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The use of dimensionless factors to describe gear tooth geometry seems to have a strong appeal to gear engineers. The stress factors I and J, for instance, are well established in AGMA literature. The use of the rack shift coefficient "x" to describe nonstandard gear proportions is common in Europe, but is not as commonly used in the United States. When it is encountered in the European literature or in the operating manuals for imported machine tools, it can be a source of confusion to the American engineer.
Three experts tackle the question of profile shift in this issue's edition of "Ask the Expert."
Modern gear design is generally based on standard tools. This makes gear design quite simple (almost like selecting fasteners), economical, and available for everyone, reducing tooling expenses and inventory. At the same time, it is well known that universal standard tools provide gears with less than optimum performance and - in some cases - do not allow for finding acceptable gear solutions. Application specifies, including low noise and vibration, high density of power transmission (lighter weight, smaller size) and others, require gears with nonstandard parameters. That's why, for example, aviation gear transmissions use tool profiles with custom proportions, such as pressure angle, addendum, and whole depth. The following considerations make application of nonstandard gears suitable and cost-efficient:
With the right selection of nonstandard center distance and tool shifting, it may be possible to use standard tools to improve the gear set capacity with a considerable reduction in cost when compared to the use of special tools.