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On the generation of conjugate flanks for arbitrary gear geometries
A. Johann∗1 and J. Scheurle∗∗1
1 Technische Universita ̈t Mu ̈nchen, Zentrum Mathematik, 80290 Mu ̈nchen, Germany

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200910005

gear geometries

A. Johann1 and J. Scheurle1

1

Published online 19 May 2009

Key words general mathematical gearing theory, tooth contact analysis, geometric nonlinearity, involute profile, conjugate flank, surface of action, spur gear, bevel gear.

MSC (2000) 34A34, 53A17, 70B10, 70E55.

In this paper, we present a novel approach to three-dimensional mathematical gearing theory.

We start from a general formulation of the so called basic law of gear kinematics. Based on

that we derive an analytic closed form solution for the generation of conjugate tooth flanks,

given a (local) parametric representation for any prescribed flank profile. Also, we study the

problem of constructing pairs of tooth flanks that give rise to a prescribed surface of action.

Surfaces of action will be represented in an implicit global rather than in a parametric way.

To illustrate the general theory, we consider a number of specific examples including the

standard involute profile for spur gears as well as a more sophisticated three-dimensional

generalization of that.

c 2009 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim

Introduction

Simplicity and cheapness of the fabrication process have been the main advantages of traditional gear geometries. Spur gears with an involute tooth profile form a typical example. They

have been introduced already by L. Euler [4], [5] based on a thorough mathematical analysis,

and they are still in practical use nowadays due to the following advantages:

1. In case of an appropriate setup, at least one pair of teeth is always in contact. Thus,

involute profiles guarantee an uniform transmission of angular velocity and angular momentum,

2. To some extend, the transmission is independent of the distance between the gear axes.

3. Involute profiles are easily produced by standard planar cutting tools.

However, due to modern production techniques, nowadays, more sophisticated types of gears

can be produced with high precision and reasonable effort. In particular, this is true for so

called helical, double helical, bevel, crown, and hypoid gears as well as for several other

special types of gears. Depending on the context of application there are advantages as well

as disadvantages of different gear types. The degree of effectiveness, the strength of wear,

e-mail: scheurle@ma.tum.de, Phone: +49 89 289-18305, Fax: +49 89 289-18308

62

A. Johann and J. Scheurle: On the generation of conjugate flanks for arbitrary gear geometries

and the level of load bearing capacity are examples of important operating characteristics of

gears. Thus, the question of an optimal gear design depending on the particular context of

application naturally arises. An important step towards this goal appears to be providing an

universal mathematical frame that allows to describe and classify general types of kinematically admissable gears. This is the topic of this paper. Here we restrict ourselves to study

the geometry of tooth flanks from a purely kinematical point of view. The notion of a flank

is understood to mean the leading edge of a gear tooth that meshes with the teeth of another

gear. We are not going to worry about the bulk construction of gears such as the arrangement

of the teeth, for example. In particular, we do not worry about possible self-intersections of

two gears in contact as a result of their global geometric structure. Rather, we arbitrarily prescribe the directions of the gear axes in three-space as well as the so called transmission ratio.

Then we study the geometric profile of flanks in three-space to the extend of local contact

compatibility. For simplicity, we assume that the transmission ratio is constant. So, one might

think of it as being the ratio of the tooth numbers. However, the mathematical framework of

gearing theory presented here easily extends to include more general classes of transmission

functions such as for example rotation angle dependent ones.

The starting point of our investigation is the basic law of gear kinematics which we derive

obeying the requirement to achieve a constant transmission ratio for the angular velocity.

We formulate necessary as well as sufficient conditions in a coordinate free manner for this

requirement to be fulfilled. Based on that, our aim is two-fold. On the one hand, given

any reasonable geometric shape of the flanks of one of two gears in contact, we ask how to

determine a conjugate flank, i.e., a kinematically consistent geometric profile for the leading

edge of the other gears teeth, together with the corresponding surface (line) of action. On the

other hand, we prescribe the surface (line) of action of two gears in contact, and ask for all

possible flank shapes, that admit the given surface (line) of action.

