The primary objective of this study is to validate a specific finite element code aimed at simulated dynamic tooth loading in geared rotor systems. Experiments have been conducted on a high-precision single stage spur and helical gear reducer with flexible shafts mounted on hydrostatic or hydrodynamic bearings. The numerical model is based on classical elements (shaft, lumped stiffnesses, ...) and on an original gear element which accounts for non-linear time-varying mesh stiffness, gear errors and tooth shape modifications. External and parametric excitations are derived from the instantaneous contact conditions between the mating flanks by using an iterative contact algorithm inserted in a time-step integration scheme.

In a first step, experimental and numerical results at low speeds are compared and it is demonstrated that the proposed tooth mesh interface model is valid. Comparisons are then extended to dynamic fillet stresses on both spur and helical gears between 50–6000 rpm on pinion shaft. Despite a localized problem in the case of spur gears with one particular bearing arrangement, the broad agreement between the experimental and numerical response curves proves that the model is representative of the dynamic behavior of geared systems.

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