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Entre las máquinas de desplazamiento positivo las bombas de engranaje externo son la solución preferida para muchos sistemas de fuerza de fluidos, inyección lubricación y sistemas de transporte de fluidos. La razón clave son su bajo coste de fabricación, son compactas, buena eficiencia y alta fiabilidad.
La velocidad cinemática de una máquina de desplazamiento positivo consiste en el fluido desplazado por la variación de volumen en las cámaras de desplazamiento bajo los supuestos que no hay fugas. El objetivo es reducir el flujo cinemático y reducir el tamaño de los engranajes.

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journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/mechmachtheory

Research paper

external gear pump

Xinran Zhao∗, Andrea Vacca

School of Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University, Lafayette, IN 47905 USA

a r t i c l e i n f o a b s t r a c t

Article history: External gear pumps (EGPs) have gained popularity among applications in many ﬁelds like

Received 30 November 2016 ﬂuid power transmissions and systems, automotive, aerospace thanks to their advantage of

Revised 12 May 2017

simplicity, robustness and low cost. Several studies were performed to analyze and inno-

Accepted 27 June 2017

vate the gear proﬁles of EGPs to achieve better performance, in terms of ﬂow smoothness

Available online 12 July 2017

power to weight ratio. Asymmetric gears represent one of the possible choices. This paper

is aimed at developing a methodology of designing asymmetric involute gear, and formu-

late analytical expression for the instantaneous ﬂowrate and ﬂow non-uniformity given

by asymmetric, non-standard involute gear pumps. These analytical expressions are then

used within a multi-objective numerical optimization algorithm aimed at minimizing both

the ﬂow non-uniformity and the pump size to achieve a speciﬁc displacement. The results

illustrate the highly constrained nature of the optimization problem, and the relevant im-

pact of certain parameters of the tooth proﬁle. It is shown how gears obtained with the

proposed procedure can have signiﬁcantly higher performance of standard gears, and in

particular how the parameters affecting tooth proﬁle asymmetry can further improve the

EGP ﬂow irregularity and size.

© 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

1. Introduction

Among positive displacement machines, external gear pumps (EGPs) are often the preferred solution for many ﬂuid

power, injection, lubrication, and ﬂuid transport systems. Key reason for success for EGPs are their low manufacturing cost,

compact package, good energy eﬃciency, high reliability as well tolerance to contamination.

Traditionally, the design of the gear proﬁle for an EGP has been taken advantage from the wide literature on gearboxes

for power transmission system. However, it is well known that the desirable operating performance of an EGP is in great

part given by the ﬂuid dynamics features of the ﬂow through the unit, rather than by the characteristics of the power

transmissions between the two matching gears. The force loading of the gears in an EGP essentially given by the ﬂuid

pressure, and as documented in [1], for a high pressure unit the radial forces acting on the shaft bearing are signiﬁcantly

higher than the contact forces between the gears. As a consequence, structural requirements typically affecting the gear

proﬁle in mechanical power transmissions systems do not always apply in EGPs; and gears with signiﬁcant modiﬁcations

are often found in commercial EGP designs. On the other hand, features of the ﬂow as well as ﬂuid compressibility effects

often determine the design of an EGP.

∗

Corresponding author.

E-mail address: zhao596@purdue.edu (X. Zhao).

http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mechmachtheory.2017.06.020

0094-114X/© 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

X. Zhao, A. Vacca / Mechanism and Machine Theory 117 (2017) 114–132 115

Nomenclature

TW Tip width constraint (-)

CR Contact Ratio (-)

DC Displacement Chamber

V1 volume of DC1 (mm3 )

V2 volume of DC2 (mm3 )

ra outer radius of gear (mm)

rb radius of base circle (mm)

ruc radius of undercut circle (mm)

m module of gear (mm)

α pressure angle of cutting tool (o )

α working pressure angle of gear (o )

rp radius of pitch circle (mm)

x correction (offset) factor (-)

z number of teeth (-)

b whole thickness of gear (mm)

ω shaft speed (rad/s)

γ base pitch (mm)

u distance from contact point to pitch point (mm)

Q ﬂow rate (mm3 /s)

i center distance (mm)

θ angular position of gear (o )

φ angle between inward tangential vector and the vector pointing to the center (o )

T Period of theoretical delivery ﬂow (s)

ρ Fillet radius of rack cutter (mm)

e Offset distance (mm)

Flow non-uniformity at the outlet port is considered as one of the most important detrimental features for all positive

displacement pump designs. As a matter of fact, low level of outlet ﬂow ﬂuctuation leads to low levels of noise emissions

and reduced chances of mechanical vibration in the downstream systems [2,3]. Due to the high number of displacement

chambers, the EGP design is particularly prone to provide a low level of outlet ﬂow ﬂuctuation. For this reason, over the last

decades, signiﬁcant research effort was put in studying the relations between gear proﬁle and kinematic ﬂow pulsations as

well as in formulating design solutions for lower ﬂow pulsation. In this regard, one of the ﬁrst relevant contributions known

by the authors is the work by Bonacini [4], who provided an analytical expression for the theoretical ﬂow of an EGP, based

on the parameter of the involute proﬁle of the gears. The same ﬁnding, with alternative analytical methods of derivations,

was also reported in the work by Ivantysyn and Ivantysynova [3], and Manring and Kasagaradda [5]. In both works, some

considerations about some relevant parameters, such as number of teeth, involute proﬁle pressure angle and correction

factor for optimal ﬂow pulsations were also reported. In a recent work [6], Zhou and Vacca proved the equivalency of the

analytical expression provided by mentioned works with a numerical control-volume based approach suitable for lumped

parameter modeling of the displacing action of an EGP.

Several state-of-the-art commercial EGPs have taken advantage of the considerations of the works above mentioned. A

signiﬁcant example is given by the dual ﬂank solution, as described in [7], which consists of gears able to reduce backlash to

a minimum value. The feasibility of such solution is proven by several commercial designs available in the market. In other

cases, ﬂow non-uniformity is also reduced by adopting helical gear designs as well as unconventional gear proﬁles [8–11].

The latter solutions, however, penalize some typical advantages of traditional spur gear EGPs such as volumetric eﬃciency,

simplicity and design scalability to different geometric displacement. For this reason, spur gear EGPs with involute type gear

still represent the most desirable and cost-effective solution for an EGP.

