Elastohydrodynamics of Hypoid Gears in Axle Whine Conditions 2012-01-1538
This paper presents an investigation into Elastohydrodynamic (EHL) modeling of differential hypoid gears that can be used in coupling with Newtonian (or multibody) dynamics to study Noise, Vibration and Harshness (NVH) phenomena, such as axle whine. The latter is a noise of a tonal nature, emitted from differential axles, characterised by the gear meshing frequency and its multiples. It appears at a variety of operating conditions; during drive and coasting, high and low torque loading. Key design targets for differential hypoid gears are improved efficiency and reduced vibration, which depend critically on the formation of an EHL lubricant film. The stiffness and damping of the oil film and friction generated in the contact can have important effects and cannot be neglected when examining the NVH behaviour of hypoid gears.
The operating conditions in hypoid gears are usually characterized by high load, relatively low speeds, angled flow and elliptical contact footprint of high aspect ratio. Some extrapolated/empirical equations to estimate friction and film thickness have been reported for moderate loads. However, their use in hypoid gears is questionable. Additionally, the majority of reported numerical models for film thickness and friction have not been applied under such operating conditions. In this paper a numerical model of EHL elliptical point contact has been presented to obtain the EHL film behaviour under the usual range of operating conditions of hypoid gears. Realistic engine torque-speed characteristics are used. For these conditions, the load share per teeth pair contact is in the region of 500-6000N. A suitable method of solution is applied to ease the convergence of the numerical method, namely the distributed line low relaxation effective influence Newton-Raphson method. As the result of the angled direction of the entraining flow in the contact of hypoid gear teeth pairs, this method has been found to be suitable, thus adopted. The geometric and kinematic input data for EHL calculations are calculated using Tooth Contact Analysis (TCA).