There exists already a vast literature dealing with questions like those and others concerning almost all reasonable types of gears; see, for instance, [2], [3], [6], [7], [8], and the

references there in. The results of the present paper appear to be beyond the scope of previous contributions, though. Taking advantage of our comprehensive and clear formulation of

the basic law of gear kinematics, we are able to answer the first of the two questions raised

above for any prescribed flank profile by constructing explicit analytical parametrizations of

both, the conjugate flank and the surface (line) of action. We completely classify the solution

structure by stating conditions in terms of a few coefficients showing up in some auxiliary

transcendental algebraic equation. In case of multiple solutions, we show how to pick the

most appropriate one from the engineering point of view. Concerning the second question

from above, we derive a certain differential equation to determine a parametrization for one

of the flank profiles which are asked for. The other one is then obtained as a conjugate profile. Moreover, we develop an efficient algorithm to construct relevant solutions of the derived

differential equation, either numerically or, in special cases, even analytically in closed form.

The classical involute profile in case of a spur gear is an example for the latter situation. We

are going to discuss this example as a special case covered by our general theory. As a second

example, we consider a pair of bevel gears and graphically illustrate our general mathematical

theory using the software package Matlab.

The structure of the paper is organized as follows. After presenting relevant preliminaries

in section 1, we derive an universal version of the basic law of gear kinematics in section 2.

Also, we derive the well known version for spur gears as a special case. Section 3 is devoted

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63

to the generation of conjugate flanks. Here, we recover the standard involute profile for spur

gears as a special case of the general theory presented. In section 4 we address the question

of generating admissable flanks from a given surface of action. In particular, we present

an algorithm that allows to solve the underlying differential equation in a systematic and

convenient way. Finally, in section 5, we consider a nontrivial example of bevel gears, where

we assume the surface of action to be a plane. Thus, we generalize the involute profile for

spur gears to a genuinely three-dimensional situation.

Preliminaries

We consider two meshing gears, numbered by the index i = 1, 2. Let gear i be mounted on

the axis

ai + bi

(2.1)

bi = 1. By a second unit vector ci R3 which is supposed to be perpendicular to bi ,

we fix the zero position of the gear. Thus, the kinematics of rotational motion for each gear

can be described in local cylindrical coordinates ri R+

0 , i R mod 2, zi R. The

transformation to Cartesian coordinates is given by

xi = ai + zi bi + ri Dbi (i ) ci .

(2.2)

Here, Dbi (i ) denotes a rotation by the angle i around the axis bi and is given by

Db () c = cos c + (1 cos )

c, b

sin

bc

b+

2

b

b

(2.3)

with the scalar product c, b and the vector product b c. Since ci is perpendicular to bi ,

we have ci , bi = 0. Also, since bi is an unit vector,

(2.4)

xi = ai + zi bi + ri cos i ci + sin i bi ci .

If we rotate gear i by an angle of i , this becomes

xi = ai + zi bi + ri Dbi (i ) Dbi (i ) ci

(2.5)

= ai + zi bi + ri Dbi (i + i ) ci

= ai + zi bi + ri cos(i + i ) ci + sin(i + i ) bi ci .

Let denote the transmission ratio which is supposed to be a real constant throughout the

paper. In order to transmit uniform rotary motion, it must hold

2 = 1 .

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(3.1)

64

A. Johann and J. Scheurle: On the generation of conjugate flanks for arbitrary gear geometries

xi = ai + zi bi + ri cos(i + i ) ci + sin(i + i ) bi ci .

Therefore, for the time derivative, we get

i ri sin(i + i ) ci + cos(i + i ) bi ci

x i =

i ri bi cos(i + i ) ci + sin(i + i ) bi ci

=

i bi xi ai zi bi

=

(3.2)

(3.3)

i bi (xi ai ).

=

Let ni R3 be the outer unit normal vector corresponding to the touching flank of gear i

at the point xi . Both gears will stay in contact if the vector of relative motion x 1 x 2 is

perpendicular to n1 and n2 . Otherwise, the touching flanks would either loose contact or pass

through each other. Therefore, it must hold

ni , x 1 x 2 = 0

1 = 0, is equivalent to

which, for

1

(x x 2 ) = 0.

ni ,

1 1

(3.4)

(3.5)

Here and subsequently, , denotes the standard scalar product in R3 . Differentiating equa 1 . Since we deal with the point of contact x1 = x2 , equation

2 =

tion (3.1), we get

(3.5) becomes

ni , b1 (xi a1 ) b2 (xi a2 ) = 0.

(3.6)

This is an universal version of the basic law of gear kinematics, capable of handling arbitrary

directions of the axes.

As a matter of fact, equation (3.6) is only a necessary condition in order to obtain an

uniform transmission of rotary motion. However, it is possible to get a sufficient condition if

we require in addition to (3.4) and (3.6) that

n1 , b1 (x1 a1 ) = 0.

