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and bearing stiffness on gear misalignment

and transmission noise using a fully coupled

non-linear hyperstatic analysis.

Romax Technology Preview Paper - Vehicle Noise & Vibration 2000 Page 2

bearing stiffness on gear misalignment and

transmission noise using a fully coupled non-linear

hyperstatic analysis.

O.J.Harris, B.M.James & A.M.Woolley

Romax Technology Ltd.

ABSTRACT

The paper describes a numerical simulation method to predict efficiently and accurately how

changes to a transmission’s housing can affect gear mesh misalignments. A fully coupled

non-linear algorithm to analyse the shaft/bearing/gear/housing hyperstatic system has been

developed. A reduced stiffness matrix (which can be created by most commercial FEA

packages) is used to efficiently model the housing.

An investigation of the effects of redesigning the housing, for reduced weight, is presented.

The results show that the inclusion of the interaction between the housing and internal

components significantly affects the predictions for gear mesh misalignments. This affects

how the gear is modified to minimise transmission error and noise.

1. INTRODUCTION

For today’s transmission design process, minimising the weight of the transmission is an

important requirement. However, it is crucial to optimise any change such that the

performance of the transmission’s internal components is not compromised. Particular

attention must be given to gear mesh misalignment as this not only reduces its life, but also

increases its transmission error, which gives rise to an increased level of noise. In order to

compensate for the effect of misalignment, transmission engineers modify the gear tooth

micro-geometry.

However, up to now the design process for transmission housings has made it difficult to

achieve this target. A designer might make some judgement as to where ribs are required to

© Romax Technology Limited 2000 The Romax name and Butterfly logo are Registered Trademarks 88-NVH-AN-0299-1

Romax Technology Preview Paper - Vehicle Noise & Vibration 2000 Page 3

provide stiffness, but this is based on engineering experience and Finite Element Analysis

(FEA) of the housing on its own. Understanding how changes to the housing affect the

internal components of the transmission is even harder – the deflection of a complex 3D

casting under multiple loads is made even more incomprehensible by the inclusion of non-

linear elements such as bearings.

Traditionally, calculations of the housing influence on gear mesh misalignment are performed

by making a series of approximations (e.g. linear bearings, rigid housings) with the

corresponding reductions in accuracy. An alternative is to use a full Finite Element (FE)

model of the whole transmission system. However, only the most sophisticated FE model,

requiring great expertise and involving immense time and cost, can even begin to be

successful.

The purpose of this paper is to describe a numerical simulation method to predict efficiently

and accurately how changes to a transmission’s housing can affect gear mesh misalignments.

A study of how the housing affects a typical five-speed transaxle transmission is presented.

It is over forty years since the concept of transmission error was first proposed and linked to

the generation of noise by gears (1-2). This subject has been studied much in the intervening

years and the relationship between misalignment and transmission error developed (3-4). The

importance of gear mesh misalignment to gear noise is thus well established.

A number of analysis methods exist that take a given gear pair, the transmitted torque, gear

micro-geometry and misalignment and calculate a prediction for the transmission error (see

for example reference 5). It is customary to modify the gear micro-geometry to accommodate

misalignment and minimise transmission error.

The precise effect that the gear misalignment due to the housing stiffness has on gear noise

depends as much on the gear micro-geometry as on the magnitude of the misalignment itself.

Some gear designs can accommodate misalignment with little detrimental effect, for others it

is more of a problem. It is a challenge for the gear designer to create a design to

accommodate the misalignment. The method presented in this paper for predicting system

deflections provides the designer with the accurate values of misalignment that are necessary

if he is to design for low noise.

3. THE MODEL

The model allows the user to carry out a static analysis model of an entire transmission by

linking the shafts, bearings, gears and now housings together. Figure 1 shows the example

transmission studied in this paper - a typical five-speed transaxle transmission.

The system model is formulated by summing the individual component stiffness matrices to

create a single system stiffness matrix. Application of the gear and external loads, and a

standard matrix inversion are used to solve for the transmission deflection. A Newton-

© Romax Technology Limited 2000 The Romax name and Butterfly logo are Registered Trademarks 88-NVH-AN-0299-1

Romax Technology Preview Paper - Vehicle Noise & Vibration 2000 Page 4

Raphson type iterative scheme is used when non-linear components are included (see

bearings below).

the following can be calculated as accurately as possible:

In providing such data to the engineer, the software allows the engineer to more accurately

predict the micro-geometry modifications required for quiet and durable gears, reducing the

trial-and-error methods that are currently used.

Initially, when a user creates a model of the transmission, the non-linear stiffness of the

bearings is calculated, taking into account the applied load, internal geometry and internal

clearance as described in standard literature (6-7). When compared with the classic “simply-

supported beam analysis”, this provides a more accurate calculation of the shaft deflection,

and allows three-bearing and pocket-bearing systems to be calculated.

