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Program: Arrow Gear’s Advanced Design and Development Assistance Capabilities


A key objective of this study is to verify that there are no hard spots occurring in the pattern. This would show as a spike in these surface pressure values. If a spike in these surface pressures is present, we have a strong indication that a failure mode may be present. As the teeth would come into mesh, the spike or ledge would create a nonuniform pressure and this would be a likely area for failure.

However, in our example, the pressure values do not include any spikes. There is a gradual increase to the center of the tooth, followed by an equally gradual decrease. These gears will move in and out of mesh very smoothly.

This study will be performed for all of the displacement conditions, and when complete, the design will be ready for Finite Element Analysis.

The results of the loaded TCA are first downloaded to the T-900 Finite Element Analysis software. The program then performs a real stress analysis of the tooth surface.

A report is generated, which through the use of different colors, shows the load distribution along the different areas of the tooth. In areas where you have immediate contact on the tooth, you see a very dark area, and then as the stresses become less, the colors change and continue out until you have a base load which is the lowest surface pressures or stresses that will be seen on the gear tooth.

A similar study is then performed on the root fillet. Again, the varying levels of stress are indicated by different colors.

On the reports for both the tooth surface and the root fillet study, a bar graph is generated which specifies the corresponding pressure value. If the maximum value exceeds the rating of the material that you’re using, there is a high potential that the gear will fail.

Another insight that is provided by the Finite Element Analysis is the potential for ledges or edge contacts. As was mentioned before, a dark or shaded area is an indication of the highest pressure. If the study indicates any dark areas outside the center of the contact pattern, it would suggest that a failure might occur in these areas.

If the Finite Element study reveals any problems, we can then go back to the CAGE software and modify the contact pattern as needed – and then perform a secondary Finite Element analysis.

Once the TCA and Finite Element studies are performed, and the ideal tooth contact pattern size and location is achieved, the CAGE software creates the summary settings required by the Phoenix Cutters and Phoenix Grinders to machine the parts. In addition, the G-AGE software is used to generate the inspection file for the Zeiss Hofler CNC inspection system. Through a hard wired network connection, both the summary settings and the inspection file are downloaded – and the production process begins.