In this paper, the dynamic behavior of a multi-mesh helical gear train is studied. The gear train consists of three helical gears, with one of the gears in mesh with the other two. An 18-degree-of-freedom dynamic model which includes transverse, torsional, axial and rotational (rocking) motions of the flexibly mounted gears is developed. Two different loading conditions are identified. For case I, the system is driven by the gear in the middle, and for case II, the system is driven by one of the gears at either end of the gear train. Gear mesh phases under each loading condition are determined. The natural modes are predicted, and effects of the helix angle and the loading condition on the natural modes are explained. The forced response, which includes dynamic mesh and bearing forces, due to the static transmission error excitation is found. Effects of loading conditions and asymmetric positioning on the response are also explored. The results suggest that the dynamic forces are lower if the number of teeth of the gear in the middle is (i) an odd number for case I type loading, and (ii) an even number for case II type loading.

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