In todays mechanical design, static and dynamic numerical models are widely used, and thermal models are needed to make robust design. Thermal models, based on the thermal network method, are now available. Several hypotheses are made as physical phenomena are complex and experimental validation is necessary.
A thermal model of gearbox has been already presented and compared to few experimental results that had allowed global validation of the model. Now, the experimental validation is concerned with thermal transient and steady state behavior of gearbox versus transmitted power and lubrication conditions in order to finely validate the model. The test gearbox is compound of 3 spur gears supported by 6 spherical roller bearings, a housing and a lubrication circuit cooled by an oil-air exchanger. The maximum transmitted power is 500 kW. Gears, bearings, housing, shafts, and the lubrication circuit have been equipped with thermocouples, flux-meters and flow-meters. Heat flux were measured on the internal and external side walls of the housing. Oil flowing on a side wall has been measured. Experiments were run under several transmitted powers and oil flows at meshing. Thermal map at steady state and transient temperature rises of technological elements are obtained for each test.
Finally, transient temperature rises and steady state from numerical and experimental results are compared. The comparison shows a good agreement, and the importance of taking into account oil flowing on the inside walls of the housing is brought to the fore. The difficulty of evaluating the oil flowing on the internal walls of a housing is discussed and illustrated with numerical results.