Bending fatigue strength of innovative gear materials for wind turbines gearboxes: Effect of surface coatings
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In order to better exploit the available resources, wind turbine size is constantly increasing: the need of bigger gearboxes is an obvious and immediate consequence of this evolution tendency. The traditional manufacturing methods exhibit some difficulties for a mass-production of such large and high quality gears. The aim of the XL-Gear research project is to identify an alternative gear manufacturing procedure. This procedure mainly relies on the selection of innovative and adequate materials to manufacture the gears. Two innovative materials (Jomasco and Metasco) have been identified. A common gear material has been selected to define a baseline from which variations can be evaluated. In addition, the effects of a thermal spray tungsten carbide coating on the base material will be also investigated. In the first part of this research project, the bending resistance is evaluated, while, in the second part, the pitting resistance will be evaluated. In order to assess to bending strength, adequate gear geometry has been designed and several parts manufactured with the above mentioned materials. These gears have then been used to perform STF (Single Tooth Fatigue) bending fatigue tests. In the paper, the STF test procedure design and set-up will be described and the STF tests results on the baseline and coated gear will be presented and discussed.
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