Surface pitting is a major failure mode for gears. Estimation of failure probability and service life are important in gear design. Current techniques give only a pass/fail rating based on semi-empirical methods. A predictive model for estimating service lives and failure probabilities has been developed. This paper discusses the life prediction analysis, which is based on propagation of a surface breaking crack under rolling/sliding contact conditions. The effects of both surface roughness and non-metallic inclusions can be included. While predicted lives are lower than expected, trends observed through parametric variation are consistent with service behavior.

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