Nevertheless, the literature for spur gear EGPs does not include a general design methodology for formulating optimal

proﬁles for gears obtained through traditional rack cutting processes. This is particularly true for the case of asymmetric

involute teeth, which also appears in some commercial solutions [12–15]. With the additional degrees of freedom given

by the separate deﬁnition of the drive and coast sides of the involute teeth, asymmetric gears could provide additional

potentials for reducing the level of ﬂow non-uniformity in an EGP. This is a particular aspect that will be investigated in the

present paper.

It is important to remark that, similarly to what assumed in the past works mentioned above, all the considerations

made in this work are based on theoretical, or kinematic, ﬂow displaced by the EGP. It is well known that actual port ﬂow

oscillations are affected also by compressibility effects associated to the pressurization and depressurization of each tooth

space volume (TSV), and secondarily on the laminar/turbulent nature of the ﬂow. Several studies focused on the analysis of

116 X. Zhao, A. Vacca / Mechanism and Machine Theory 117 (2017) 114–132

Fig. 1. External gear pump. Lateral and radial gap affecting the energy eﬃciency.

Fig. 2. Two different conﬁgurations in the meshing region (a) single-ﬂank (b) dual-ﬂank contact [6].

the transient pressurization phases of the inter-teeth volumes during the meshing process, and to their reduction through

proper design of the recessed machined at the element of the EGPs facing the lateral sides of the gears. Some examples are

given by [16–18]. Other studies also addressed the pressurization phases of each TSV, as a function of the actual clearance

between tooth tip and internal pump case (radial gap, Fig. 1) [1,5,19]. The leakage ﬂows taking place at both the radial and

the lateral gaps in an EGP represent an additional cause of deviation between the actual ﬂow and the theoretical ﬂow. This

latter aspect is often studied through CFD approaches, such as in the work by Castilla et al. [20].

Despite all the reasons explained above about the discrepancy between actual and theoretical ﬂow in an EGP, an analysis

purely based on theoretical ﬂow still provides the upper limit performance, in terms of minimum ﬂow oscillations, of a given

gear proﬁle. If a gear proﬁle is then selected for actual implementation on an EGP, particular care should then be dedicated

to all design parameters that plays a role in reducing the actual pump performance with respect to the theoretical one. These

parameters, include those affecting radial and lateral leakages ﬂow [1,21], TSV pressure peaks and localized cavitation during

the meshing process [1,22], and also the manufacturing tolerances on the actual tooth proﬁle. Optimization techniques such

as the one described in [23] were proposed to limit these effects related to ﬂuid properties on the outlet ﬂow oscillations.

According to the general idea illustrated in the previous paragraph, this paper describes a procedure for determining the

optimal tooth proﬁle for EGPs, spur gear type, including the case of asymmetric teeth. To accomplish this goal, the work

ﬁrst introduces the method used to analytically describe the proﬁle of asymmetric teeth, obtained through a standard rack

cut process (Section 2.1). Subsequently, an analytical derivation of the theoretical ﬂow for asymmetric EGPs is provided,

considering the drive gear and the pinion with same proﬁle and equal number of teeth. This part extends the ﬁndings

of the previous work [6], which was limited to the case of symmetric gears (Section 2.3). The main goal of investigating

the optimal tooth proﬁle geometry is then accomplished through a numerical optimization procedure, which is detailed

in Section 3. This procedure assumes dual-ﬂank operation for the gears, which is already proven to be intrinsically more

beneﬁcial for reducing ﬂow non-uniformity up to 75% respect to traditional single-ﬂank technology [6], as shown in Fig. 2.

Beside the minimization of ﬂow oscillation, objective of the optimization is also to provide the most compact EGP design

in terms of overall volume of the pumping elements (the gear ensemble). An important assumption made throughout this

work is given by assuming the driver and the driver gear with equal number of teeth. This assumption reﬂects the common

practice for gear pumps, particularly for high pressure operation. The last section of the paper illustrates the potential of

the procedure, showing the effect of the main design parameters of the tooth proﬁle, such as the number of teeth, on the

theoretical pump performance.

X. Zhao, A. Vacca / Mechanism and Machine Theory 117 (2017) 114–132 117

2. Design and theoretical ﬂow rate of asymmetric gears under dual-ﬂank operation

The kinematic (or theoretical) ﬂow rate of a positive displacement machine consists on the theoretical ﬂuid displaced by

the volume variations of its displacement chambers, under the assumptions of no leakages, negligible ﬂuid compressibility

and inviscid ﬂow. This paper aims at ﬁnding the best gear proﬁle that can reduce the kinematic ﬂow while minimizing the

size of the gears. For this reason, gears working at dual-ﬂank contact (zero-backlash) are considered. For the sake of the

generality of the study, non-standard involute gear design is considered, introducing several degrees of freedom in order to

include the case of asymmetric teeth, also with proﬁle shift factor. The case of standard gears will result as a particular case

of the considered domain of investigation.

The deﬁnition of the asymmetric proﬁle-shifted for non-standard gear design is provided in Section 2.1, where the de-

sign starts from the asymmetric design of the generating rack-cutter. Analytical expressions deﬁning the asymmetric gear

proﬁle depending on several design parameters are here derived. The calculation of the center distance for dual-ﬂank oper-

ation is then given in Section 2.2. Then Section 2.3 derives the analytical expression of theoretical ﬂow rate for asymmetric

non-standard spur gears – never found in the literature known by the authors – by following a rotating control-volume

based approach. Related considerations regarding the proper contact and sealing of gears operating in dual-ﬂank contact are

discussed in Section 2.4.

As this paper is aimed at studying the most general type of involute gears generated by rack-cutter, the undercutting that

results by the features of the rack-cutter shape has to be taken into account. In general, undercutting reduces the chance

of interference (non-conjugate contact), but it also reduces the contact ratio, and mechanically weakens the gear tooth.

While teeth strength considerations are out of the scope of this study, the effect on the contact ratio of gears given by the

undercutting is taken careful consideration.

A rack cutter of the general shape of Fig. 3 is taken as reference for the generation of gears with involute tooth proﬁle.

The shape of cutter is asymmetric, to permit the gear generation of asymmetric gears. The ﬁllet curve at the tip of the cutter

is formed by a circular arc with radius ρ d for the drive side, and ρ c for the coast side. The generating (cutting) process of

a gear can be viewed as the synchronization of a linear translation of the cutter and a rotational motion of the gear. After

a proper coordinate transformation, with a frame of reference ﬁxed at the center of the gear, this process can be treated as

a composition of two motions of the rack cutter with respect to the gear: translational and rotational (as shown in Fig. 4).

