A several kinds of numerical models, including moving force model, for determination the service life of gears in regard to bending fatigue in a gear tooth root, is presented. Finite element method and linear elastic fracture mechanics theories are then used for the further simulation of the fatigue crack growth under a moving load. Moving load produces a non-proportional load history in a gear’s tooth root. The corresponding stress cycle is obtained which enables more precise computing. An approach that accounts for fatigue crack closure effects is developed to propagate crack under non-proportional load. The computational results are compared with other researchers’ numerical results and with service lives of real gears. The fatigue lives and crack paths determined in this paper exhibits a substantial agreement with experimental results and significant improvement compared with the existing numerical models.

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