A method of selecting grid size for the finite element analysis of gear tooth deflection is presented. The method is based on a finite element study of two cylinders in line contact, where the criterion for establishing element size was that there be agreement with the classic Hertzian solution for deflection. Many previous finite element studies of gear tooth deflection have not included the full effect of the Hertzian deflection. The present results are applied to calculate deflection for the gear specimen used in the NASA spur gear test rig. Comparisons are made between the present results and the results of two other methods of calculation. The results have application in design of gear tooth profile modifications to reduce noise and dynamic loads.

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