Simulation of the fatigue-wear coupling mechanism of an aviation gear


The contact fatigue of aviation gears has become more prominent with greater demands for heavy-duty and high-power density gears. Meanwhile, the coexistence of tooth contact fatigue damage and tooth profile wear leads to a complicated competitive mechanism between surface-initiated failure and subsurface-initiated contact fatigue failures. To address this issue, a fatigue-wear coupling model of an aviation gear pair was developed based on the elastic-plastic finite element method. The tooth profile surface roughness was considered, and its evolution during repeated meshing was simulated using the Archard wear formula. The fatigue damage accumulation of material points on and underneath the contact surface was captured using the Brown-Miller-Morrow multiaxial fatigue criterion. The elastic-plastic constitutive behavior of damaged material points was updated by incorporating the damage variable. Variations in the wear depth and fatigue damage around the pitch point are described, and the effect of surface roughness on the fatigue life is addressed. The results reveal that whether fatigue failure occurs initially on the surface or sub-surface depends on the level of surface roughness. Mild wear on the asperity level alleviates the local stress concentration and leads to a longer surface fatigue life compared with the result without wear.


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The work was supported by the National Key R&D Program of China (Grant No. 2018YFB2001300).

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Corresponding author

Correspondence to Huaiju Liu.

Additional information

Boyu ZHANG. She has been studying as a doctoral student in the State Key Laboratory Mechanical Transmissions (SKLMT), Chongqing University, China since 2020. Her research interest includes gear contact fatigue and peening enhancement.

Huaiju LIU. He is currently working as an associate professor in the State Key Laboratory of Mechanical Transmissions (SKLMT), Chongqing University, China. He received the Ph.D. degree from the University of Warwick, UK, in 2013. His research fields include tribology and fatigue behaviors of mechanical elements.

Caichao ZHU. He is a professor in the State Key Laboratory of Mechanical Transmissions (SKLMT), Chongqing University, China. He received the Ph.D. degree from Chongqing University, China in 1998. His research mainly relates to the intelligent design and dynamic analysis of transmission systems.

Yibo GE. He is the founder of Shanghai Peentech Equipment Tech. Co., Ltd. He graduated from Shanghai University of Engineering Sciences. He is one of official trainers of MFN.

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Zhang, B., Liu, H., Zhu, C. et al. Simulation of the fatigue-wear coupling mechanism of an aviation gear. Friction (2020).

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  • gear contact fatigue
  • tooth wear
  • surface roughness
  • damage accumulation