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REM Surface Engineering

Materials Matter: Wind Turbine Gear Repair

Due to the large installed base of wind turbines, demand for gearbox repairs has risen steadily in recent years. Isotropic superfinishing is an ideal process for repairing damaged gear flanks and bearing surfaces found on used wind turbine gears. By: Mark Michaud Wind turbine gearbox durability has improved significantly over the past ten years. The days of early gearbox failure due to epidemic micropitting are largely in the past. Improved gear design and manufacturing have made these gearboxes much more reliable. However, wind turbine gears remain expensive and are manufactured by a limited number of gear producers. Spare parts are not readily available in most instances; replacement of damaged gears is costly and often requires long lead times. Ultimately, wind…