Research status of spiral bevel gear in China

China’s research on spiral bevel gear processing mainly focuses on the research on the processing technology and equipment of Gleason bevel gear. However, the internal development mechanism and trajectory planning method of Gleason gear cutting technology have not been disclosed, so the core technology has not been mastered by outsiders. Domestic scholars began to study the machining methods and technologies of spiral bevel gears in the 1970s. In the earliest period of research, the American Gleason spiral bevel gear cutting machine tool was introduced in large quantities to calculate and improve the summary manager of the cutting machine tool. After years of research in the seventh and eighth five year plan, China’s spiral bevel gear processing technology system has been basically established. In the initial stage, the spiral bevel gear cutting machine tools with models y218 and y228 were developed by imitating the spiral bevel gear milling machine of the former Soviet Union. These machine tools are non CNC machine tools, and the transmission system and gear cutting adjustment are very complex and cumbersome. In order to obtain an ideal bevel gear tooth surface, trial cutting and readjustment need to be carried out for many times, which greatly limits the improvement of tooth cutting efficiency. With the continuous development and wide application of NC machining technology, Tianjin first machine tool factory successfully developed China’s first NC spiral bevel gear milling machine during the Eighth Five Year Plan period.

However, the CNC gear milling machine tool still retains the tool tilting mechanism and shaking table mechanism, and the structure of the machine tool is still very complex. With the continuous improvement and improvement of NC machining technology and the further optimization of the structure of gear cutting machine tool, Qinchuan machine tool group introduced the concept of spiral bevel gear machining center, and jointly developed the CNC spiral bevel gear milling machine yh2240 with Xi’an Jiaotong University; Changsha Railway Institute has successfully developed a universal CNC milling machine for spiral bevel gears, model yk212, which can realize a variety of gear cutting and tooth profile correction made by Gleason. Although the above developed gear cutting machine tool can realize NC gear cutting and improve the machining efficiency and gear surface machining accuracy to a certain extent, it still can not completely get rid of the shackles of Gleason shaking table mechanism and tool tilting mechanism, and the structure of the machine tool and gear cutting motion control are still complex.

With the continuous development of science and technology, the application of numerical control technology in gear cutting machine tools is becoming more and more mature. Most of the mechanical transmission structures of spiral bevel gear gear cutting machine tools can be replaced by multi axis linkage numerical control. China has also made a lot of research achievements in this field. For example, Shaanxi Qinchuan group has improved the machine tool of vtm180 gantry turning and milling compound machining center and successfully developed a five axis linkage turning and milling compound NC machining center with the model of vtm180 / 5, which can realize the milling of large spiral bevel gears with a large end indexing circle diameter of more than 2m; Tianjin No. 1 machine tool factory has developed a CNC gear cutting machine tool ykw2280, which can complete the machining of spiral bevel gears only by three-axis linkage; Chongqing Machine Tool Co., Ltd. has improved the mechanical structure of the gear cutting machine tool and successfully developed a six axis four linkage NC gear hobbing machine with model y31125cnc6 and a five axis four linkage high-speed NC gear hobbing machine with model ys3118cnc5; Tianjin Jingcheng Machine Tool Manufacturing Co., Ltd. has developed yh605 four-axis CNC gear cutting machine tool which can process spiral bevel gears with maximum diameter of 600mm and maximum modulus of 16mm; Ningjiang Machine Tool Group Co., Ltd. cancels all mechanical transmission pairs of traditional gear cutting machine tools and adopts the more advanced Siemens 840D numerical control system to successfully develop a fully numerical control high-efficiency horizontal gear hobbing machine with model yk3610. These newly developed CNC spiral bevel gear cutting machine tools basically use the expensive Siemens (Simens) or FANUC series CNC system, and the cutting mechanism is also improved based on the Gleason cutting principle.

Some domestic colleges and universities and research institutes have also carried out a lot of research on the theory and technology of spiral bevel gear cutting, mainly including the principle of tooth surface generation, tooth blank design, tooth shape correction, tooth surface contact analysis and so on. For example, Xi’an Jiaotong University has studied the cutting principle of five axis NC spiral bevel gear, and established the mathematical model of spiral bevel gear tooth surface; Northwest University of technology has studied the active design of tooth surface, tooth profile optimization and computer simulation of aviation spiral bevel gear; Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics has carried out research on the trajectory planning of spiral bevel gear generation and active control of gear cutting; Huazhong University of science and technology has successfully used the general five coordinate NC machine tool to cut the tooth surface of spiral bevel gear, and studied the tooth surface error correction and meshing characteristics; Based on the machining principle of spiral bevel gear and the accuracy design requirements of machine tool, Tianjin University has discussed and studied the accuracy design and cutting machining method of spiral bevel gear cutting machine tool; Central South University has studied the tooth surface modeling, tooth surface contact analysis and tooth profile error correction of spiral bevel gear; Dong Xuezhu, Zeng Tao, Wang Yuqing and others have studied the spatial meshing theory of tooth surface, gear cutting processing method and gear design, and published relevant academic papers and monographs.

The above research achievements in spiral bevel gear processing technology and equipment in China have promoted the development of bevel gear processing and manufacturing industry, and brought huge economic and social benefits. However, these studies are still carried out on the basis of Gleason’s tooth cutting system. Due to the blockade of the key core technology of gear cutting abroad, it has greatly hindered the research on the design of spiral bevel gear, the development of gear cutting machine tool, the control of gear cutting motion, the correction of tooth profile deviation and the design of gear cutting tool in our country.

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