This paper investigates the torsional vibration of a spur gear system with time-varying and square nonlinearities, by both the analytical method and numerical simulation. First, the equations of motion of a rotating spur gear system are established. Then a single-dof equivalent system is induced to describe the relative motion or torsional vibration of the gears. The harmonic balance method is used to obtain the steady-state response. Influence of the input torque on the response is discussed and a phenomenon, one resonant peak split up into two peaks when the input torque is high enough is revealed. Last, numerical simulations are carried out and bifurcation diagrams and amplitude-frequency curve is given by taking the excitation frequency as control parameter. Selected typical motions are also presented in detail by time-histories, phase portraits, Poincaré map and frequency spectra.

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