Consequently, the proﬁle of an involute gear can be created with the motion of the straight portion of the cutter, which is

118 X. Zhao, A. Vacca / Mechanism and Machine Theory 117 (2017) 114–132

x cos φ − sin φ sin θ − θ cos θ

finv (θ ) = = rb (1)

y sin φ cos φ cos θ + θ sin θ

π + 4x tan α

φ = tan α − α + (2)

2z

In Eq. (2) α is the geometrical design pressure angle on either drive (α d ) or coast (α c ) side. θ is a parameter whose

physical meaning is shown in Fig. 5. For the gear tooth, the involute proﬁle is deﬁned in the interval

θ ∈ 0, ra2 − rb2 /rb (3)

where the outer radius ra and base radius rb can be expressed as:

m·z

ra = + m · x + ha (4)

2

m·z

rb = · cos α (5)

2

The lower limit and upper limit in Eq. (3) stand for the intersection of the involute curve with base circle and addendum

circle, respectively (Fig. 5).

After deﬁning the involute portion, the next part consists in the deﬁnition of the root ﬁllet proﬁle of the tooth. This is

assumed to be formed by the circular arc portion of a cutter. Using an approach similar to what proposed by [24], complex

analytic function is used to represent the cutter motion on complex plane

w = [ν + (r − e )ϕ + i · (ζ (ν ) + r )] · exp(i · ϕ ) (6)

where e = x · m is the offset distance of the cutter, and r = mz/2 + e is the distance from the pitch line (y = 0 in Fig. 1) to

the center of the gear, ν is the horizontal coordinate in Fig. 3, and ζ (ν ) is the circular arc proﬁle in the vertical direction

in Fig. 3. The second term in the square brackets of Eq. (6) represents for the translational motion, while the third term is

the initial positioning of the gear. The exponential multiplier of Eq. (6) stands for the rotational motion. Notice that when

a non-zero correction factor x is applied, the translational velocity does not change; in fact, the only modiﬁed term is the

positioning of the cutter with respect to the gear. The term ϕ indicates the rotation angle, which can be expressed as a

function of ν , i.e. ϕ = ϕ (ν ), by solving following differential equation:

∂ ∂

(Im(w(ν, ϕ ))) (Im(w(ν, ϕ )))

∂ϕ ∂

= u (7)

∂ ∂

(Re(w(ν, ϕ ))) (Re(w(ν, ϕ )))

∂ϕ ∂u

The physical meaning of Eq. (7) is that a point on the cutter can actually cut the proﬁle only when the local slope of its

trajectory of motion is the same as the local slope on the cutter, as shown in Fig. 6.

The solution can be derived from Eqs. (6) and (7):

−ζ (ζ + e ) − ν

ϕ= (8)

r−e

X. Zhao, A. Vacca / Mechanism and Machine Theory 117 (2017) 114–132 119

Substituting Eq. (8) in the former expression of Eq. (6) gives w = w(ν ), which represents the root ﬁllet proﬁle created by

the cutter on complex plane:

ζ (ζ + e ) + ν

w(ν ) = [−ζ (ζ + e ) + i · (ζ + r )] · exp i · − (9)

r−e

Taking the root ﬁllet proﬁle at the drive side as an example (the coast side can be solved in a similar fashion), on cutter

coordinate (Fig. 3), the ﬁllet arc on the drive side of the cutter is written as

ζ ( ν ) = y0 − ρd2 − (ν − x0 )2 (10)

ν − x0

ζ (ν ) = (11)

ρd2 − (ν − x0 )2

where (x0 , y0 ) is the center of the drive circular ﬁllet arc in cutter coordinate, which can be determined by simple geometric

calculation:

h b − ρb m·π ρd

x0 = + + (12.1)

tan π2 − αd 4 cos αd

y0 = −hb + ρb (12.2)

with the range of ν :

3

ν ∈ ρd cos(π + αd ) + x0 , ρd cos π + x0 (12.3)

2

Sub Eqs. (10) and (11) into Eq. (9), the closed form of the root ﬁllet proﬁle on the drive side can be written as

−(ζ + e ) · ζ cos (β ) + ζ + m2·z + e sin β

froot (ν ) = (13)

(ζ + e ) · ζ sin (β ) + ζ + m2·z + e cos β

Where:

3

(ζ + e ) · ζ + ν

β (ν ) = m·z ν ∈ ρd cos (π + αd ) + x0 , ρd cos π + x0 (14)

2

2

The intersection between involute proﬁle and root ﬁllet proﬁle can be captured by solving for the minimum value of the

equation:

g(θ , ν ) ≡ |finv (θ ) − froot (ν )| (15)

in range of two variables θ and ν in the intervals given by Eqs. (3) and (12.3), respectively. If there is an intersection between

the involute proﬁle and the root ﬁllet proﬁle, the minimum of g should be zero. In the special case where g has a minimum

greater than zero, that means there is no intersection; this means that the involute proﬁle does not exist for the given set

of geometrical parameters and not in the scope of this paper. This situation can happen when the outer radius speciﬁed is

unrealistically small. This condition will be used as a constraint in the proposed optimization procedure (Section 3.1). The

distance from the intersection point to the gear center is denoted as ruc (Fig. 7 left), because it stands for the actual starting

point (undercutting point) of the involute portion of the tooth proﬁle. The undercutting radius is greater or equal to the

base circle radius, (i.e. ruc ≥ rb ), and it is written as

ruc = |finv (θ ∗ )| = |froot (ν ∗ )| (16)

120 X. Zhao, A. Vacca / Mechanism and Machine Theory 117 (2017) 114–132

Fig. 7. Real starting point of involute i.e. working proﬁle (left) and root ﬁllet proﬁle given by the analytical expressions compared to a cutting simulation

(right).

where θ ∗ and ν ∗ are the solutions corresponding to the minimum value of g(θ , ν ) given by Eq. (15). In the following part

of the paper, ruc, d and ruc, c will represent the distance between the start point of the involute proﬁle and the gear center,

respectively for the drive and the coast sides.

