Due to the rapid development of electric and hybrid motorisations, gear manufacturers have encountered an increasing need to create high level quality gear flanks. While the main goals are to increase the load-carrying capacity and the wear resistance, reducing gear noise has become more and more important. To answer this, macro- and micro-geometry defects have long been studied as well as their effect in amplifying the vibrations of gears. However, the impact of tooth flanks micro-scale roughness on gear noise has not well been studied and understood, even though the teeth surface contacts are essential in the gear mechanics.

This paper aimed to discriminate the influence of the tooth finishing process (grinding, powerhoning) on single stage spur gear noise. A two-dimensional finite-element simulation model of a one-stage gear system was hence developed. The transmission system was composed of two identical loaded gears with one degree of freedom. Topological features of teeth surfaces finished by grinding and powerhoning were measured with a three-dimensional white light interferometer. These real topographic profiles of the tooth surfaces were integrated in the model. The meshing stiffness was determined as an output of this dynamic model. It is a parameter directly linked to the acoustic behaviour of the gear. Results show that gear noise could be reduced by the right choice of the finishing process kinematic.

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