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Monitoring the Progression of Micro-Pitting in Spur Geared Transmission Systems Using Online Health Monitoring Techniques

Micro-pitting is a fatigue effect that occurs in geared transmission systems due to high contact stress, and monitoring its progression is vital to prevent the eventual failure of the tooth flank. Parameter signature analysis has been successfully used to monitor bending fatigue failure and advanced phases of gear surface fatigue failure such as macro-pitting and scuffing. However, due to modern improvements in steel production the main cause of gear contact fatigue failure can be attributed to surface micro-pitting rather than sub-surface phenomena. Responding to the consequent demand to detect and monitor the progression of micro-pitting, this study experimentally evaluated the development of micro-pitting in spur gears using vibration and oil debris analysis. The paper presents the development of an online health monitoring system for use with back-to-back gear test rigs. The results validate the system capabilities in detecting early gear defects and reliably identifying the type of failure so that it can be used in predictive health monitoring (PHM) systems.

Dr. Yasser El-Shaer, MTC

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