Original Date: 03/08/1999
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Information : Advanced Gear Steels
Since the 1970s, significant research and development (R&D)efforts have been invested in rotorcraft turbine engine materials and processing technology. These sustained efforts yield substantial improvements in power-to-weight ratios as well as power ratings of rotocraft turbine engines. However, technological advancements in materials/manufacturing processes used in the main transmission subsystem and its components greatly lag behind engine performance. As a result, rotocraft engines are routinely derated to match the main-drive transmission due to limitations.
The potential exists to enhance the overall operational capabilities of rotocraft by improving ratings and power density of main-drive transmission subsystems to match engine power. The primary goals needed to achieve reasonable parity in the rotocraft drive-system performance (engine to rotor) include a 25% reduction in rotocraft drive-system weight, a 10-decibel reduction in transmission-generated cabin noise, a 100% increase in meantime between removals, a 50% reduction in maintenance, a 10% reduction in acquisition cost, and a 25% reduction in production lead time.
The Rotocraft Materials Coalition was established among The,Applied Research Laboratory at the Pennsylvania State University (ARL Penn State) air vehicle manufacturers, turbine engine manufacturers, steel producers, and gearbox/component manufacturers. The group’s objectives are to develop an advanced materials database for advanced, hot-hardness, drive-system component steels; conduct heat studies and associated specimen testing to optimize processing parameters and reduce manufacturing cost; and conduct gear testing to evaluate fatigue and scoring behavior.
Through its efforts, the Rotocraft Materials Coalition is making advancements in gear steels. Additional improvements are being made to reduce the weight and volume of drive-system dynamic components and lube/cooling systems, to lower support costs and life cycle costs, to improve the drive-system power density, and realize a multifold extension in drive-system component life due to increased strength and durability of advanced steels.
For more information see the
Point of Contact for this survey.