Gear dynamic models with time-varying mesh stiffness, viscous mesh damping, and sliding friction forces and moments lead to complex periodic differential equations. For example, the multiplicative effect generates higher mesh harmonics. In prior studies, time-domain integration and fast Fourier transform analysis have been utilized, but these methods are computationally sensitive. Therefore, semianalytical single- and multiterm harmonic balance methods are developed for an efficient construction of the frequency responses. First, an analytical single-degree-of-freedom, linear time-varying system model is developed for a spur gear pair in terms of the dynamic transmission error. Harmonic solutions are then derived and validated by comparing with numerical integration results. Next, harmonic solutions are extended to a six-degree-of-freedom system model for the prediction of (normal) mesh loads, friction forces, and pinion/gear displacements (in both line-of-action and off-line-of-action directions). Semianalytical predictions compare well with numerical simulations under nonresonant conditions and provide insights into the interaction between sliding friction and mesh stiffness.

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