Planet-to-planet load sharing is a major design and manufacturing tolerancing issue in planetary gear sets. Planetary gear sets are advantageous over their countershaft alternatives in many aspects, provided that each planet branch carries a reasonable, preferably equal, share of the torque transmitted. In practice, the load shared among the planets is typically not equal due to the presence of various manufacturing errors. This study aims at enhancing the models for planet load sharing through a three-dimensional formulation of N-planet helical planetary gear sets. Apart from previous models, the proposed model employs a gear mesh load distribution model to capture load and time dependency of the gear meshes iteratively. It includes all three types of manufacturing errors, namely constant errors such as planet pinhole position errors and pinhole diameter errors, constant but assembly dependent errors such as nominal planet tooth thickness errors, planet bore diameter errors, and rotation and assembly dependent errors such as gear eccentricities and run-outs. At the end, the model is used to show combined influence of these errors on planet load sharing to aid designers on how to account for manufacturing tolerances in the design of the gears of a planetary gear set.

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