(3.7)

This condition says that flank 1 must not align to a circle around the gear axis. In that case,

we would have constructed at least locally a wheel instead of a gear. By (3.6), (3.7) is

equivalent to

n1 , b2 (x2 a2 ) = 0.

(3.8)

Using this additional condition, equation (3.3) leads to

i=

n1 , x i

.

n1 , bi (xi ai )

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(3.9)

65

2

1

0=

n1 , x 2

n1 , x 1

=

n1 , b2 (x2 a2 )

n1 , b1 (x1 a1 )

0 = n1 , b1 (x1 a1 ) n1 , x 2 n1 , b2 (x2 a2 ) n1 , x 1

= n1 , b1 (x1 a1 ) b2 (x2 a2 )

n1 , x 2

n1 , b2 (x2 a2 ) n1 , x 1 x 2 .

(3.10)

Here, the first term becomes zero because of the basic law (3.6) having in mind that at a

point of contact it holds x1 = x2 . The second term is zero by (3.4).

Example (spur gears)

In the special case of spur gears (i.e., if b2 = b1 ), equation (3.6) reduces to

ni , b1 (xi a1 ) + b1 (xi a2 ) = 0

1

a1 +

a2

ni , b1 xi

= 0.

1+

1+

(3.11)

(3.12)

By

p=

1

a1 +

a2 ,

1+

1+

(3.13)

p + b1

(3.14)

parallel to

xi (p + b1 )

(3.15)

or, in other words, if the normal at the point of contact always passes through the instantaneous

axis. This is the well known basic law for spur gears in its common form (cf. [1], page 2).

Remark

An analogon to the instantaneous axis, given in equation (3.14), can also be found in the

general case provided that

det (a1 a2 ), b1 , b2 = 0, b1 b2 = 0.

(3.16)

This condition is equivalent to the requirement that both gear axes lie within one plane. The

inequality in (3.16) excludes the trivial situation of two gears mounted on identical axes with

transmission ratio equal to one, and therefore does not really restrict the generality.

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66

A. Johann and J. Scheurle: On the generation of conjugate flanks for arbitrary gear geometries

In general, the instantaneous axis is given by all points of contact for which there is zero

sliding friction:

x 1 = x 2

(3.17)

As an immediate consequence, the basic law (3.6) is satisfied automatically. Using equation

(3.3), condition (3.17) becomes (writing x = x1 = x2 )

b1 (x a1 ) = b2 (x a2 )

(3.18)

(b1 b2 ) x = b1 a1 b2 a2 .

If b1 b2 , b1 a1 b2 a2 = 0, this equation has no solution. Otherwise, we can

vector-multiply it from the left by (b1 b2 ) and obtain

(b1 b2 ) (b1 b2 ) x =

= (b1 b2 ) b1 a1 b2 a2

x=

1

(b1 b2 ) b1 a1 b2 a2 + (b1 b2 ) (3.19)

2

b1 b2

0 = b1 b2 , b1 a1 b2 a2

(3.20)

= b1 , b2 a2 + b2 , b1 a1

= b1 b2 , a1 b1 b2 , a2

= b1 b2 , a1 a2 ,

= det (a1 a2 ), b1 , b2

which, indeed, is true.

Starting from a given parametrization of a flank on gear 1, we use the basic law (3.6) in order

to generate a corresponding conjugate flank on gear 2.

Let y1 R3 be a given point on the flank of gear 1 in zero position. By ny1 R3 , we

denote the corresponding outer unit normal vector. The basic idea of the following is to rotate

gear 1 by an angle of R until the basic law (3.6) is satisfied for the rotated point

x1 = x2 = a1 + Db1 () (y1 a1 ).

www.gamm-mitteilungen.org

(4.1)

67

For this , x2 is a point of contact. If we rotate this point by the angle of around the

axis of the second gear, we immediately get the conjugate flank point on gear 2 (also in zero

position):

(4.2)

y2 = a2 + Db2 () a1 a2 + Db1 () (y1 a1 )

If we apply this procedure successively to all points y1 on the flank of gear 1, we obtain the

corresponding conjugate flank on gear 2. This pair of flanks guarantees an uniform transmission of rotary motion and is constructed in such a way that always a line of points is

simultaneously in contact.

