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Vibration measurements have extensively been used for the detection of defects in gears. Many signal processing techniques have also been used to improve detection of defects. Acoustic emission measurement is relatively new technique for condition monitoring of gears. Acoustic emissions are structure based stress waves in the frequency range of 50 kHz to about 1 MHz which is much beyond the range of vibrations. The technique has been used for condition monitoring of machines by some researchers. In the present work acoustic emission (AE) measurements have been applied for the detection of local defects in spur gears. The usefulness of several AE parameters has been investigated. The measurements have been performed on IAE gear test rig using Physical Acoustics AE measurement system. The AE measurement system used consists of a resonant sensor, preamplifier with 40 dB gain and 2 channel processor. The measurements were performed at different loads of 0, 1 and 5 kg and test gear speed of 2000 rpm. AE parameters such as counts, energy, rms and amplitude were recorded. Circular defects simulating pits were created on one of the teeth of the test gear using spark erosion method. Defect sizes of 0.5, 1 and 2 mm diameter were used for measurements on healthy and defective gears. An increase in level of parameters with increasing defect sizes are observed indicating effective detection of defects. AE energy and amplitude showed better results as compared to AE counts and rms. The AE measurement technique has proven to be effective even for the smallest defect size of 0.5mm used in the present work showing the usefulness of the technique in detection of defects at an early stage.
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