To achieve dual-ﬂank (no-backlash) contact, the working center distance for the general case of asymmetric non-standard

gears has to be calculated. As it is well known, for x = 0 the working pressure angle is different from the design pressure

angle, i.e. a = α . The case of same geometry for the drive gear and driven gear is considered. Thus, as shown in Fig. 6,

for the case of corrected tooth proﬁle (x = 0), the pitch circle results to be different from the centrode circle. The radius

of centrode circle is r p = m · z/2. This value is deﬁned regardless of x, as the proﬁle correction changes only the position

of rack-cutter, without affecting the translational velocity of the cutter. In this case, the pitch circle stands for the circle at

which the tooth circumferential width equals to the gap width. On the centrode circle, the width of tooth (or of the gap) is

equal to the linear length of the cutter on the centrode line:

X. Zhao, A. Vacca / Mechanism and Machine Theory 117 (2017) 114–132 121

Fig. 9. The DC volume curve and the different shapes that each DC assumes at minimum volume, maximum volume, and intermediate volume conditions

[6].

Geometrically, the involute function inv(x ) ≡ tan(x ) − x accounts for the angle shift from the centrode circle to the pitch

circle (see Fig. 8). In particular, the angular interval on the pitch circle for tooth and gap is given by:

t p tp

= − inv(α c ) − inv(αc ) − inv(α d ) − inv(αd )

r p rp

π + 2x(tan αd + tan αc )

= − inv(α c ) − inv(αc ) − inv(α d ) − inv(αd ) (19)

z

w p wp

= + inv(α c ) − inv(αc ) + inv(α d ) − inv(αd )

r p rp

π − 2x(tan αd + tan αc )

= + inv(α c ) − inv(αc ) + inv(α d ) − inv(αd ) (20)

z

Equating t p /r p to wp /r p gives

2x

inv(αd ) + inv(αc ) = + 1 (tan αd + tan αc ) − αc − αd (21.1)

z

It can also be observed that the pitch circle radius is the same for both drive and coast sides, therefore:

cos α d cos αd

= (21.2)

cos α c cos αc

These two equations with respect to two variables αd and αc can be solved by numerical root-ﬁnding method such as

Newton Iteration. The solution of Eqs. (21.1) and (21.2) can be used to calculate the pitch circle, which corresponds to half

of the dual-ﬂank interaxis distance:

1 m · z · cos αd

r p = i = (22)

2 df 2 cos α d

The kinematic ﬂow rate can be determined by ﬁrst introducing the concept of a displacement chamber (DC) for an EGP.

A DC is a moving control volume, which relates to the tooth space between adjacent teeth of a gear, and rotates as the

gears rotate. In an EGP, there are 2z DCs, as shown in Fig. 9. With the meshing process realized by the gears, each DC ﬁrst

reduces then increases its volume, realizing the displacement of the ﬂuid from the inlet to the outlet. Considering the inlet

and outlet environments, the total internal ﬂuid volume bounded by the gears and the housing of can be divided into 2z + 2.

For every angular position of the gears, the sum of their volume is always equal to a constant value.

The theoretical (kinematic) ﬂow rate for an EGP can be formulated based on DC volume conservations, with the algorithm

already presented by the authors in [6]. Overall, a formula expressing the theoretical ﬂow rate for the case of symmetric

gears was already found by several authors [3,5,6,25]. Those expressions apply also to the case of asymmetric gears, but

only if they operate in single-ﬂank contact conditions. However, a formula that expresses the theoretical ﬂow rate in case

of asymmetric dual-ﬂank gear with proﬁle correction is not available literature. For this reason, in the following part of this

section this particular case is studied using a method similar to differential volume approach used in [6].

For an EGP, unless different timing strategies are purposely introduced (like for the case of variable timing in a EGP

introduced by the authors in [26]), it is reasonable to assume that an increase of each DC volume always contributes to

122 X. Zhao, A. Vacca / Mechanism and Machine Theory 117 (2017) 114–132

Fig. 10. Differential volume of a DC at dual-ﬂank contact (a); distance of two contact points with the gear centers, denoted by l1 , l2 , l3 and l4 , respectively.

ﬂuid delivery, and similarly a decrease of each DC volume yields to suction of ﬂuid from the inlet. This implies that only

the DCs with an increasing volume contribute to the ﬂuid delivery. According to Zhao and Vacca [6], with this assumption

the instantaneous ﬂow rate is given by

dV

Qout = − = b · ω · ra2 − r 2p − u2 (23)

dt

Eq. (23) is valid for all cases, including dual-ﬂank or single-ﬂank, symmetric gear or asymmetric gear. The value of u is

the distance from the pitch point to the contact point on the low-pressure side which is delimiting the boundary of all

DCs that are decreasing volume. As also observed in [6], u has a deﬁnition that depends on the particular gear proﬁle. It is

therefore important to ﬁnd the position corresponding to the minimum DC volume. After the DC reaches that position, it

will start increasing its volume, and therefore it will not be counted as part of volumes contributing to the outlet ﬂow.

As shown in Fig. 10(a), during an inﬁnitesimal rotation of the gears four sub-differential volumes, from V1 to V4 , can be

found with a ﬁrst order accuracy as

1 2

V1 = (l − rr1

2

)d θ (24.1)

2 1

1 2

V2 = (r − l22 )dθ (24.2)

2 a2

1 2

V3 = (r − l42 )dθ (24.3)

2 a2

1 2

V4 = (l − rr1

2

)d θ (24.4)

2 3

Therefore, the differential volume dV can be formulated as:

dV = −V1 + V2 − V3 + V4

1 2

= −l1 + l32 − l22 + l42 dθ (25)

2

In order to make DC volume V to be the minimum, it must have dV = 0. It yields

−l12 + l32 − l22 + l42 = 0 (26)

Using the geometric identity shown by Fig. 10(b)

l12 + l22 = 2r 2p + 2d12 l32 + l42 = 2r 2p + 2d22 (27)

By combining Eqs. (26) and (27), it yields d1 = d2 . This value can be denoted as d∗ , i.e.

d ∗ ≡ d1 = d2 (28)

This result indicates that a DC in dual-ﬂank contact condition reaches its minimum volume when two contact points

conﬁning it have the same distance to the pitch point. It further indicates that, for a contact point moving away from pitch

point - either on drive side or coast side of a tooth - once its distance from the pitch point reaches d∗ , the DC will begin to

increase its volume and it will not be considered to ﬁnd u in Eq. (17) any more. At this point, another contact point, on the

X. Zhao, A. Vacca / Mechanism and Machine Theory 117 (2017) 114–132 123

Fig. 11. Reference Position (a) and the position with minimum DC2 volume (b).

other line of action (drive or coast), with also has a distance d∗ from the pitch point but moving toward it, will start to give

the correct value of u.