It remains to plug equation (4.1) into the basic law (3.6) and to solve the resulting equation

for :

(4.3)

0 = Db1 () ny1 , b1 (a1 + Db1 () (y1 a1 ) a1 )

b2 (a1 + Db1 () (y1 a1 ) a2 )

= ny1 , b1 (y1 a1 ) Db1 () ny1 , b2 (a1 a2 )

ny1 , (Db1 () b2 ) (y1 a1 )

= ny1 , b1 (y1 a1 ) Db1 () ny1 , b2 (a1 a2 )

+ Db1 () b2 , ny1 (y1 a1 )

= ny1 , b1 (y1 a1 )

cos ny1 +(1cos )ny1 , b1 b1

+ sin b1 ny1 , b2 (a1 a2 )

+ cos b2 + (1cos )b2 , b1 b1

sin b1 b2 , ny1 (y1 a1 )

= ny1 , b1 (y1 a1 ) ny1 , b1 b1 , b2 (a1 a2 )

+ b2 , b1 b1 , ny1 (y1 a1 )

+ cos ny1 ny1 , b1 b1 , b2 (a1 a2 )

+ b2 b2 , b1 b1 , ny1 (y1 a1 )

+ sin ny1 b1 , b2 (a1 a2 ) + b2 b1 , ny1 (y1 a1 )

This equation is of the form

0 = A + B cos + C sin

www.gamm-mitteilungen.org

(4.4)

68

A. Johann and J. Scheurle: On the generation of conjugate flanks for arbitrary gear geometries

= arg AB C B 2 + C 2 A2 , AC B B 2 + C 2 A2

with the argument function

arctan xy

+ arctan x

arg(x, y) =

2

arbitrary

if x > 0

if x < 0

if x = 0 and y > 0

if x = 0 and y < 0

if x = y = 0.

(4.5)

(4.6)

Therefore, equation (4.4) has no solution for A2 > B 2 +C 2 , one solution for A2 = B 2 +C 2 =

0, two solutions for A2 < B 2 + C 2 and infinitely many solutions for A = B = C = 0. It

has to be noted that the cases where one or infinitely many solutions occour are not generic.

For example, infinitely many solutions will arise only for degenerate geometries such as two

gears mounted on identical axes.

In the case of multiple solutions, it is convenient to pick the solution for which x 1 x 2

(i.e., the sliding friction) becomes minimal. Usually, only this solution is given in the literature

since the other solutions quite often lead to conflicts with geometric constraints such as the

intersection of teeth. However, it might be possible that a clever design can bypass these

problems and, thus, uses also these additional conjugate flanks.

Example (spur gears)

As an example, let us consider a pair of planar spur gears. Let a1 = (0, 1, 0)T , b1 =

(0, 0, 1)T , n1 = 10 and a2 = (0, 1, 0)T , b2 = (0, 0, 1)T , n2 = 10. For the flank on

gear 1, we prescribe an involute profile

t cos t sin t

9

y1 (t) = a1 +

t sin t cos t

(4.7)

10

0

cos t

(4.8)

ny1 (t) = sin t

0

with 0 t 1. In figure 1, we see the two resulting solutions for the conjugate flank on gear

2. The solution on the left hand side which, in fact, is a copy of the flank on gear 1 has

minimal sliding friction while the profile in the middle leads to the intersection of teeth. On

the right hand side, both the resulting profiles are plotted together. It can be seen that they lie

on the two different branches of the same involute (dotted line).

Remark

For a pair of conjugate gears as constructed above, there is always a line of points in contact.

In real life, this might lead to problems since a slight deflection of the gears or their mounting

may cause objectionable edge loading. Therefore, it is convenient to introduce an additional

www.gamm-mitteilungen.org

69

3

2

0

x

3

2

0

x

3

2

0

x

Fig. 1 Conjugate flanks for a given involute profile on the upper gear.

amount of curvature along curves of fixed (i.e., lines which are simultaneously in contact).

Then, the nominal line of contact (under zero load) reduces to a point (cf. [3], page 80).

In order to construct such a robust pair of flanks, one would start from the conjugate flanks

as given above. Next, we are free to choose a path of contact on one of these flanks. The only

restriction on this path is that it must pass transversally through the lines of constant (i.e., the

points which are simultaneously in contact). In other words, there should be always only one

point of this path in contact. Starting from any point of this path, we follow the corresponding

line of constant and deepen the flank along this line successively. For example, this line

could be parametrized by its arc length s. If we deepen each point by an amount proportional

to s2 , the gap between both flanks grows with positive curvature along this line. If we apply

this procedure to each point of the chosen path of contact, we end up with a robust pair of

flanks. For zero load, there is always one point in contact. Since this point lies on the original

conjugate flank, it is guaranteed that there is still an uniform transmission of rotary motion.