© Romax Technology Limited 2000 The Romax name and Butterfly logo are Registered Trademarks 88-NVH-AN-0299-1

Romax Technology Preview Paper - Vehicle Noise & Vibration 2000 Page 5

Infinite Radial Stiffness a [6x6] stiffness matrix

Stiffness

Figure 2. A sketch showing the loading of a beam which is either simply supported or

mounted via bearings.

However, this assumes that the bearing outer ring is held in an infinitely stiff housing. Whilst

this is a perfectly good approximation for concept design and development, refinement of the

transmission benefits from the model being as complete as possible. This is where the

housing flexibility must be included.

The next stage is to take the model of the transmission and apply a single, multi-dimensional

stiffness matrix to the locations where the bearing outer rings are attached to the housing.

This is a fully coupled stiffness matrix, so that the effect of the loading and deformation of

the different bearings on one another (via the housing) is included.

Figure 3 below shows two shafts supported by bearings in a housing. The dotted line shows

the undeformed shape. As a single point-load is applied to Shaft 1, Bearing A deflects and the

housing of Bearing A also deflects. At the other end of the shaft, Bearing B and its housing

also deflect. Additionally, there is an influence on Bearings C and D, which are affected by

the applied force via the transmission housing. Shaft 2 displaces despite there being no load

on it.

In addition to dealing with the transfer of loads from one shaft to another, the fully coupled

model is capable of dealing with the pre-loading of bearings and the effect of external loads

on the transmission housing.

3.4 Derivation of the housing stiffness matrix from Finite Element Analysis.

The housing stiffness matrix that is required to complete this analysis is derived from a Finite

Element Model of the transmission housing. A single node needs to be defined for each

bearing-to-housing connection. Normally, this node is defined as being at the centre of the

© Romax Technology Limited 2000 The Romax name and Butterfly logo are Registered Trademarks 88-NVH-AN-0299-1

Romax Technology Preview Paper - Vehicle Noise & Vibration 2000 Page 6

bearing, along the shaft centre line. It is attached to an arbitrary number of nodes that are

located on the housing, around the surface that defines where the bearing outer ring is

located. It is the 6 degrees-of-freedom of this node that define the behaviour of the housing

for that bearing.

Finally, a static condensation is carried out to derive the stiffness matrix describing the

properties of the housing. Whilst the method for defining the FE model and deriving the

stiffness matrix may differ slightly from one package to another, any high-calibre analysis

package should allow this method to be applied. A description of the method of static

condensation can be found in standard FE textbooks (8).

For a transmission with N bearing housings, each with 6 degrees-of-freedom, the Finite

Element Analysis program derives a [6N x 6N] stiffness matrix by static condensation

method. Note that it is not necessary to run a complete static analysis of the FE model to

derive the stiffness matrix, only the condensation method need be carried out.

It is also not necessary to create a complete, stress-quality model of the housing. The

modelling requirements for stiffness calculations are less, leading to a much-reduced lead-

time for the creation of the FE model.

Figure 1 shows the 3-dimensional view of a standard, 5-speed transaxle transmission. This

transmission is based on a number of different designs and has been developed for testing,

validation and demonstration purposes. It has a simple, 5-speed duty cycle applied to it, and it

allows the effect of including the housing stiffness to be studied.

The housing stiffness data used was derived from a genuine reduced weight transmission

housing that belongs to a client. Modification of the co-ordinate system and the number of

bearings allows the confidentiality of original data to be maintained. However, the authors

can confirm that this represents a genuine test case, as the way in which the housing stiffness

matrix behaves, and hence the relationships between the different shafts, is preserved from

the original data.

For the sake of brevity, the full details of the transmission dimensions, loads cases and

housing stiffness (a 36x36 matrix) are not reproduced here.

In order to study the effects of including the housing stiffness on the transmission’s predicted

performance, the analysis was carried out both with the full model (including the housing)

and with the simplified model in which the housing flexibility is neglected (i.e. assuming an

infinite housing stiffness).

The total analysis times (for running the static analysis on all five load cases) were 22 and 14

seconds respectively on an Intel Pentium Pro (200 MHz, 80MB RAM) personal computer.

© Romax Technology Limited 2000 The Romax name and Butterfly logo are Registered Trademarks 88-NVH-AN-0299-1

Romax Technology Preview Paper - Vehicle Noise & Vibration 2000 Page 7

This transmission contains five gear pairs that are each loaded in a single loadcase. Each has

one gear that is mounted on a synchroniser, and the tilt of these gears is affected by the

needle roller bearing underneath the synchronised gear. This can be modelled with the

software, but has not been done so in this model.

Hence, for these gears the relevant data concern the change in misalignment, which deals

with the global effect of housing stiffness, rather than the absolute values, which neglect the

local effect of synchroniser tilt.