Therefore, the value of d∗ gives the range of variation of u in Eq. (23), which needs to be determined. For this purpose, a

reference position is selected, where the coast contact point coincides with pitch point, as shown in Fig. 11. At this position,

two DCs are symmetric with respect to the coast contact point (i.e. pitch point). Being the line of action also symmetric

with respect to the pitch point, for a gear with contact ratio greater than one two contact points on drive side of the gears

have to exist, and they will have the same distance to the pitch point, which is equal to the half of the base pitch γ d :

γd = m · π · cos αd (29)

If the time for the reference position of Fig. 11 is denoted as t0 , considering a motion of the contact point on the line of

action, the minimum volume position for DC1 can be found by solving the equation d1 (t ) = d2 (t ). With the knowledge on

the initial position and the speed of movement of each point on respective line of action:

1

d1 (t0 ) = γd /2 = mπ cos ad d2 (t0 ) = 0 (30.1)

2

dd1 1 dd2 1

vd = = − mz cos αd · ω vc = = mz cos αc · ω (30.2)

dt 2 dt 2

by solving the problem

It gives

π cos αd

t= (31.2)

z · ω cos αd + cos αc

Therefore

π cos αd · cos αc

d∗ = d1 (t0 + t ) = d2 (t0 + t ) = m (32)

2 cos αd + cos αc

Notice that d∗ is also the solution of d∗ = d1 (t0 − t ) = −d2 (t0 − t ), which corresponds to the minimum-volume position

of DC2. The sign convention is given in Fig. 11 with proper arrows along the lines of action.

It is therefore clear that the value of u in Eq. (23) changes periodically from −d∗ to d∗ . Due to the fact that the lower

boundary of control volume with decreasing volume is delimited by drive contact point and coast contact point alternatively,

for which u(t) has different expression, too. For simplicity, t0 , which is the time instant when coast contact point coincides

with pitch point, is set to be 0:

This, for the coast side:

1 d∗ d∗

uc (t ) = mz cos αc · ω (t − T ) for t ∈ − + T, +T (33.1)

2 vc vc

124 X. Zhao, A. Vacca / Mechanism and Machine Theory 117 (2017) 114–132

Fig. 12. Kinematic ﬂow rate calculated for a 12-tooth gear with b = 32 mm, shaft speed of 10 0 0 rpm, ra = 18.5 mm, r p = 16 mm, x = 0, pressure angle of

15° and 45° for coast and drive side of gear, respectively.

1 1 d∗ d∗ 2d ∗

ud (t ) = − mπ cos αd + mz cos αd · ω (t − T ) for t ∈ + T, + +T (33.2)

2 2 vc vc vd

where the period is given by

1 1

T = 2N d ∗ + N∈Z (33.3)

vd vc

Combining Eqs. (23), (32) and (33.1), the theoretical ﬂow rate for asymmetric involute spur gear pump working at dual-

ﬂank condition can be expressed by a piecewise function:

⎧

1 2

⎪

⎪ · ω · 2

− 2

− α · ω ( − )

⎪

⎪

b r a r p mz cos c t T

⎪

⎪ 2

⎪

⎪ π cos αd π cos αd

⎨ for t ∈ − + T, +T

zω (cos αd + cos αc ) zω (cos αd +cos αc )

Qout (t ) =

1 2 (34)

⎪

⎪ 1

b · ω · ra − r p − − mz cos αd + mz cos αd · ω (t − T )

⎪

⎪

2 2

⎪

⎪

2 2

⎪

⎪ π cos αd π cos αd + 2π cos αc

⎩ for t ∈ + T, +T

zω (cos αd + cos αc ) zω (cos αd + cos αc )

This formula captures the important feature that the theoretical ﬂow ripple given by asymmetric gears is also asymmet-

ric. Fig. 12 shows the theoretical ﬂow given by a reference gear with highly asymmetric gear. The peak-to-peak difference

(magnitude of the ﬂuctuation) and mean ﬂow rate are written as:

cos αd ·cos αc2

(π m cos αd +cos αc )

Qmean = b · ω · ra2 − r p2 − (35)

12

bω

cos αd · cos αc

2

δ= πm (36)

4 cos αd + cos αc

The starting point of the involute portion of the proﬁle, i.e. the intersection between the root ﬁllet proﬁle and the in-

volute proﬁle, is important for determining the contact ratio. This point is also important for determining the dual ﬂank

operation, which is guaranteed by the sealing through a contact point on the coast side. For involute gears, proper contact

conditions can be realized only on the involute proﬁle. The contact ratio (CR) can be expressed as the ratio between the

length of the line of action with involute-involute contact and the base pitch on drive side γ d given by Eq. (37).

min L1,drive , L2,drive

CR = (37)

γd

Where

L1,drive = 2 r p sin α p − 2

ruc ,d

− rbd

2 (38.1)

L2,drive = 2r p cos(π /2 + αd ) + (2rp cos(π /2 + αd ))2 − 4(rp2 − ra2 ) (38.2)

As shown by Fig. 13, L1, drive represents the double of the length of segment OB, and L2, drive represents double of the

length of segment OA. Point B is a point on the drive-side of the line of action with distance rbd, real to the gear center. Point

B is closer to the pitch point O than to the point C, which is the tangential point between the base circle and the line of

action. Point A is the intersection between the addendum circle of the mate gear and the line of action.

X. Zhao, A. Vacca / Mechanism and Machine Theory 117 (2017) 114–132 125

Fig. 13. Schematic of the segment on the line of action representing the occurrence of the contact point. Point O is the pitch point. Point A, B, C are the

intersection of the line of action with the outer circle of the mating gear, the real base circle, and the base circle, respectively. The actual contact length

on the pressure line is the smaller one between OA (i.e. half of L2 ) and OB (i.e. half of L1 ).

Table 1

Normalization of variables.

hb = hb /m rp = r p /m = 2z cos αd

cos αd

ρ

d = ρd /m

ruc,d = ruc,d /m

ρc = ρc /m ruc,c = ruc,c /m

w ˆ tip = wtip /m rp = r p /m = z/2

ra = ra /m = z/2 + ha + x δˆ = δ /(m2 bω )

r = r /m = z/2 − h − x

r r b Q˙ mean = Q˙ mean /(m2 bω )

To accomplish dual-ﬂank gear contact, the contact on the coast side is also needed to be considered, which is related

to the backlash of the gears. Only when the contact point exists on the coast side to separate the trapped volume in the

meshing zone into two disconnected displacement chambers, the condition of dual-ﬂank operation can be satisﬁed from

ﬂuid dynamic point of view. The detailed explanation can be found in [6]. Therefore, in a similar fashion, another contact

ratio can be deﬁned for the coast.

