Gearbox components operate in extreme environments, often leading to premature removal or overhaul. Though worn or damaged, these components still have the ability to function given the appropriate remanufacturing processes are deployed.

Doing so reduces a significant amount of resources (time, materials, energy, manpower) otherwise required to produce a replacement part. Unfortunately, current design and analysis approaches require extensive testing and evaluation to validate the effectiveness and safety of a component that has been used in the field then processed outside of original OEM specification. To test all possible combination of component coupled with various levels of potential damage repaired through various options of processing would be an expensive and time consuming feat, thus prohibiting a broad deployment of remanufacturing processes across industry.

However, such evaluation and validation can occur through Integrated Computational Materials Engineering (ICME) modeling and simulation. Sentient developed a microstructure-based component life prediction (CLP) tool to quantify and assist gearbox components remanufacturing process. This was achieved by modeling the design-manufacturing-microstructure-property relationship. The CLP tool assists in remanufacturing of high value, high demand rotorcraft, automotive and wind turbine gears and bearings.

This paper summarizes the CLP models development, and validation efforts by comparing the simulation results with rotorcraft spiral bevel gear physical test data. CLP analyzes gear components and systems for safety, longevity, reliability and cost by predicting New gearbox component performance, and optimal time-to-remanufacture Qualification of used gearbox components for remanufacturing process Predicting the remanufactured component performance.

Author: Raja V. Pulikollu, Nathan Bolander, Sandeep Vijayakar, Matthew D. Spies

Publish Date: March 15, 2013