The conjugacy of meshing gears is one of the most important attributes of gears because it ensures a constant velocity ratio that gives smooth, uniform transmission of motion and torque. Some of the world’s greatest gear theoreticians like Earle Buckingham, Wells Coleman, and John Colbourne laid the foundation for understanding conjugacy. Their teachings and interpretations of the law of gearing have been used by generations of gear engineers to design and manufacture gear transmissions for almost everything that is mechanically actuated.
A series of bench-top experiments was conducted to determine the effects of metallic debris being dragged through meshing gear teeth. A test rig that is typically used to conduct contact fatigue experiments was used for these tests. Several sizes of drill material,
shim stock and pieces of gear teeth were introduced and then driven through the meshing region. The level of torque required to drive the “chip” through the gear mesh was measured. From the data gathered, chip size sufficient to jam the mechanism can be determined.