Tooth Contact Analysis


The gear department at WZL successfully develops FE-based tooth contact analysis software for more than 20 years now. Based on the long standing experience in gear design the existing simulation methods have a wide range of functionality, which is continuously improved. An important focus lies on a user friendly application of the software. In order to achieve that, a close relation to the industry and its requirements is kept as well as new research results are used to improve the calculation methods.

Within the gear design process, a tooth contact analysis allows for the reliable prediction of the operational behavior of gears. Tooth contact analysis calculate the transmission error, the contact stiffness within the tooth contact, tooth root stress and occurring flank pressure. Based on the contact stiffness and the transmission error the running as well as the noise behavior of gears can be characterized. The occurring toot root stress and flank pressure help predict the durability of gears.

The influence of different gear geometry parameters (macro and micro geometry) as well as manufacturing, assembly and load induced geometry or positional deviations on the operational behavior of gears can be considered and analyzed within the design process of gears. Thus, simulative parameter studies and sensitivity analysis allow for the reduction of the number of necessary high cost test runs. In addition, the tooth contact analysis can be used for optimizing the gear geometry. E.g. results of sensitivity analysis can be used for identifying the influence of manufacturing tolerances on the operational behavior and finding a robust micro geometry for the gear set.

Local calculation approaches based on the FE-based tooth contact analysis increase the predictability of the durability of a gear set. Approach such as the weakest link model show a high accordance with test rig results in predicting the maximum bearable torque level of a gear. The methods developed in previous research projects were successfully validated and directly implemented in the tooth contact analysis.

The usage of our tooth contact analysis in running and concluded research topics as well as in bilateral projects with industry partners allow for the verification and validation of our tooth contact analysis based on test rig or field results. Thus, we can ensure that our simulation models enable a realistic representation of the tooth contact.

Our approach: individual solutions

  • Design of gears
  • Optimized and function oriented tolerance field based gear geometry
  • Increased power density of gears
  • Support in the design process of gears
  • Analysis of the cause for gear failure and increased noise behavior

Your contact:
Jens Brimmers, M.Sc. M.Sc.
Workgroup Leader
Manfred-Weck-Haus 114
Tel.: +49 241 80-27737
Fax: +49 241 80-22293