Polymer gear surface thermal wear and its performance prediction

K Mao, W Li, Christopher Hooke, Douglas Walton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

44 Citations (Scopus)


This paper will concentrate on acetal gear wear behaviour and its performance prediction based on the extensive investigations on the gear thermal mechanical contact both experimentally and numerically. It has been found from the tests that acetal gear wear rate will be increased dramatically when the load reaches a critical value for a specific geometry and running speed. The gear surface will wear slowly with a low specific wear rate if the gear is loaded below the critical one. The possible reason of the sudden increase in wear rate is due to the gear operating temperature reaching the material melting point under the critical load condition. Gear surface temperature has been then investigated in details through three components: ambient, bulk and flash temperatures. Through extensive experimental investigations and modelling on gear surface temperature variations, a general relation has been built up between gear surface temperature and gear load capacity. An approach for acetal gear transition torque prediction has been proposed and this method is based on the link between polymer gear wear rate and its surface temperature. The method has been related to test results under different operating speeds and gear geometries. Good agreements have been achieved between the proposed method predictions and experimental test results. (c) 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)433-439
Number of pages7
JournalTribology International
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2010


  • Acetal gear
  • Gear mesh
  • Wear transition
  • Gear surface temperature


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