worm gear shaft

The primary benefit of worm gears is their capability to provide high reduction ratios and correspondingly high torque multiplication. They can also be used as speed reducers in low- to medium-quickness applications. And, because their decrease ratio is based on the amount of gear teeth alone, they are more compact than other types of gears. Like fine-pitch lead screws, worm gears are typically self-locking, which makes them perfect for hoisting and lifting applications.

Although the sliding contact reduces efficiency, it provides incredibly quiet operation. (The make use of dissimilar metals for the worm and equipment also plays a part in quiet operation.) This makes worm gears suitable for use where noises should be minimized, such as for example in elevators. Furthermore, the utilization of a softer materials for the apparatus means that it can absorb shock loads, like those skilled in hefty equipment or crushing machines.

The meshing of the worm and the gear is a mixture of sliding and rolling actions, but sliding contact dominates at high reduction ratios. This sliding action causes friction and heat, which limits the effectiveness of worm gears to 30 to 50 percent. So as to minimize friction (and therefore, high temperature), the worm and equipment are constructed of dissimilar metals – for example, the worm may be made of hardened metal and the gear made of bronze or aluminum.

Just like a ball screw, the worm in a worm gear may well have a single start or multiple starts – meaning that there are multiple threads, or helicies, on the worm. For a single-start worm, each complete flip (360 degrees) of the worm advances the gear by one tooth. Therefore a gear with 24 teeth provides a gear reduced amount of 24:1. For a multi-commence worm, the apparatus reduction equals the amount of teeth on the gear, divided by the number of starts on the worm. (This is different from almost every other types of gears, where the gear reduction is definitely a function of the diameters of the two components.)

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