The role of simulation in the engineering phase of the product is becoming increasingly important, due to the variety of analysis which can be performed in a shorter time and at reduced costs also identifying weak spots of a component or system, before volume parts have been produced.

An FEM model of mating cylindrical helical gears has been developed with the aim of evaluating tooth root bending stress during the engagement.

The accurate description of the tooth geometry was provided by an in-house developed software having a direct interface with the FEM pre-processor. This software simulates the manufacturing process, taking into account the geometry of manufacturing tools and the machining parameters. Tooth micro-geometry corrections have been included to better match the real geometry.

In the FEM model, the tooth mesh has been optimized in order to reduce the errors due to the domain discretization, in the numerical solution of the contact problem. A non-congruent mesh with special connectivity has been used to minimize the model size and therefore the computation time.

The model has been validated by experimental data. Static tests have been performed on innovative test apparatus. The test rig allows the measurement of tooth root bending strains of two mating helical gears engaged in a specified fixed mesh position.

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