3. Optimization algorithm

This section formalizes the optimization problem, in terms of design variable, constrains and objective functions, utilized

to study the optimal gear proﬁle. All the derived quantities from previous Section 2 are used but in normalized form.

Variables with length scale in radial direction and axial direction are normalized by module m and length of the gear b,

respectively, while volume is normalized by m2 b, and ﬂowrate is normalized by m2 bω. The normalized variables are shown

in Table 1.

The geometry of an involute asymmetric gear can be fully described by combination of 8 non-dimensional design vari-

ables, 6 of them are describing the geometry of the cutter, which are shown in Fig. 3. The remaining two are given by the

126 X. Zhao, A. Vacca / Mechanism and Machine Theory 117 (2017) 114–132

Table 2

Design variables and the ranges of their variation.

o

0–30

Correction factor x [-] −1.0–2.0 Coast pressure angle α c [o ] 0–30

Normalized addendum ha [-] 0.0–3.0 Drive ﬁllet radius ρc [-] 0–0.5

Normalized deddendum hb [-] 0.0–3.0 Coast ﬁllet radius ρ

d [-] 0–0.5

number of teeth, z, and the proﬁle correction factor, x. Among eight design variables, the number of teeth z is an integer,

for which objective functions and constraints are not continuous functions. For this reason, and also to better highlight the

effect of the number of teeth on the optimization results, optimization algorithm is conducted by studying each number

of teeth as separated case. The eight parameters after scaling are given in Table 2 together with their range of variation

considered in this study.

In order to exclude designs not corresponding to gears that can properly work in dual-ﬂank conditions, 13 constraints

in total are considered. As for the scope of this paper, all the constraints we used are purely geometrical, and they do

not account for these structural aspects. Constraints (C.1) to (C.5) are related to the cutter geometry, and they ensure that

a given combination of parameters forms a closed cutter proﬁle. In particular, constraints (C.1) and (C.2) state that the

addendum/deddendum should be large relative to the ﬁllet radius. To simplify the problem, it is assumed that the center of

the root ﬁllet arc is in between the top land and the root land of the cutter:

ha + hb > ρ

d (C.1)

c (C.2)

Constraints (C.3) and (C.4) give the fact that the addendum/deddendum cannot exceed the position of the intersection of

two straight lines of the cutter which have slopes equal to the geometric pressure angles:

π /2

hb < (C.3)

tan(αd ) + tan(αc )

π /2

ha < (C.4)

tan(αd ) + tan(αc )

Constraint (C.5) expresses the requirement that the tip of the cutter should be ﬂat, i.e. the calculated position of the

center for the coast root ﬁllet arc should be on the right, or coincide with that of drive ﬁllet arc (based on the coordinate

conﬁguration of Fig. 3):

hb − ρ

d ρ

d −hb + ρ

c ρc π

+ − − ≤ (C.5)

tan π2 − αd cos(αd ) tan π2 − αc cos(αc ) 2

Constraint (C.6) states that the addendum radius has to be greater than either the drive base circle radius or the coast

base circle radius, so that the involute proﬁle exists for both drive and coast side:

z z

z

+ x + ha > max cos αd , cos αc (C.6)

2 2 2

For gears operating in dual-ﬂank contact, switching the features (pressure angle and ﬁllet radius) among the drive side or

the coast side does not change the performance of the unit in terms of ﬂuid displacement. Therefore, in order to reduce the

degree of freedom of design space, the drive pressure angle is arbitrarily assumed to be larger than the coast pressure angle

i.e. (C.7). Also, small pressure angle on the drive side generally gives smaller contact ratios, so (C.7) will promote fulﬁlling

the contact ratio constraint.

Asymmetric tooth can have different pressure angles α d and α c on drive and coast ﬂanges. It is shown in Eqs. (35) and

(36) that exchanging the value of α d and α c will not change the kinematic displacement and ﬂuctuation. However, higher

pressure angle on the drive side α d will be favorable for increasing the contact ratio, which makes it easier to fulﬁll the

contact ratio requirement, i.e. to make a design feasible. Therefore, the Constraint (C.7) is used:

αd ≥ αc (C.7)

(C.8) related to the minimum width of gear tooth tip. Pointed teeth (corresponding to zero width) are normally avoided for

reasons that include manufacturing feasibility, proper sealing of the DCs and reduction of the effects of gear wear on the

EGP performance. In this work, this constraint is written in non-dimensional form:

wtip

ˆ tip ≡

w ≥ TW (C.8)

m

For a general representation, TW should be greater than 0, i.e. TW > 0.

X. Zhao, A. Vacca / Mechanism and Machine Theory 117 (2017) 114–132 127

Fig. 14. Virtual bounding box for external gear pump used for volume calculation.

The calculation for the contact ratio is given in Section 2, which needs to be greater than unity of ensure enough contact

on drive:

CR > 1 (C.9)

Interference between the gears needs is further check as last step. There are two types of interferences that can most

commonly happen which can be described by closed equations. The ﬁrst type of interference is when the tip of one gear is

touching the root land of the other mating gear. For this case, the interaxis distance needs to be greater than the sum

of addendum and deddendum radii. In general, a root clearance croot is speciﬁed such that 2r p ≥ rr + ra + croot . In this

work, croot = croot /m ≥ 0 is used. Another type of interference occurs when the center distance is small enough that contact

happens out of the working proﬁle. To avoid this under dual-ﬂank contact conditions, the pitch radius should be larger than

either ruc, d or ruc, c . Summarizing the two cases, an interference constraint can be written in the form of (C.10)

2rˆP ≥ max rr + ra + c

root , 2rˆuc,d , 2rˆuc,c (C.10)

An additional – and trivial – consideration is that, in order to mesh, two gears needs to have a pitch radius smaller than

the addendum radius, i.e. r p < ra , substitute in Eqs. (4) and (22).

z cos αd z

< + ha + x (C.11)

2 cos α d 2

The last constraint (C.12) states that the intersection between involute proﬁle and root ﬁllet proﬁle must exist on both

drive and coast sides, as given by Section 2.3. This can be written as:

|g(θ ∗ , ν ∗ )| < · m (C.12)

where a common value for is 1 × 10−4

is used in the present work. Among 13 constraints mentioned above, (C.1)–(C.7) are

explicit constraints, which can be expressed explicitly by design variables, while (C.8)–(C.12) they are implicit constraints,

which are based upon intermediate calculation results.

