Know your enemy

Identifying the most common culprits for gear failure

This piece appeared in the ‘related articles’ section of Gear Solutions and though it is nearly a couple of years old, it still provides an informative guide to gear problems.

Its author, Anne Koutsis, is the manager of the Applications Metallurgical Laboratory at TimkenSteel’s Technology Center.

A systematic failure analysis can be used to identify a root cause of gear failure in order to implement corrective actions. The causes could be numerous…..

The material itself…

Because of its properties, steel remains the most widely used material in gear manufacture. Different steel compositions offer an array of different attributes. Heat treatment can also alter the microstructure and influence the wear and fatigue properties.

Other issues……

Gear performance also depends on other factors such as lubrication, contamination, design, misalignment, surface finish, damage at the machining stage and severe loading or impact loading.

The 3 most common….

AGMA 1010 F14 outlines seven classes of failure in an analysis of more than 1500 failure studies.The three most common were tooth fatigue, tooth-bending impact and abrasive tooth wear.

To identify the culprit from this long list of suspects this article takes you through the key stages of gear failure analysis.