– speed ratio gear pairs

Gear Pair Infinite housing FE housing stiffness Change

stiffness

1st Speed -40 um -36 um + 4 um

2nd Speed 6 um 5 um -1 um

3rd Speed 10 um 8 um -2 um

4th Speed 6 um 3 um -3 um

5th Speed -85 um -87 um -2 um

The final drive gear pair is more interesting. It is loaded in all loadcases, with the layshaft

deflecting in different ways according to the position of the applied loads. Hence, it is vital to

know both the magnitude of the misalignment and the range across which it varies from

loadcase to loadcase. This can be seen in the following table:

– final drive gear pair

Loadcase Infinite housing FE housing stiffness Change

stiffness

1st Speed -100 um -162 um +62 %

2nd Speed -56 um -111 um +98 %

3rd Speed -35 um -73 um +109 %

4th Speed -32 um -60 um +88 %

5th Speed -33 um -54 um +64 %

Thus it can be seen that not only do the individual values of mesh misalignment change, but

the range of mesh misalignments with which the gear pair has to cope changes from 67 um to

108 um, an increase of 60%. This may substantially alter the way that micro-geometry

modifications are applied to the gear pair.

As discussed in section 2 the literature provides a number of methods for predicting the

effects of gear misalignment on transmission error. Figure 4 shows transmission error results

© Romax Technology Limited 2000 The Romax name and Butterfly logo are Registered Trademarks 88-NVH-AN-0299-1

Romax Technology Preview Paper - Vehicle Noise & Vibration 2000 Page 8

obtained using the Ohio State University Load Distribution Program (5). For the sake of

brevity the final drive gear pair in first speed (the heaviest load) only is shown.

The results are for the unmodified gears without any micro-geometry modification and show

the effects of including the misalignment predicted with and without including the housing

stiffness. One can clearly see that the inclusion of the housing flexibility when predicting the

gear mesh misalignment gives rise to significantly different predictions of the transmission

error. The magnitude of the peak-to-trough change that the gear designer must now attempt to

compensate for is increased by approximately 100%.

Figure 4. The predicted transmission error for the final drive gear pair in first speed

using gear misalignment predictions corresponding to an infinitely stiff housing (upper

line) and including the housing stiffness (lower line)

In this example, there is a substantial difference between the results for the two analyses. This

is not always the case, other examples have been studied where the housing stiffness has

made relatively little difference to the gear mesh misalignments. Other examples have shown

an even larger effect.

This emphasises the benefit of such analysis – the ability to assess whether the housing is

sufficiently stiff prior to committing to the expensive process of “prototype manufacture –

test – re-design – prototype manufacture – test” etc.

5. CONCLUSIONS

system has been developed. A reduced stiffness matrix (which can be created by most

commercial FEA packages) is used to very efficiently model the housing. For example, for

the case study considering the analysis of a five-speed transmission including the housing

stiffness has a run time of seconds on a personal computer.

© Romax Technology Limited 2000 The Romax name and Butterfly logo are Registered Trademarks 88-NVH-AN-0299-1

Romax Technology Preview Paper - Vehicle Noise & Vibration 2000 Page 9

The analysis allows the important interaction between the transmission housing and internal

components to be investigated. A case study has been presented, showing that the effects of

including the stiffness of a reduced weight housing can significantly change the predicted

gear mesh misalignments. This should be used to define the way that micro-geometry

modifications are applied to the gears to minimise noise.

In addition the analysis provides valuable information on the interaction between the housing

stiffness and bearing pre-loads, bearing misalignments and lives, and the derivation of

accurate inputs to the structural (stress) analysis of transmission housing

The authors are in the process of extending this work to study the effects of planet carrier and

differential cage stiffnesses on transmission performance.

5. REFERENCES

1. H.K. Kohler, A. Pratt and A.M. Thompson, “Dynamics and Noise of Parallel Axis

Gearing”, IMechE Gearing Conference, Cambridge, 1970, pp 111-121.

C117/79, 1979, pp 9-14.

3. J.D. Smith, “Modelling the Dynamics of Misaligned Helical Gears with Loss of

Contact”, IMechE paper C07196, 1998, pp 217-223.

Gear Tooth Contact on Automobile Transmission Noise”, IMechE paper C382/043,

1989, pp147-151

5. D. Houser, H. Vinayak, M. Clapper, “User Manual for Load Distribution Program and

Other Related Programs, Version 8.0”, Gear Dynamics and Gear Noise Research

Laboratory, Ohio State University, Colombus, Ohio, USA, 1992.

6. A. Palmgren, “Ball and Roller Bearing Engineering”, Third Edition, SKF Industries

Inc.

7. T. A. Harris, “Rolling Bearing Analysis”, Third Edition, John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

© Romax Technology Limited 2000 The Romax name and Butterfly logo are Registered Trademarks 88-NVH-AN-0299-1

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