Abstract

Although thermoplastic poly-imide (TPI) gears do not have sufficient strength for power transmission, carbon fiber reinforcement greatly improves the strength of TPI gears. Previous experimental research showed that although standard specimens made from carbon fiber reinforced (CFR) TPI has 2.4 times strength in static bending than specimens made from natural TPI, gears made from CFR-TPI yields bending fatigue strength about 10 times greater than gears made from natural TPI. The present paper explains this phenomenon using viscoelastic tooth root stress analysis. The experiments indicated that the natural TPI gears showed much larger viscoelasticity than the CFR-TPI gears. Thus, tooth root stresses were calculated for cases of large and small viscosity moduli. These calculations showed tooth root stress increased with the increase in the viscosity modulus. Also, viscoelasticity may induce heat due to hysteresis loss, and this heat should reduce gear durability. The increase in tooth root stress and the heat due to hysteresis loss must make the durability of the natural TPI gears very small. Therefore, the CFR-TPI can yield much more durable gears than the natural TPI.

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