Influence of Gear Loads on Spline Couplings Authors: C.H. Wink and M. Nakandakari


Involute splines are commonly used in gearboxes to connect gears and shafts, especially when high torque is transmitted through the coupling. The load is shared among multiple teeth around the coupling circumference resulting in higher load capacity than a conventional single key. However, the total load is not equally shared among all spline teeth, mainly because of pitch deviations resulting from the manufacturing process. The load distribution along the spline engagement length is also non-uniform because of tooth misalignments and shaft torsional effects. A typical modeling assumption is that pure torsion load is applied to the spline coupling. In gearbox applications, when splines are used to connect a gear to a shaft, the torque is transmitted from the gear teeth in mesh to the shaft, or vice-versa, through the coupling. The gear loads, such as tangential and radial loads, can affect the load distribution of spline teeth. This paper presents an investigation on the influence of spur gear loads on load distribution of spline teeth. A generalized analytical model was developed to include external gear loads on spline couplings. The method divides the spline teeth into stations in the tooth axial direction, and calculates the load applied to each station based on separation between the mating points. A constant for tooth stiffness was used to calculate tooth deflections. The load distribution problem was solved using a simple approach from industry gear standards. The method was implemented into a spreadsheet for numerical example analyses. The results showed significant effect of side clearance, which is the difference between the space width of internal spline grooves and external spline tooth thickness, on the maximum load applied to the spline teeth. The greater the side clearance, the greater is the maximum load applied to the spline teeth. The proposed method may be helpful to quickly assess load distribution of spline teeth in gear applications, to determine tooth stresses, and to define lead modifications as needed.
ISBN: 978-1-61481-077-3 Pages: 14
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