In this work, the performance of a given design is measured by the ﬂow non-uniformity, which needs to be minimized

in order to obtain an EGP design with low ﬂow pulsation. This can be quantiﬁed by the objective function OF1, the ratio

between peak-to-peak value in the delivery ﬂow and the mean ﬂow rate, which has to be minimized:

cos α · cos α 2

π d c

δˆ cos αd + cos α

OF1 = =

cos α · cos α 2 (41)

Qˆmean 1

4rˆa2 − 4rˆp2 − π d c

3 cos αd + cos αc

In addition, compactness is of great importance in an EGP, since it relates to the power to weight ratio of the unit.

Therefore, it is desirable to minimize the overall size of the pump required to realize a certain target unit displacement.

For each set of design parameters, the total volume occupied by the gear set is estimated as the volume of the minimum

bounding box for two mating spur gears (Fig. 14):

Vpump = 2ra (2r p + 2ra )b (42)

128 X. Zhao, A. Vacca / Mechanism and Machine Theory 117 (2017) 114–132

In normalized form:

In ﬁrst approximation, this volume relates to the overall size of the EGP. Obviously, the overall size of the EGP will be

higher to include a casing containing the journal bearings of the gears. In this work, the ratio between pump volume and

the speciﬁc displacement (mean ﬂowrate per angular velocity) is deﬁned as the objective function to be minimized, which

stands for the minimum volume required for achieving a certain displacement:

OF2 = = cos αd ·cos αc 2 (44)

Qˆmean rˆa2 + rˆp2 − 12

1

π cos α +cos αc

d

The optimization algorithm described in the previous sections was implemented and executed with the commercial soft-

ware modeFRONTIER®. The highly-constrained nature of the problem makes diﬃcult to generate an initial set of design

parameters corresponding to feasible designs. Also the high number of non-linear constraints makes the design space highly

separated. Therefore, in order to solve this global optimization problem, an initial coordinate search is necessary to create a

suitable set of initial designs. In this work, for each number of teeth, 10 0,0 0 0 initial random designs are generated by the

SOBOL algorithm, in such a way that these designs automatically satisfy all the 7 explicit constraints of the problem, (C.1–

C.7 in Section 3.2). Then feasible designs from these initial random designs are found checking the remaining constraints.

These feasible designs are then used as Design of Environment (DOE) for the main optimization workﬂow. Typically, despite

a low feasible rate, from 10 to 100 feasible designs can be found from the initial 10 0,0 0 0 random designs.

The presence of two objective functions, a suitable scheme for multi-objective optimization needs to be utilized. NSGA-II

algorithm [27] in modeFRONTIER® was selected and executed for each number of teeth. For any given number of teeth, a

Pareto front can be found with more than 10 0 0 design evaluations. In the design selection process, linear Multiple Criteria

Decision Maker (MCDM) is selected with equal weights ﬂow non-uniformity (OF1) and volume (OF2). The optimum designs

for different number of teeth conditions are reported in Table 3, for TW = 0. The plots of the gears with the optimum design

in Table 3 for 12-tooth and 16-tooth conditions are shown in Fig. 15.

Table 3

Optimization results for selected number of teeth with constraint wtip /m ≥ 0.

No. of teeth 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19

Addendum ha 1.3617 1.4762 1.5040 1.5346 1.5755 1.5641 1.5981 1.6711

Deddendum hb 1.5147 1.5771 1.6180 1.6542 1.6649 1.7346 1.8106 1.8016

Drive Pressure Angle [deg] 26.115 19.777 20.933 20.845 19.54 21.861 21.598 18.699

Coast Pressure Angle [deg] 22.411 17.134 17.992 17.868 17.97 19.625 19.243 16.708

Drive Fillet Radius ρ d 0.0798 0.4850 0.3262 0.1905 0.101 0.0963 0.2415 0.2318

Coast Fillet Radius ρc 0.0699 0.2225 0.2770 0.2483 0.453 0.2712 0.0632 0.3259

Correction Factor x −0.2117 −0.0215 −0.0998 −0.1197 −0.1246 −0.2371 −0.2589 −0.1440

Contact Ratio 1.0817 1.0 0 0 1.0 0 0 1.0 0 0 1.0099 1.037 1.0 0 0 1.0 0 0

Tooth tip width w ˆ tip 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0 0.0 0.0 0.0

OF1 Non-uniformity grade: [%] 2.8838 2.6256 2.3894 2.1973 2.0268 1.8801 1.7445 1.6393

OF2 Normalized volume [-] 20.8013 21.7377 22.4247 23.2583 23.993 24.7453 25.3673 26.3182

Fig. 15. Geometry of gears with optimized geometry for different number of teeth (a) 12-tooth (b) 16-tooth with constraint wtip /m ≥ 0.

X. Zhao, A. Vacca / Mechanism and Machine Theory 117 (2017) 114–132 129

Fig. 16. Increased number of teeth of gear pump (from 10 to 15) tends to decrease the ﬂow non-uniformity but it increases the pump size.

Table 3 shows the design parameters and the main numerical results, which depicts the trend of the optimal design

at convergence of the optimization with wtip /m ≥ 0. The table shows that an increased number of teeth gives lower ﬂow

non-uniformity; however, in reality high number of teeth is not always desirable, as it increases the pump size. Therefore,

there is a trade-off between volume and ﬂow non-uniformity; but the trend for the optimal desings show how pumps with

higher volume-speciﬁc displacement tends to give higher ﬂow ﬂuctuation.

Also, it can be noticed that the optimization algorithm ﬁnds optimal values for the OFs by reaching constrains bounds,

namely, the minimum contact ratio and the minimum tip width. Therefore, these constrains behave as important limiting

factors. As reﬂected by the data in Tables 2 and 3, the designs with optimum performance in ﬂow non-uniformity and pump

size always reached a limiting bound in contact ratio or tip-width.

The results also shows that the proﬁle correction factor x gives the optimum performance when it has a value very

close to zero. However, this also depends on the value assumed for the TW as constraint. Also, the optimum designs have

addendum values close to 1.5 (increased with number of teeth from 1.4 to 1.7). Both facts are in contrast to the conclusion

given by several references, such as [3], which recommend higher proﬁle correction x and outer radius to reduce ﬂow

pulsation. This is due to the fact that in this past mentioned work, constraints such contact ratio, tip width are not taken

into account.

