An analytical investigation of the nonlinear dynamics of a high-speed spur-gear pair supported on journal bearings is presented. Dynamic tooth loads result from the interaction between periodic variation of gear mesh stiffness, involute tooth profile errors and gear rotor dynamics. Accurate estimation of dynamic tooth loads, as the gear teeth engage and disengage, is critical for fatigue life estimation. Load-deflection characteristics of a spur gear mesh and the periodically varying gear mesh stiffness is developed using a finite element model. Relative displacement between the gear teeth (transmission error) due to tooth deflection along the line of action is evaluated. The coupled torsional-lateral vibrations of a spur-gear pair supported on journal bearings is modeled as a six degree of freedom system. The time dependent radial and tangential forces acting on the gear shaft supported on journal bearings is evaluated. Short bearing theory is used for modeling the journal bearing dynamics. The resulting nonlinear equations of motion are numerically integrated to obtain gear and pinion whirl orbits due to unbalance excitation and dynamic tooth load variation. Dynamic tooth loads are compared with the mean load due to torque transmission.

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