of the differential gears. Such conditions induce impulsive actions that promote the axle whine phenomenon. This is a major finding of the research and contributes to a better understanding of the axle whine problem.



  • Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering


© George Koronias

Publication date



A Doctoral Thesis. Submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of Doctor of Philosophy of Loughborough University.


  • en