The stiffness of a spur gear tooth mesh controls load sharing in an operating gearset as well as vibratory properties which further dictate fatigue resistance and gear noise. A spur gear mesh consisting of a pinion with a single cracked tooth and an uncracked gear is considered. Expressions are presented which allow the determination of stress intensity factors for small through face width fatigue cracks in spur gear teeth. Predictions of tooth pair stiffness for a cracked pinion tooth and uncracked gear tooth pair are made using an analytical model. The model is based on elastic energy methods and fracture mechanics principles. The model employs a conformal mapping technique from elasticity theory, often denoted in spur gear applications as the complex potential method, in which a gear tooth is mapped onto on elastic half-plane.

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