Numerical Visualization of Grease Flow in a Gearbox

Hua Liu, Florian Dangl, Thomas Lohner, Karsten Stahl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Lubricating greases are widely used in e.g. open gear drives and gearboxes with difficult sealing conditions. The efficiency and heat balance of grease-lubricated gearboxes depend strongly on the lubrication mechanisms channeling and circulating, for which the grease flow is causal. The computational fluid dynamics opens up the possibility to visualize and understand the grease flow in gearboxes in more detail. In this study, a single-stage gearbox lubricated with an NLGI 1-2 grease was modeled by the finite-volume method to numerically investigate the fluid flow. Results show that the rotating gears influence the grease sump only locally around the gears. For a low grease fill volume, the rotation of the gears is widely separated from the grease sump. For a high grease fill volume, a pronounced gear-grease interaction results in a circulating grease flow around the gears. The simulated grease distributions show good accordance with high-speed camera recordings.

Original languageEnglish
Article number28
JournalChinese Journal of Mechanical Engineering (English Edition)
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2023


  • Computational fluid dynamics
  • Gearbox
  • Grease
  • Lubrication
  • Transmission


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