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Shock and Vibration
Volume 2016 (2016), Article ID 3524609, 14 pages
Research Article

Influence of Bearing Stiffness on the Nonlinear Dynamics of a Shaft-Final Drive System

School of Mechanical and Electronic Engineering, Wuhan University of Technology, Hubei 430070, China

Received 18 February 2016; Revised 3 May 2016; Accepted 26 May 2016

Academic Editor: Tai Thai

Copyright © 2016 Xu Jinli et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The bearing stiffness has a considerable influence on the nonlinear coupling vibration characteristics of the shaft-final drive system. A 14-DOF nonlinear coupled vibration model was established by employing the lumped mass method so as to identify the coupling effects of the bearing stiffness to the vibration response of the shaft-final drive system. The engine’s torque ripple, the alternating load from the universal joint (U-joint), and the time-varying mesh parameters of hypoid gear of the shaft-final drive system were also considered for accurate quantitative analysis. The numerical analysis of the vibration response of the coupled system was performed and the experimental measurements were carried out for the validation test. Results show that, at the given driving speed, improving the bearing stiffness can reduce the vibration response of the given coupled system; however, when the bearing stiffness increases to a critical value, the effects of bearing stiffness on the vibration reduction become insignificant; when the driving speed changes, the resonance regions of the coupled system vary with the bearing stiffness. The results are helpful to determine the proper bearing stiffness and the optimum control strategy for the shaft-final drive system. It is hoped that the optimal shaft-final drive system can provide good vibration characteristics to achieve the energy saving and noise reduction for the vehicle application.