In order to reduce environmental and climate impact from air traffic, the main effort of aero-engine industry and research community is looking at a continuous increase in gearbox efficiency. With this kind of components every source of loss can be responsible for high heat loads; for this reason oil jet systems are used to provide proper cooling and lubrication of gears tooth surfaces. In the design phase it is important to predict the losses increase due to the lubricating oil jet impact on the spur gear, varying the different geometrical and working parameters such as the jet inclination, distance and the oil mass flow rate and temperature. An experimental investigation was carried out on a novel rotating test rig able to reproduce real engine working conditions in terms of speed, pressure and lubrication system, for a single spur gear. The rig consists of an electric spindle driving a shaft with a spur gear clamped on top. The gear is enclosed in a box where different air pressure conditions can be set and monitored. Pressure transducers and T-type thermocouples placed within the test box were used to measure the gear working conditions. The test box is also equipped with several optical accesses allowing flow field measurements or oil jet visualizations. The driving shaft is composed by two parts connected by a bearingless torquemeter equipped with a speedometer in order to perform torque losses and rotating velocity measurements. Tests were performed without the gear first, in order to separate the final value from the friction losses due to the driving shaft. Windage losses were characterized experimentally for every working condition and the results collected in a simple correlation that was used to separate the losses due to air windage from the ones due to the oil injection. An oil control unit allowed to impose the proper oil pressure and temperature conditions and to measure the mass flow rate. The oil jet was delivered by a spraybar placed within the gearbox, the jet to gear distance and relative angle were varied during the experiments. High speed visualizations were also performed for every test condition in order to deepen the physical understanding of the phenomena and to obtain more information on the lubrication capability of every jet condition. A high speed camera was placed in front of the gear exploiting an optical access while a halogen lamp was used to provide the proper lightening necessary due to the very low exposure time of the acquisitions. The wide experimental database provided, allowed the development of a simple numerical model able to well predict every losses contribution at the various working conditions.
Experimental Investigation on Power Losses due to Oil Jet Lubrication in High Speed Gearing Systems
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Massini, D, Fondelli, T, Facchini, B, Tarchi, L, & Leonardi, F. "Experimental Investigation on Power Losses due to Oil Jet Lubrication in High Speed Gearing Systems." Proceedings of the ASME Turbo Expo 2017: Turbomachinery Technical Conference and Exposition. Volume 5B: Heat Transfer. Charlotte, North Carolina, USA. June 26–30, 2017. V05BT15A030. ASME. https://doi.org/10.1115/GT2017-64703
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