In this study, a crack initiation life prediction methodology for the tooth bending fatigue of hypoid gears is proposed. This methodology employs a previously developed finite-element based hypoid gear root stress model (Hotait et al. 2011, “An Investigation of Root Stresses of Hypoid Gears with Misalignments,” ASME J. Mech. Des., 133, p. 071006) of face-milled and face-hobbed hypoid gears to establish the multiaxial stress time histories within the root fillet regions. These stress time histories are combined with a multiaxial crack initiation fatigue criterion to predict life distributions along roots of the pinion and the gear. The predictions of the multiaxial fatigue model are compared to those from a conventional uniaxial fatigue model to establish the necessity for a multiaxial approach. The model is exercised with an example face-milled hypoid gear set from an automotive application to demonstrate the impact of various misalignments well as the key cutting tool parameters on the resultant tooth bending lives.

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