Research Papers: Elastohydrodynamic Lubrication

Pitting Life Prediction Based on a 3D Line Contact Mixed EHL Analysis and Subsurface von Mises Stress Calculation

[+] Author and Article Information
Dong Zhu

State Key Laboratory of Tribology, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, Chinadongzhu@tsinghua.edu.cn

Ning Ren, Q. Jane Wang

Department of Mechanical Engineering, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208

J. Tribol 131(4), 041501 (Sep 25, 2009) (8 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3195040 History: Received August 28, 2008; Revised July 03, 2009; Published September 25, 2009

Surface pitting due to contact fatigue is a major failure mode of many mechanical components, such as various gears and rolling-element bearings. Pitting life prediction, therefore, is vital to design and performance/reliability improvements. Conventional prediction methods, commonly found in industrial standards, are based on the Hertzian contact theory under the assumptions that surfaces are ideally smooth with no lubrication. Today, the trend of high power density, high reliability compact design requires the life prediction to consider severe operation conditions in mixed lubrication, and the effect of surface roughness and topography. Also, it has been well known that ductile material failures in concentrated contacts are better correlated with the subsurface von Mises stress, rather than the normal Hertzian pressure. The present study aims to develop a pitting life prediction approach for line-contact components based on a 3D line-contact mixed elastohydrodynamic lubrication (EHL) model recently developed by Ren (2009, “A Three-Dimensional Deterministic Model for Rough Surface Line-Contact EHL Problems  ,” ASME J. Tribol., 131, p. 011501), which is capable of simulating the entire transition from full-film and mixed EHL down to dry contact of real machined rough surfaces under severe operating conditions. The pitting life evaluation employs the fatigue life model developed by Zaretsky (1987, “Fatigue Criterion to System Design, Life and Reliability,” J. Propul. Power, 3(1), pp. 76–83) and extended by Epstein (2003, “Effect of Surface Topography on Contact Fatigue in Mixed Lubrication,” Tribol. Trans., 46, pp. 506–513) using the von Mises stress field calculated based on the rough surface mixed-EHL results. Sample cases are analyzed for 15 sets of transmission gears, and the life prediction results are compared with available experimental data. With optimized material constants in the life model, predicted pitting life results well agree with the test data.

Copyright © 2009 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Sketch of mixed padding in the mixed-EHL model. DC-FFT in the motion (x) direction while DCD-FFT in the infinite length (y) direction

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Figure 2

Typical gear tooth surfaces

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Figure 3

Sample transmission gear sets. Mating tooth numbers are shown by the fractions.

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Figure 4

Sample results from the 3D line-contact mixed-EHL model. For spur gear set no. 12 (11/45) under LPSTC conditions (PH=2.919 GPa, slide-to-roll ratio=114.3%)

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Figure 5

Sample results of von Mises stress distribution

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Figure 6

Pitting life prediction results in comparison with gear test data

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Figure 7

Pitting life prediction results showing good correlation with test data

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Figure 8

Effect of surface finish on predicted gear pitting life



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