Hybrid Gear Preliminary Results-Application of Composites to Dynamic Mechanical Components

Publication Title

68th American Helicopter Society (AHS) Annual forum and Technology Display

Publication Date


Document Type

Conference Proceeding


hybrid gear, composites, dynamic mechanical components




Composite spur gears were fabricated and then tested at NASA Glenn Research Center. The composite material served as the web of the gear between the gear teeth and a metallic hub for mounting to the torque-applying shaft. The composite web was bonded only to the inner and outer hexagonal features that were machined from an initially all-metallic aerospace quality spur gear. The Hybrid Gear was tested against an all-steel gear and against a mating Hybrid Gear. As a result of the composite to metal fabrication process used, the concentricity of the gears were reduced from their initial high-precision value. Regardless of the concentricity error, the hybrid gears operated successfully for over 300 million cycles at 10000 rpm and 490 in.*lbs torque. Although the design was not optimized for weight, the composite gears were found to be 20% lighter than the all-steel gears. Free vibration modes and vibration/noise tests were also conduct to compare the vibration and damping characteristic of the Hybrid Gear to all-steel gears. The initial results indicate that this type of hybrid design may have a dramatic effect on drive system weight without sacrificing strength.