This document presents the basic principles of, an introduction to, and the general influence factors for the calculation of the load capacity of spur and helical gears. Together with the other documents in the ISO 6336 series, it provides a method by which different gear designs can be compared. It is not intended to assure the performance of assembled drive gear systems. It is not intended for use by the general engineering public. Instead, it is intended for use by the experienced gear designer who is capable of selecting reasonable values for the factors in these formulae based on the knowledge of similar designs and the awareness of the effects of the items discussed.
The formulae in the ISO 6336 series are intended to establish a uniformly acceptable method for calculating the load capacity of cylindrical gears with straight or helical involute teeth.
The ISO 6336 series includes procedures based on testing and theoretical studies as referenced by each method. The methods are validated for:
— normal working pressure angle from 15° to 25°;
— reference helix angle up to 30°;
— transverse contact ratio from 1,0 to 2,5.
If this scope is exceeded, the calculated results will need to be confirmed by experience.
The formulae in the ISO 6336 series are not applicable when any of the following conditions exist:
— gears with transverse contact ratios less than 1,0;
— interference between tooth tips and root fillets;
— teeth are pointed;
— backlash is zero.
The rating formulae in the ISO 6336 series are not applicable to other types of gear tooth deterioration such as plastic deformation, case crushing and wear, and are not applicable under vibratory conditions where there can be an unpredictable profile breakdown. The ISO 6336 series does not apply to teeth finished by forging or sintering. It is not applicable to gears which have a poor contact pattern.
The influence factors presented in these methods form a method to predict the risk of damage that aligns with industry and experimental experience. It is possible that they are not entirely scientifically exact. Therefore, the calculation methods from one part of the ISO 6336 series is not applicable in another part of the ISO 6336 series unless specifically referenced.
The procedures in the ISO 6336 series provide rating formulae for the calculation of load capacity with regard to different failure modes such as pitting, tooth root breakage, tooth flank fracture, scuffing and micropitting. At pitch line velocities below 1 m/s the gear load capacity is often limited by abrasive wear (see other literature such as References  and  for further information on such calculation).