Gearbox Vibration Signal Amplitude and Frequency Modulation
Gearboxes usually run under fluctuating load conditions during service, however most of papers available in the literature describe models of gearboxes under stationary load conditions. Main task of published papers is fault modeling for their detection. Considering real situation from industry, the assumption of stationarity of load conditions cannot be longer kept. Vibration signals issued from monitoring in maintenance operations differ from mentioned models (due to load non-stationarity) and may be difficult to analyze which lead to erroneous diagnosis of the system. The objective of this paper is to study the influence of time varying load conditions on a gearbox dynamic behavior. To investigate this, a simple spur gear system without defects is modeled. It is subjected to a time varying load. The speed-torque characteristic of the driving motor is considered. The load variation induces speed variation, which causes a variation in the gearmesh stiffness period. Computer simulation shows deep amplitude modulations with sidebands that don't differ from those obtained when there is a defective tooth. In order to put in evidence the time varying load effects, Short Time Fourier Transform and then Smoothed Wigner-Ville distribution are used. Results show that the last one is well suited for the studied case.The experimental validation presented at the end of the paper confirms the obtained results. Such results offer useful information when diagnosing gear transmissions by avoiding confusing conclusions from vibration signals.