SBIR Phase I: Analytical Modeling and Performance Prediction of Remanufactured Gearbox Components
This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project shall develop analytical fatigue models as applied to the performance analysis of remanufactured gearbox coponents under NSF SBIR Phase I Solicitation 11-577 (Topic NM?Nanotechnology, Advanced Materials, and Manufacturing, Subtopic M3-Modeling and Simulation). The first step in developing this technology involves demonstrating basic model capability through the simulation of a worn gear, remanufactured using an isotropic superfinish (ISF) process, as described in this proposal. This model will be based on the fundamental research of the applicability of the ISF process to worn gears, the effects of ISF on gear characteristics (material mictrostructure, microgeometry, residual stress, surface roughness), and the subsequent effect on damage resistance. The model will be used to predict the fatigue life of the remanufactured component, thus quantifying the benefits of such processing and demonstrating the feasibility of such a tool. The results will lay the groundwork for expanding Sentient?s simulation technology to include various other remanufacturing processes in a more comprehensive design and analysis framework capable of optimizing reman operations to extend the useful life of high value added components. The proposed development has immediate impact on industries that rely on the reliable function of highly engineered (and thus expensive) gearboxes ? aerospace, energy, and transportation. Components must operate in extreme environments, often leading to premature removal or overhaul. Though worn or damaged, these components still have the ability to function given the appropriate remanufacturing processes are deployed. Doing so reduces a significant amount of resources (materials, energy, manpower) otherwise required to produce a replacement part. Furthermore, it is thought that the application of certain remanufacturing processes can actually enhance durability of certain components. Unfortunately, current design and analysis approaches require extensive testing and evaluation to validate the effectiveness and safety of a component that has been used in the field then processed outside of original OEM specification. To test all possible combination of component coupled with various levels of potential damage repaired through various options of processing would be an impossibly expensive and time consuming feat, thus prohibiting a broad deployment of remanufacturing processes across industry. However, as postulated in this proposed effort, such evaluation and validation can occur through modeling and simulation. The resulting advancement in technology will provide immediate value in safely reclaiming useful life of gearbox components.
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