By this construction, we have not added any additional curvature along the path of contact. In general, this is no problem since both flanks are rolling along this path which leads

automatically to a given amount of curvature. However if this curvature does not meet the robustness requirements, we could either choose an other path of contact, redesign the originally

given flank 1 or give up the uniform transmission of rotary motion.

In the last section, we have seen how to construct a conjugate flank on gear 2 for any given

flank on gear 1. As long as both flanks are in contact, they touch along a line. During motion,

this line of contact moves along the surface of action. In the following, we look at this

problem the other way around: Starting from a given surface of action, we reconstruct the

corresponding flank on gear 1 (which together with its conjugate flank on gear 2 leads to the

given surface of action).

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70

A. Johann and J. Scheurle: On the generation of conjugate flanks for arbitrary gear geometries

f (x) = 0

(5.1)

f (x) = 0

grad f (x) = 0.

(5.2)

Here, n(x) = grad f (x) can be interpreted as the normal vector to the surface of action.

As a matter of fact, the surface under consideration cannot be chosen completely arbitrary.

In order to get a surface of action (which, finally, leads to a pair of conjugate flanks), we need

some additional requirements on f . Let

r(x) = b1 (x a1 ) b2 (x a2 ).

(5.3)

We require, for all roots x of f (i.e., the points on the surface of action), that either

n(x), r(x) = 0

(5.4)

or

r(x) = 0

or

(5.5)

n(x), b1 (x a1 ) = 0.

(5.6)

In the case of spur gears, condition (5.4) is satisfied everywhere except at the line of centres.

There, we could use condition (5.5) which leads to the well known requirement that the surface

of action has to pass through the instantaneous axis. However, this is not the only possibility:

Theoretically, it is also possible to satisfy condition (5.6) instead of (5.5). But for spur gears,

it turns out that this always leads to self-intersecting flanks. Therefore, the passing through

the instantaneous axis is the only practicable possibility. Nevertheless, condition (5.6) might

be useful for more general geometries for example, if an instantaneous axis does not exist.

It has to be noted that condition (5.6) must not be confused with (3.7). In the present context,

n(x) denotes the normal vector to the surface of action and not to one of the flanks.

After these preliminary remarks, let us now construct the flank on gear 1. In zero position,

let the flank be parametrized by

y1 (, ) R3

(5.7)

x(, ) = a1 + Db1 () y1 (, ) a1

(5.8)

be in contact, i.e.

f (x(, )) = 0.

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(5.9)

71

0=

x(, ) = n(x(, )),

x(, )

(5.10)

and

f (x(, ))

(5.11)

x(, )

= grad f (x(, )),

= n(x(, )),

a1 + Db1 ()(y1 (, ) a1 )

= n(x(, )), b1 Db1 ()(y1 (, ) a1 ) + Db1 ()

y1 (, )

= n(x(, )), b1 (x(, ) a1 ) + v(, )

0=

with

v(, ) = Db1 ()

y1 (, ) .

(5.12)

Now, we turn to the basic law (3.6). In zero position, the surface normal of the flank is

given by

y1 (, )

y1 (, )

(5.13)

ny1 =

y1 (, )

y1 (, )

nx = Db1 ()

Db1 ()

x(, ) v(, ).

=

0 = nx , r(x(, ))

=

x(, ) r(x(, )) .

0 = v(, ),

(5.14)

(5.15)

Up to now, we have the following situation: For some initial angle 0 R, we are free to

choose an initial line of contact

x(, 0 )

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(5.16)

72

A. Johann and J. Scheurle: On the generation of conjugate flanks for arbitrary gear geometries

such that f (x(, 0 )) = 0 for all . Different choices of x(, 0 ) will lead to different cuts

of the teeth e.g. spur gears, helical gears, double helical gears or zero bevel gears vs. spiral

bevel gears, respectively. For = 0 , x(, ) is given as the solution of the differential

equation (cf. (5.11))

(5.17)

Using

y1 (, ) = a1 + Db1 () x(, ) a1 ,

(5.18)

we get the corresponding flank in zero position. In addition, the conjugate flank on gear 2 is

given by

y2 (, ) = a2 + Db2 ( ) x(, ) a2 .

