Noise from heavy trucks is an important environmental issue. Several sources contribute to the total noise level of a vehicle, such as the engine, gearbox, tires, etc. The tonal noise from the gearbox can be very disturbing for the driver, even if the noise level from the gearbox is lower than the total noise level. The human ear has a remarkable way of detecting pure tones of which the noise from loaded gears consists of. To be allowed to sell a heavy truck within the European Union, the so called pass-by noise test must be completed successfully. The maximum noise level permitted is 80dB(A) and undercertain conditions, the gearbox can be an important contributor to the total noise level. Gear noise is therefore an important issue for the automotive industry.
In this thesis gear noise and dynamic transmission error is investigated. Traditionally, transmission error (TE) is considered to be the main excitation mechanism of gear noise. The definition of TE is ”the difference between the actual position of the output gearand the position it would occupy if the gear drive were perfect”. Measurements of dynamic transmission error (DTE) and noise have been performed on a gearbox. The measurement object was a commercial truck gearbox powered by an electrical motor. The torque used was in the normal operating range of the gearbox and the correlation between gear noise and DTE, when the torque is changed, is investigated. The result differs for different gear pairs and for the first gear stage, located close to the housing, the correlation is high for most speeds. The measured DTE and noise show a poor correlation with calculated transmission error. A minimisation of TE therefore does not necessarily mean a minimisation of gear noise.
A transfer function can be employed to calculate the relationship between DTE and noise. The general trend of the gear noise is an increase of 6dB per doubling of the rotational speed together with fluctuations around the mean due to resonances of the system. The magnitude of the transfer function can be estimated using the amplitudesof the gear mesh orders and harmonics.
Two gear pairs with similar macro geometry but different profile modifications are investigated. Although the gear pairs have similar transmission error, the noise level display a significantly different trend, further strengt hening the position that transmission error is not the single most important gear noise excitation mechanism. Further analysis concludes that shuttling forces and friction forces can be more important than what is often suggested. A dynamic model including transmission error and shuttling forces is used to investigate the two gear pairs. The bearing forces show that for some frequency regions shuttling forces can be of the same order of magnitude as the forces caused by transmission error.
This work highlights the importance of considering other excitations of gear noise besides transmission error when designing quiet gears. The influence of transmission error can not be determined by investigating the gears only. A deeper knowledge of the gear system is needed in order to minimise gear noise for a specific gear design.
Stockholm: KTH , 2009. , 17 p.