Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering


Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

First Advisor

Dr. Richard T. Meyer

Second Advisor

Dr. Claudia Fajardo-Hansford

Third Advisor

Dr. William W. Liou


Gearbox, helical, optimization, baffle, simulation

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


Current literature reveals there is limited consensus on the placement of baffles within a gearbox to reduce churning losses. Thus, there is a need for a process to identify baffle clearances that result in maximum and minimum churning losses. There are two types of baffles: axial and radial. While both axial and radial baffles cause reductions in churning losses to various degrees, the focus is on the effect of radial baffles. The effect of a board (rectangular plate) baffle location on the churning losses of a single gear gearbox are evaluated using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) implemented in Ansys. Several baffle clearances are evaluated from 39.29 mm to 114.29 mm. The gear rotates at 1307 RPM and the gearbox oil level is set at the midpoint of the gear when at rest. The metric for baffle evaluation is the energy consumed over the simulation time. To determine baffle locations with potential maximum and minimum churning energy loss, an optimization is performed using a function obtained from the fit of data extracted from the CFD results. Results show that (a) energy associated with churning loss is minimized when the baffle is either very close or very far from the gear, (b) baffle clearances that cause maximum or minimum energy consumption can be tentatively identified, (c) there are certain ranges of baffle clearances that cause less energy consumption than other ranges, and (d) effective coupling of CFD and optimization methodologies for baffle studies requires significant computational resources.