(5.19)

Therefore, our problem is solved if we make sure that both equations (5.11) and (5.15) are

fulfilled. Obviously, there is still some freedom. We can fix this ambiguity, for example, by

x(, ):

0=

x(, ), v(, )

(5.20)

Let

s(, ) = r(x(, ))

x(, )

x(, )2

r(x(, )),

x(, )

(5.21)

if r(x(, )) (

x(, )) = 0. Otherwise, we choose for s(, ) an arbitrary vector which

x(, ).

is perpendicular to

Then, equations (5.15) and (5.20) are satisfied if

v(, ) = s(, )

(5.22)

=

n(x(, )), s(, )

(5.23)

For r(x(, )) (

.

n(x(, )), r(, )

(5.24)

In this case (together with (5.4)), is well defined. If, on the other hand, r(x(, ))

(

x(, )) = 0, s(, ) can be chosen in an arbitrary direction which is perpendicular

x(, ). This holds, for example, for s(, ) = n(x(, )). Using this choice, the

to

denominator of equation (5.23) does not become zero and is also well defined.

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73

Therefore, we have settled the cases (5.4) and (5.5). In the remaining case (5.6), we do not

even need (5.23) since the original equation (5.11) is satisfied for = 0.

It has to be noted that instead of equation (5.20), we could have required that v(, ) has

x(, ). For the solvability of the problem, this does not matter at all.

any given angle to

In any case, we end up with equation (5.24).

For example, a reasonable choice is to replace (5.21) by

s(, ) = r(x(, )).

(5.25)

Then, our computation of x(, ) would follow the direction of the relative motion of both

flank points which are in contact at x(, ). This particular choice is remarkable also in

x(, ) at all.

another sense: The computation of both flanks does not make reference to

Therefore, we achieve the following simplified algorithm:

As in (5.16), we first choose for some 0 an initial line of contact x(, 0 ). Besides

f (x(, 0 )) = 0, we require for all that

(5.26)

In other words, the initial line of contact should coincide nowhere with the direction into

which we are continuating the flanks.

Next, we pick some and determine x(, ) for = 0 as the solution of the differential

equation

(5.27)

with and r(x) given as in equations (5.23) and (5.3). In the case (5.4), this differential

equation is well defined. However, it becomes singular in the case (5.5). Then, we might

replace r(x(, )) by a completely arbitrary vector s(, ). As before, we could choose, for

example, s(, ) = n(x(, )). Of course, it is more convenient to pick s(, ) in such a

way that

x(, ) is continuated continuously at the points where (5.4) is not valid. In the

remaining case (5.6), can simply be set equal to zero.

For any parameter value , we end up with a path x(, ) on the surface of action. After

we have applied this procedure successively for any parameter value under consideration,

we are finished with the construction of the complete function x(, ). As before, we get the

corresponding pair of conjugate flanks by equations (5.18) and (5.19).

The main advantage of this algorithm is, that it provides us with a path of action for each

initial point x(, 0 ) separately. Afterwards, these individual paths can be easily combined

to flanks with any kind of cuts even if they result from a non-differentiable initial line of

contact. Therefore, this algorithm is in some sense a natural generalization of the treatment

of spur gears in two spatial dimensions. This also leads to one-dimensional flanks which

afterwards can be stacked to different bulk geometries (such as helical or double helical gears).

An Example

For some simple geometries of the surface of action, it is possible to solve equation (5.27)

analytically and also to give an analytical expression for the corresponding pair of conjugate

www.gamm-mitteilungen.org

74

A. Johann and J. Scheurle: On the generation of conjugate flanks for arbitrary gear geometries

flanks. As an example, we consider the case when an instantaneous axis (3.19) exists (i.e.,

when both gear axes lie within a plane). In this situation, the most simple surface of action is

a plane which passes through the instantaneous axis:

x(, ) =

1

(b

b

)

b

a

b

a

+ (b1 b2 )+ d

1

2

1

1

2

2

b1 b2 2

(6.1)

of the instantaneous axis.

This plane has the (constant) normal vector

n = (b1 b2 ) d.

(6.2)

We get

r(x(, )) = b1 x(, ) a1 b2 x(, ) a2

(6.3)

= (b1 a1 b2 a2 )

1

(b1 b2 )

b1 b2 2

(b1 b2 ) (b1 a1 b2 a2 )

+ (b1 b2 ) (b1 b2 ) + (b1 b2 ) d

= (b1 a1 b2 a2 )

1

(b

b

),

(b

a

)

(b1 b2 )

1

2

1

1

2

2

b1 b2 2

b1 b2 2 (b1 a1 b2 a2 )

+ (b1 b2 ) d

= (b1 b2 ) d.

