In this paper, 3D finite element analyses are conducted to study both crack trajectory and crack growth rate in a gear tooth. Fracture mechanics approach is employed here to model mixed-mode fatigue crack propagation in a gear tooth containing an initial fatigue crack. Two various load conditions are considered: the contact load acting along the whole thickness or the half thickness of gear tooth. Those two load conditions result in different crack trajectories, stress intensity factors and fatigue crack propagation lives of gear tooth. Furthermore, a cracked gear tooth can be repaired by composite patches. It is shown that Boron/Epoxy patches would enhance the fatigue crack propagation life of the gear-tooth.

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