The main purpose of the supercharger timing gears is to keep the rotors from contacting each other. They are often lightly loaded and designed for low noise. As timing gears, they have by definition a ratio of 1.0. Furthermore, the timing gears are presently spur gears due to the cost of assembling helical gears onto the rotor shafts without allowing timing errors between the rotors. The original timing gear designs were spur gears with contact ratios slightly above 2.0. A major NVH issue has been gear whine noise, because most applications are in luxury vehicles and are evaluated with the hood open and the engine at idle. In this operating condition, the background noise is very low and any tonal gear whine noise is audible. The first effort was to push the gear manufacturing quality to the limits of modern grinding capability. In order to further reduce gear whine noise, the designs have evolved to finer pitch gearing with a contact ratio over 3.0 to reduce transmission error. Micro-geometries were optimized for low transmission error (TE) at low load. OSU Gear Lab’s RMC and LDP became primary tools in optimizing the gear designs for minimum TE. An important factor when increasing the contact ratio is to not increase the sliding friction significantly to keep the fixed oil sump temperature from increasing too much and cause wear issues in operation. Typically, the new high contact ratio spur gear designs in production have reduced the gear whine levels by more than 6 dB and have had very few noise complaints.

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