In the last line, we used equation (3.20). The factor can be computed from (5.24). Nevertheless, it is not needed in the following since r is always parallel to n in the special case

under consideration.

Now, we pick an initial point ((0 ), (0 )) R2 on the surface of action. Its dynamics

for = 0 is given by the differential equation (5.27):

(b1 b2 ),

x((), ())

() =

b1 b2 2

www.gamm-mitteilungen.org

(6.5)

75

(b1 b2 ), b1 x((), ()) a1 + (b1 b2 ) d

b1 b2 2

(b1 b2 ), b1 x((), ()) a1

b1 b2 2

(b1 b2 ), b1 (b1 b2 ) (b1 a1 b2 a2 )

b1 b2 4

()

(b

b

),

b

(b

b

)

1

2

1

1

2

b1 b2 2

()

(b

+

b

),

b

d

1

2

1

b1 b2 2

(b1 b2 ), b1 a1

b1 b2 2

det(a2 , b1 , b2 )

=

b1 b2 2

b1 , (b1 b2 ) (b1 b2 ), (b1 a1 b2 a2 )

+

b1 b2 4

det(b1 , b2 , d)

+

()

b1 b2 2

det(a1 , b1 , b2 )

b1 b2 2

det(a1 a2 , b1 , b2 ) det(b1 , b2 , d)

=

+

()

b1 b2 2

b1 b2 2

det(b1 , b2 , d)

()

=

b1 b2 2

+

and

() = d,

x((), ())

(6.6)

= d, b1 x((), ()) a1 + (b1 b2 ) d

= d, b1 x((), ()) a1

d, b1 (b1 b2 ) (b1 a1 b2 a2 )

=

b1 b2 2

+ () d, b1 (b1 b2 ) + () d, b1 d d, b1 a1

d, (b1 b2 ) b1 , (b1 a1 b2 a2 )

=

b1 b2 2

www.gamm-mitteilungen.org

76

A. Johann and J. Scheurle: On the generation of conjugate flanks for arbitrary gear geometries

+

d, (b1 a1 b2 a2 ) b1 , (b1 b2 )

b1 b2 2

det(b1 , b2 , d) () + det(a1 , b1 , d)

1 b1 , b2

d, (b1 a1 b2 a2 ) + det(a1 , b1 , d)

=

2

b1 b2

det(b1 , b2 , d) ().

Thus, we end up with a system of linear differential equations of the form

() = A ()

() = AB 2 () + C

(0 )

C

sin(AB( 0 )) +

B

AB 2

() = (0 ) cos(AB( 0 )) B(0 ) sin(AB( 0 ))

() = (0 ) cos(AB( 0 )) +

(6.7)

(6.8)

() = (0 )

(6.9)

() = (0 ) + C( 0 ).

Therefore, this solution gives for any initial point x(0 ) = x((0 ), (0 )) a path

x() = x((), ())

(6.10)

in the surface of action. As before, we get the corresponding path on the conjugate flanks

by (5.18) and (5.19), respectively. Using a family of initial conditions (parametrized by a

parameter ), we can combine these individual paths, as before, to flanks with any kind of

cut.

To become even more concrete, let us now consider the special case of spur gears. Then,

b2 = b1

(6.11)

and we get

det(b1 , b2 , d)

=0

b1 b2 2

B = b1 b2 = 1 +

1 b1 , b2

d,

(b

a

)

+ det(a1 , b1 , d)

C=

1

1

2

2

b1 b2 2

1

=

d, b1 (a1 + a2 ) + det(a1 , b1 , d)

1+

1

det(a1 + a2 , b1 , d) + det(a1 , b1 , d)

=

1+

det(a1 a2 , b1 , d)

.

=

1+

A=

www.gamm-mitteilungen.org

(6.12)

77

() = (0)

(6.13)

det(a1 a2 , b1 , d)

.

() = (0) +

1+

By (6.1), we get

det(a1 a2 , b1 , d)

x() = x (0), (0) +

1+

1

(a1 + a2 ) b1 , (a1 + a2 )b1

=

1+

det(a1 a2 , b1 , d)

d.

+ (1 + )(0) b1 + (0) +

1+

(6.14)

x() =

1

det(a1 a2 , b1 , d)

d.

a1 + a2 + (1 + )(0) b1 + (0) +

1+

1+

(6.15)

Thus, the line of contact moves along the surface of action with constant velocity into the

direction d.

