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The acoustic emission from asperity interactions in mixed lubrication

Hutt, S., Clarke, A. ORCID:, Pullin, R. ORCID: and Evans, H. P. ORCID: 2019. The acoustic emission from asperity interactions in mixed lubrication. Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences 475 (2227) , 20180900. 10.1098/rspa.2018.0900

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Gears typically operate in mixed lubrication conditions, where the lubricant film is too thin to prevent opposing surface asperities from interacting with each other. The likelihood/intensity of interactions is indicated by the Λ ratio: the ratio of smooth surface film thickness to surface roughness. Researchers have asserted that asperity interactions are the predominant cause of acoustic emission (AE) in healthy gear contacts. However, direct experiments on gears have yet to yield a clear relationship between the Asperity AE (AAE) and Λ ratio, this is in part due to the complexity of gear tooth contacts. In this paper, a disc rig was used to simulate a simplified gear contact so that the fundamental relationship between AAE and Λ could be investigated more effectively. By varying oil temperature and entrainment speed, a wide spectrum of lubrication conditions was generated. In contrast to other published studies, an independent measurement technique, the contact voltage (CV), was used to verify the amount of interactions, and repeated roughness measurements were used to confirm minimal surface wear. A simple, consistent and precise relationship between AAE amplitude and Λ was identified and defined for changes from full-film to mixed lubrication. Within the mixed lubrication regime, the AAE amplitude increased exponentially as Λ decreased at all speeds tested. It was also observed that an increase in speed always resulted in an increase in AAE amplitude, independently of any changes in Λ. This direct effect of speed was modelled so that the AAE could be predicted for any combination of speed and Λ within the tested envelope. This paper links gear contact tribology and AE with new precision and clearly demonstrates the potential of using AAE as a sensitive monitoring technique for the lubrication condition of gears.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Engineering
Publisher: Royal Society, The
ISSN: 1364-5021
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 29 July 2019
Date of Acceptance: 3 June 2019
Last Modified: 09 Nov 2023 22:51

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