Gear Research Institute

The Gear Research Institute (GRI) is an independent not-for-profit corporation, registered in the state of Pennsylvania. Over the last three decades, a significant amount of research and test data has been accumulated and published in a large number of reports for the sponsors. Previous published reports are available to members of the Gear Research Institute on a restricted basis.

The Gear Research Institute has all its research and other related activities conducted at the Applied Research Laboratory of The Pennsylvania State University. The Institute, affiliated with the ASME and the AGMA, is organized to provide and supplement gear and related technological needs by conducting research and development, consulting, analysis and testing. The Institute is a leading proponent of cooperative pre-competitive research but, when requested, also serves individual companies.

Since 1982, when it came into existence, the GRI has conducted many programs in important technology areas, the most recent of which are listed below:

  • High Hot Hardness Gear Steels
  • Stainless Gear Steels
  • Very High Cycle Fatigue
  • Gear Friction Characterization
  • Technology Surveys
  • Durability Testing of Gears
  • Effect of Lubricant on Durability
  • Induction Hardening of Gears
  • Effect of Surface Finish on Durability
  • Heat Treat Distortion
  • Finite Element Modeling

Test Facility

The Gear Research Institute is equipped with extensive test capabilities. These include rolling contact fatigue (RCF) testers for low- and high-temperature roller testing, power circulating (PC) gear testers for parallel axis gears with a 4-inch center distance (testers can be modified to accommodate other center distances), single tooth fatigue (STF) testers for spur and helical gears, gear tooth impact tester, micro-pitting gear test rigs, spur gear efficiency testers, loss of lubrication (oil-off) testing and gear scuffing test rigs. Extensive metallurgical characterization facilities are also available at Penn State in support of the Gear Research Institute.

Current Sponsors

Aerospace Research Bloc

  • Avio Aero (Italy)
  • Bell Helicopter
  • Boeing (Mesa and Philadelphia)
  • General Electric (Aviation and Global Research)
  • Honeywell International
  • Carpenter Technology Corporation
  • Pratt & Whitney (East Hartford, CT and Quebec, Canada)
  • Rolls Royce
  • Sikorsky Aircraft
  • UTC Aerospace Systems
  • REM Surface Engineering

Aerospace Research Bloc

  • Applied Colloids
  • Boeing
  • Distortion Control Technologies, Inc.
  • Genesis Partners
  • IBC Materials and Technologies
  • John Deere
  • Ormond LLC
  • QuesTek Innovations, LLC
  • Rolls Royce
  • Sentient Science
  • Timken

Efforts are currently underway to re-establish the vehicle research bloc. This bloc was focused on evaluating technologies for automotive/ground vehicle power transmission applications, but disbanded in 2002. Recent interest from several companies has led to the investigation of potential research topics should the group reconvene. Please contact us for further details on the research projects in each of the existing and proposed blocs.

Trustees and Committees

The Gear Research Institute is governed by a tripartite board of trustees representing the membership of the Institute, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the American Gear Manufacturers Association (AGMA). Each research bloc creates its own steering committee whose responsibility is to select and guide programs within a bloc.

Gear Research Institute Officers

President: Chad Behrman – Rolls Royce
Treasurer: Colleen Tomasello – Carpenter Technology Corp.
Secretary: Geary Smith – Caterpillar

Additional Trustees

Neil Anderson – Pratt & Whitney (United Technologies Corp.)
Teik Lim Ph.D. – University of Cincinnati
Avinash Singh Ph.D. – General Motors
Mark Beltowski – John Deere
Amir Aboutaleb – AGMA
Tom Doubts – GE Aviation
Sam Haines – Gear Motions
Tom Donnellan ScD – ARL Penn State

Membership Information

Industrial organizations and individuals can become members of the Gear Research Institute. Membership entails the receipt of newsletters and invitations to meetings, symposiums and workshops sponsored by the Institute.

Members are also entitled to access the Gear Research Institute Publications Page to order publications and reports at special prices.

Types of Membership

  • Corporate - $600 per year
  • Individual - $50 per year
  • Student - $10 per year
  • Research Bloc - please inquire

To become a member, please visit

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