Power loss analysis of different high-power density gearbox typologies: CFD analysis and experimental measurements on a cycloidal gear set
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In the last decades, the demand of more and more compact and efficient solutions has increased significantly highlighting the need of new tools and methodologies to optimize the internal design, avoiding thermal problems ensuring proper lubrication and increasing the reliability of the systems. High power density designs rely on planetary, harmonic and cycloidal architectures. Although, thanks to many years of research, models are available for the prediction of the power losses related to gear meshing (sliding), bearings and seals, literature is lacking in terms of load independent power loss of gears models (deep lubrication, churning, windage and squeezing). Some examples of numerical multiphase CFD and experimental studies on parallel axis and planetary gear sets have been already performed by the authors in previous researches [1-2]. The aim of this paper is to extend the applicability of such numerical approaches to cycloidal architectures. A cycloidal gear set has been numerically simulated with a CFD code implemented in the OpenFOAM® environment. A specific mesh handling technique allows to manage the topological changes of the computational domain ensuring at the same time numerical stability and correct calculation of the lubricant flows. The results have been compared with those already available for other gear architectures, i.e. planetary, with similar performances (dimensions, reduction ratio and loads).
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