It can be interesting to observe how the optimal designs always give asymmetry in the ﬂank pressure angles, as shown

in Table 3. This emerges from the fact that the contact ratio on the coast side is always easier to satisfy than the drive-side

contact ratio constraint. This gives room to further reduce the coast pressure angle to minimize the backlash interval to

turn improve the ﬂow non-uniformity. At last, the ﬁllet radius shows less effect than other parameters in this optimization.

In reality root ﬁllet radius affects the compressibility effects in the meshing process mentioned in the introduction, since it

changes the trapped volume between teeth, as well as the connection to the trapped volume. However, this is out of the

scope of this paper, where root ﬁllet radius serves only as constraints for tooth size, contact ratio, etc.

The optimal parameters shown in Table 3 results from a numerical optimization, therefore they are close to the actual

optimum but they not represent the exact analytical optimum solution. Moreover, the trend of the optimal designs of Table

3 can depends on the value assumed for the constraints. Changes in one or more constraints, results in a different set of

optimal designs. For example, Fig. 16 represents the effect of the TW (toot tip width constraint value in (C.8)) on the Pareto

front found by the optimization algorithm. The ﬁgure graphically shows how higher number of teeth gives smaller ﬂow

non-uniformity, but larger pump size. Additionally, the ﬁgure shows how the change in the value of TW gives signiﬁcant

inﬂuence on the optimal performance of both objective functions. Fig. 17 shows the details of the local Pareto frontiers

found by the optimization algorithm. The Pareto front near the global optimal point is quite narrow, which is given by the

highly constrained nature of this optimization problem. With the optimal parameters for different number of teeth being

shown, the decision of the proper number of teeth to be used is often up to speciﬁc designs and customer requirements.

In general, typical consideration will cover the following aspects: higher number of teeth will give not only larger pump

size and lower power density, but also higher-frequency noises. Also the actual operation conditions and pump designs, and

associated natural modes and harmonics are also important.

In order to quantify the advantages given by the designs found in this optimization, the results of Table 2 are compared

with those of a standard spur gear used as reference by Litvin and Fuentes in [28] (ha = 1.00, hb = 1.25, pressure angle

α =20° without proﬁle offset, working in dual-ﬂank condition). As shown in Fig. 18, asymmetric gear proﬁle optimization is

able to give 1/3 additional decrease in ﬂow non-uniformity compared to standard full-depth gear.

Fig. 18 also compares the results from the optimization algorithm for the case of asymmetric design with the case of

symmetric tooth proﬁle with T W = 0 (dual ﬂank condition for both cases). This permits to quantify the advantage given by

the use of asymmetric teeth. As shown in ﬁgure, asymmetric designs (evident by the different pressure angles at drive/coast

sides) give improvem‘ents around 5% to ﬂow non-uniformity (OF1) and about 3% of pump size (OF2). Therefore, compared

130 X. Zhao, A. Vacca / Mechanism and Machine Theory 117 (2017) 114–132

Fig. 17. Optimizatioin for 18-tooth gear pump with TW = 0 (1) Pareto Frontier between pump volume required for 30 cc-rev displacement and ﬂow non-

uniformity given by the pump given by the multi-objective optimization for (2) distribution of feasible designs.

Fig. 18. Flow non-uniformity given by optimized gear geometry, and comparison to standard full-depth gears working at single-ﬂank and dual-ﬂank contact

conditions.

to the inﬂuence given by other parameters deﬁning the tooth proﬁle, advantages due to proﬁle asymmetry are not of a great

impact on the objective functions. The optimization results for symmetric tooth with T W = 0 for different number of teeth

is shown in Table 4.

4. Conclusions

This paper has presented an original approach to analytically study the ﬂuid displacing action realized by external gear

pumps (EGPs) with asymmetric tooth proﬁles. The generation of the proﬁle as well as physical constrains that guarantee

correct meshing of the gears are presented. The study particularly concentrates to the derivation of equations that expresses

the theoretical performance of a given design, in terms of ﬂow uniformity and pump size. These expressions form the basis

X. Zhao, A. Vacca / Mechanism and Machine Theory 117 (2017) 114–132 131

Table 4

Optimization results with symmetric tooth design and constraint wtip /m ≥ 0.

No. of teeth 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19

Addendum ha 1.3276 1.3662 1.3907 1.4525 1.4494 1.5724 15.469 1.5877

Deddendum h b 1.4629 1.4833 1.5445 1.5749 1.6412 1.6615 17.212 1.7496

Pressure Angle [deg] 25.527 25.140 25.182 23.39 24.637 19.697 22.340 21.468

Fillet Radius ρ

d 0.1376 0.1326 0.0845 0.1375 0.0510 0.2706 0.0871 0.0599

Correction Factor x −0.2274 −0.2668 −0.313 −0.2668 −0.3738 −0.15667 −0.32528 −0.30784

Contact Ratio 1.0 0 0 1.0 0 0 1.0 0 0 1.015 1.0 0 0 1.0 0 0 1.0 0 0 1.0 0 0

Tooth Tip Width w ˆ tip 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0

OF1 Non-uniformity grade: [%] 2.9156 2.6346 2.4029 2.2119 2.0311 1.9004 1.7584 1.6462

OF2 Normalized volume [-] 21.1764 21.8550 22.6153 23.4886 24.0625 25.1516 25.6668 26.4690

of a multi-objective numerical optimization algorithm formulated to ﬁnd the best EGP design for a given number of teeth.

The optimization scheme uses a NSGA-II algorithm, implemented within the commercial software modeFRONTIER®. The op-

timization study focuses on the case of dual-ﬂank operation, which is already proven to be an eﬃcient solution for reducing

ﬂow oscillations. Optimization results show that the number of teeth has primary inﬂuence on the EGP performance: a

higher number of teeth reduces outlet ﬂow oscillations but increases the overall volume of the unit. The resulting optimal

proﬁles are strongly affected by physical constraints such as the minimum contact ratio on drive and coast side, minimum

tip width, etc. These constraints are also the reason why certain parameters such as proﬁle correction factor cannot be used

in practice to increase pump performance, as often indicated in the known literature.

The results also shown that asymmetric designs for the drive/coast sides of a tooth can give advantages in terms of ﬂow

non-uniformity (5%) and EGP size (3%) with respect to the case of optimal symmetric gears. Much larger improvements

can be noticed by comparing a standard gear proﬁle with one optimized with the proposed procedure. This conﬁrms the

importance of using methods such as the one described in this work to determine the optimal shape of the gears for EGPs.

Acknowledgment

The authors would like to thank Esteco for the use of the software modeFrontier.

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