In the paper a wavelet-based signals processing technique for the experimental detection of the gear rattle produced by the teeth impacts in lightly loaded gears is proposed.
The Discrete Wavelet Transform is used to decompose the signal of the angular relative motion of an helical gear pair, and the wavelet decomposition details are adopted to analyze the dynamic behavior under rattle condition. In particular the procedure permits to evaluate the quality of the impacts between the teeth, discriminating between the two different sides of teeth contacts when there is a double-sided rattle condition. This technique enables, moreover, to define new indices for metrics of gear rattle especially useful in order to conduct comparisons for different operative conditions.
Some examples of application of the proposed technique are reported in the paper adopting experimental signals acquired by two high resolution incremental encoders on a specific gear pair test rig. The experimental investigations regard comparative analyses with respect to the speed fluctuations amplitude, the rattle frequency and the lubrication regime.