Now, equations (5.18) and (5.19) give the corresponding flanks on both gears in zero position. In order to simplify notation, consider a coordinate system in which a1 = (0, 1, 0),

a2 = (0, 1 , 0), b1 = (0, 0, 1)T and d = (cos , sin , 0). Then, we get

x() = ((0) + cos ) sin

(1 + )(0)

(6.16)

and by (5.18)

y1 () = (0, 1, 0)T + D(0,0,1)T () x() (0, 1, 0)T

(6.17)

= 1 ((0) + cos + sin ) sin( ) cos cos( ) .

(1 + )(0)

By the reparametrization t = +

(0)+sin

,

cos

this becomes

t cos t sin t

0

(0) + sin

+cos D(0,0,1)T

1

y1 (t) =

+ t sin t cos t

cos

0

(1 + )(0)

(6.18)

www.gamm-mitteilungen.org

78

A. Johann and J. Scheurle: On the generation of conjugate flanks for arbitrary gear geometries

which, as a matter of fact, is the well known involute profile (as expected for a planar surface

of action). Finally, (5.19) gives the flank on the second gear:

(6.19)

y2 () = (0, 1 , 0)T + D(0,0,1)T () x() (0, 1 , 0)T

= 1 + ((0) + cos 1 sin ) sin( ) 1 cos cos( )

(1 + )(0)

which is also of involute type. Again, it can be transformed by the reparametrization t =

+ (0)sin

into the more convenient form

cos

1

y2 (t) =

(1 + )(0)

1

cos D(0,0,1)T

(6.20)

(0) sin

cos

t cos t sin t

+ t sin t + cos t .

0

a1 = (0, 0, 0)T

(6.21)

b1 = (0, 0, 1)

n1 = 20

and

1 T

a2 = 1, 0,

4

b2 = (1, 0, 0)T

n2 = 5.

We get =

n1

n2

x=

(6.22)

1

(1, 0, 4)T + (4, 0, 1)T .

17

(6.23)

Using

1

d = (0, 1, 1),

2

(6.24)

x(, ) =

1

(1, 0, 4)T + (4, 0, 1)T + (0, 1, 1)T

17

2

www.gamm-mitteilungen.org

(6.25)

79

and

det(b1 , b2 , d)

2 2

(6.26)

=

b1 b2 2

17

B = b1 b2 = 17

1 b1 , b2

1

d,

(b

C=

a

)

+ det(a1 , b1 , d) = .

1

1

2

2

b1 b2 2

17 2

A=

With 0 = 0 and the initial condition ((0), (0)) = (, 0), this leads to the solution

8

1

+

(6.27)

() = cos

17

68

8

() = 17 sin

.

17

The corresponding flanks (for 0.3 0.2 and n1

0.2

0.2

0.2

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.1

0.2

0.3

0.5

0.2

1

0.2

0.1

0.5

0.2

0.3

0.3

0.3

n1 )

0.5

0.2

1

0.2

0.1

0.1

y

0.2

0.3

1

0.2

0.1

0.1

0.2

0.3

Acknowledgements We thank Professor Dr.-Ing. B.-R. Hohn from the engineering department of our

university and members of his research group for stimulating discussions that gave rise to our interest in

the mathematics of gearing.

References

[1] E. Buckingham, Analytical Mechanics of Gears, Dover Publications, New York (1963).

[2] D. B. Dooner and A. A. Seireg, The Kinematic Geometry of Gearing, J. Wiley, New York (1995).

[3] A. Dyson, A General Theory of the Kinematics and Geometry of Gears in Three Dimensions, Clarendon Press, Oxford (1969).

[4] L. Euler, De aptissima figura rotarum dentibus tribuenda (1754/5).

[5] L. Euler, Supplementum de figura dentium rotarum (1765).

[6] F. L. Litvin, Theory of Gearing, NASA Reference Publication 1212 (1989).

[7] M.-F. Tsay and Z.-H. Fong, Study on the Generalized Mathematical Model of Noncircular Gears,

Mathematical and Computer Modelling 41 (2005), 555-569.

[8] O. Vogel, A. Griewank and G. Bar, Direct gear tooth contact analysis for hypoid bevel gears, Comput. Methods Appl. Mech. Engrg. 191 (2002), 3965-3982.

www.gamm-mitteilungen.org

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