Simulating Army-Relevant Spur Gear Contacts with a Ball-on-Disc Tribometer

Report No. ARL-TR-7492
Authors: Mark R Riggs; Stephen P Berkebile; Adrian A Hood; Brian D Dykas
Date/Pages: September 2015; 44 pages
Abstract: Investigating tribological properties of gear materials, surface finishes, coatings, and lubricants in high-speed and high-load contact conditions is integral to the advancement of drivetrain technology. A focused simulation of gear contacts can be accomplished through a ball-on-disc tribometer with precise control over contact parameters such as the entrainment velocity, slide-to-roll ratio, and contact stress while recording the friction coefficient. These capabilities are integral to studying the functional characteristics of lubricants, materials, and surfaces at the specific contact conditions along a gear tooth profile throughout a meshing cycle. Critical failure conditions can be isolated from the varying contact parameters along the profile of a gear tooth to pinpoint the initiation of failure. To perform this evaluation, the gear contact conditions must be understood and lie within the working envelope of the tribometer. This report outlines the contact conditions commonly experienced in power transmission gearing with an emphasis on military drivetrains and relates them to the operating envelope of a ball-on-disc tribometer.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: September 1, 2015