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VMT Technologies designs positively engaged, infinitely variable transmission.
What is so unique about gear manufacturing and inspection? Machining is mostly associated with making either flat or cylindrical shapes. These shapes can be created by a machine's simple linear or circular movements, but an involute curve is neither a straight line nor a circle. In fact, each point of the involute curve has a different radius and center of curvature. Is it necessary to go beyond simple circular and linear machine movements in order to create an involute curve? One of the unique features of the involute is the fact that it can be generated by linking circular and linear movements. This uniqueness has become fertile soil for many inventions that have simplified gear manufacturing and inspection. As is the case with gear generating machines, the traditional involute inspection machines take advantage of some of the involute properties. Even today, when computers can synchronize axes for creating any curve, taking advantage of involute properties can be very helpful. I t can simplify synchronization of machine movements and reduce the number of variables to monitor.
Air compressors are a good example of industrial machinery with components that rotate at very high speeds, up to 80,000 rpm. They are subject to very high rotational forces and often variable loads. Strong, high-precision gears for the power transmission trains that drive the impellers are critical components of machinery operating under such conditions.
Recent trends in gear cutting technology have left process engineers searching for direction about which combination of cutting tool material, coating, and process technology will afford the best quality at the lowest total cost. Applying the new technologies can have associated risks that may override the potential cost savings. The many interrelated variables to be considered and evaluated tend to cloud the issue and make hobbing process development more difficult.
The selection of the proper steel for a given gear application is dependent on many factors. This paper discusses the many aspects related to material, design, manufacture, and application variables. The results of several studies on the optimization of alloy design for gas- and plasma- carburization processing and reviewed.
A good sailor can predict when the weather is about to change. He uses simple tools to measure variables like air pressure, temperature and wind speed. Although those indicators can't perfectly forecast the weather, the sailor can get a good idea of what's going to happen by applying his experience, judgment and even his gut feelings.
The Instrumented Factory for Gears (INFAC) conducted a metallurgical experiment that examined the effects of carburizing process variables and types of cryogenic treatments in modifying the microstructure of the material. The initial experiment was designed so that, following the carburizing cycles, the same test coupons could be used in future experiment.
The heat treating of gears presents a difficult challenge to both the heat treater and the gear manufacturer. The number and variety of variables involved in the manufacturing process itself and the subsequent heat treating cycle create a complex matrix of factors which need to be controlled in order to produce a quality product. A heat treater specializing in gears or a gear manufacturer doing his own heat treating must have a clear understanding of these issues in order to deliver a quality product and make a profit at the same time. The situation also presents a number of areas that could benefit greatly from continued research and development.
Plastic gears are being used increasingly in applications, such as printers, cameras, small household appliances, small power tools, instruments, timers, counters and various other products. Because of the many variables involved, an engineer who designs gear trains on an occasional basis may find the design process to be somewhat overwhelming. This article outlines a systematic design approach for developing injection molded plastic spur and helical gears. The use of a computer program for designing plastic gears is introduced as an invaluable design tool for solving complex gearing equations.
The method of cutting teeth on a cylindrical gear by the hobbing process has been in existence since the late 1800s. Advances have been made over the years in both the machines and the cutting tools used in the process. This paper will examine hob tool life and the many variables that affect it. The paper will cover the state-of-the-art cutting tool materials and coatings, hob tool design characteristics, process speeds and feeds, hob shifting strategies, wear characteristics, etc. The paper will also discuss the use of a common denominator method for evaluating hob tool life in terms of meters (or inches) per hob tooth as an alternative to tool life expressed in parts per sharpening.
In a very general sense, increasing the hardness of a steel gear increases the strength of the gear. However, for each process there is a limit to its effectiveness. This article contains background information on each of the processes covered. In each section what is desired and what is achievable is discussed. Typical processes are presented along with comments on variables which affect the result. By reviewing the capabilities and processes, it is possible to determine the limits to each process.
In the typical gear production facility, machining of gear teeth is followed by hear treatment to harden them. The hardening process often distorts the gear teeth, resulting in reduced and generally variable quality. Heat treating gears can involve many different types of operations, which all have the common purpose of producing a microstructure with certain optimum properties. Dual frequency induction hardening grew from the need to reduce cost while improving the accuracy (minimizing the distortion) of two selective hardening processes: single tooth induction and selective carburizing.
Optimization is applied to the design of a spiral bevel gear reduction for maximum life at a given size. A modified feasible directions search algorithm permits a wide variety of inequality constraints and exact design requirements to be met with low sensitivity to initial values. Gear tooth bending strength and minimum contact ration under load are included in the active constraints. The optimal design of the spiral bevel gear reduction includes the selection of bearing and shaft proportions in addition to gear mesh parameters. System life is maximized subject to a fixed back-cone distance of the spiral bevel gear set for a specified speed ratio, shaft angle, input torque and power. Significant parameters in the design are the spiral angle, the pressure angle, the numbers of teeth on the pinion and gear and the location and size of the four support bearings. Interpolated polynomials expand the discrete bearing properties and proportions into continuous variables for gradient optimization. After finding the continuous optimum, a designer can analyze near-optimal designs for comparison and selection. Design examples show the influence of the bearing lives on the gear parameters in the optimal configurations. For a fixed back-cone distance, optimal designs with larger shaft angles have larger service lives.
There are many different causes of gear noise, all of them theoretically preventable. Unfortunately, the prevention methods can be costly, both in equipment and manpower. If the design of the gear and its application are appropriate, in theory all that is necessary is to have a tight control on the process of producing the finished gear. In reality, there are many variables that can cause a process, no matter how well-controlled, to deteriorate, and thus cause errors, some of which will cause a gear to produce unwanted noise when put to use.
News Items About variable
1 NexxtDrives Variable Speed Power Take-Off Provides Micro Hybrid-Functionality (April 2, 2006)
The NexxtPTO is a compact, variable speed mechanical power take-off that can be configured to act as an engine starter and alternator, pr... Read News
2 IQwind and Guascor Partner to Commercialize Variable IQGear Technology for Wind Turbines (September 10, 2009)
IQwind and Guascor announced that they will partner to commercialize and bring to market the IQGear, a high efficiency variable gearbox f... Read News
3 Variable Helix Latest in Gear Sculpture Series (January 14, 2014)
Salem Barker's latest bronze gear sculpture is titled “Variable Helix”. This free standing piece is attractive from every... Read News