The paper describes results obtained from the micro-elastohydrodynamic lubrication (micro-EHL) modeling of the gear tooth contacts used in micropitting tests together with a contact fatigue and damage accumulation analysis of the surfaces involved. Tooth surface profiles were acquired from pairs of helical test gears and micro-EHL simulations were performed corresponding to surfaces that actually came into contact during the meshing cycle. Plane strain fatigue and damage accumulation analysis shows that the predicted damage is concentrated close to the tooth surfaces and this supports the view that micropitting arises from fatigue at the asperity contact level. A comparison of the micropitting performance of gears finish-ground by two alternative processes (generation-grinding and form-grinding) suggests that 3D “waviness” may be an important factor in explaining their different micropitting behavior.

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