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There is an increasing significance of screw helical and worm gears that combine use of steel and plastics. This is shown by diverse and continuously rising use in the automotive and household appliance industries. The increasing requirements for such gears can be explained by the advantageous qualities of such a material combination in comparison with that of the traditional steel/bronze pairing.
Friction weighs heavily on loads that the supporting journals of gear trains must withstand. Not only does mesh friction, especially in worm gear drives, affect journal loading, but also the friction within the journal reflects back on the loads required of the mesh itself.
It is very common for those working in the gear manufacturing industry to have only a limited understanding of the fundamental principals of involute helicoid gear metrology, the tendency being to leave the topic to specialists in the gear lab. It is well known that quiet, reliable gears can only be made using the information gleaned from proper gear metrology.
In recent years, gear inspection requirements have changed considerably, but inspection methods have barely kept pace. The gap is especially noticeable in bevel gears, whose geometry has always made testing them a complicated, expensive and time-consuming process. Present roll test methods for determining flank form and quality of gear sets are hardly applicable to bevel gears at all, and the time, expense and sophistication required for coordinate measurement has limited its use to gear development, with only sampling occurring during production.
This section will deal with the use of gear inspection for diagnostic purposes rather than quality determination. The proper evaluation of various characteristics in the data can be useful for the solution of quality problems. It is important to sort out whether the problem is coming from the machine, tooling and/or cutters, blanks, etc. An article by Robert Moderow in the May/June 1985 issue of Gear Technology is very useful for this purpose.
Metrology is a vital component of gear manufacturing. Recent changes in this area, due in large part to the advent of computers, are highlighted in this article by comparison with more traditional methods.
A reader wants to know: Are profile ground and hobbed globoidal worm sets better than multi-axis CNC generated globoidal worm gear sets for reduction of noise and vibration?
How local stresses obtained from FEA can be used to determine fatigue strength of worm wheel teeth.
This paper outlines the comparison of efficiencies for worm gearboxes with a center distance ranging from 28 - 150 mm that have single reduction from 5 to 100:1. Efficiencies are calculated using several standards (AGMA, ISO, DIN, BS) or by methods defined in other bibliographic references. It also deals with the measurement of torque and temperature on a test rig — required for the calibration of an analytical model to predict worm gearbox efficiency and temperature. And finally, there are examples of experimental activity (wear and friction measurements on a blockon- ring tribometer and the measurements of dynamic viscosity) regarding the effort of improving the efficiency for worm gear drivers by adding nanoparticles of fullerene shape to standard PEG lubricant
How does one determine the center of a worm and a worm wheel? Also, what are the differences between the common worm tooth forms?
An experimental and theoretical analysis of worm gear sets with contact patterns of differing sizes, position and flank type for new approaches to calculation of pitting resistance.
In the last couple of years, many research projects dealt with the determination of load limits of cylindrical worm gears. These projects primarily focused on the load capacity of the worm wheel, whereas the worm was neglected. This contribution presents investigations regarding damages such as large scores and cracks on the flanks of case-hardened worms.
The load capacity of worm gears is mainly influenced by the size and the position of the contact pattern.
The lifetime of worm gears is usually delimited by the bronze-cast worm wheels. The following presents some optimized cast bronzes, which lead to a doubling of wear resistance.
A very important parameter when designing a gear pair is the maximum surface contact stress that exists between two gear teeth in mesh, as it affects surface fatigue (namely, pitting and wear) along with gear mesh losses. A lot of attention has been targeted to the determination of the maximum contact stress between gear teeth in mesh, resulting in many "different" formulas. Moreover, each of those formulas is applicable to a particular class of gears (e.g., hypoid, worm, spiroid, spiral bevel, or cylindrical - spur and helical). More recently, FEM (the finite element method) has been introduced to evaluate the contact stress between gear teeth. Presented below is a single methodology for evaluating the maximum contact stress that exists between gear teeth in mesh. The approach is independent of the gear tooth geometry (involute or cycloid) and valid for any gear type (i.e., hypoid, worm, spiroid, bevel and cylindrical).
Traditionally, profile and lead inspections have been indispensable portions of a standard inspection of an involute gear. This also holds true for the worm of a worm gear drive (Ref. 1). But the inspection of the profile and the lead is rarely performed on a worm wheel. One of the main reasons is our inability to make good definitions of these two elements (profile and lead) for the worm wheel. Several researchers have proposed methods for profile and lead inspections of a worm wheel using CNC machines or regular involute and lead inspections of a worm wheel using CNC machines or regular involute measuring machines. Hu and Pennell measured a worm wheel's profile in an "involute" section and the lead on the "pitch" cylinder (Ref. 2). This method is applicable to a convolute helicoid worm drive with a crossing angle of 90 degrees because the wheel profile in one of the offset axial planes is rectilinear. This straight profile generates an involute on the generated worm wheel. Unfortunately, because of the hob oversize, the crossing angle between the hob and the worm wheel always deviates from 90 degrees by the swivel angle. Thus, this method can be implemented only approximately by ignoring the swivel angle. Another shortcoming of this method is that there is only one profile and one lead on each flank. If the scanned points deviated from this curve, it produced unreal profile deviation. Octrue discussed profile inspection using a profile checking machine (Ref. 3).
Worm gears display unique behavior of surfaces because of the presence of wear phenomena in addition to contact pressure phenomena.
The effect of various lubricant factors on wormgear efficiency has been evaluated using a variety of gear types and conditions. In particular, the significant efficiency improvements afforded by certain types of synthetic lubricants have been investigated to determine the cause of these improvements. This paper describes broad wormgear testing, both in the laboratory and in service, and describes the extent to which efficiency can be affected by changes in the lubricant; the effects of viscosity, viscosity index improvers and, finally, synthetic lubricants are discussed. The work concludes that lubricant tractional properties can play a significant role in determining gear efficiency characteristics.
Eliot K. Buckingham explains the procedure for proper measurement over wires for worm gears, in response to last issue's article.
A very direct and effective way of increasing power transmission efficiency is a changeover from mineral-oil-based lubricants to synthetic lubricants.
Worm gearing is of great antiquity, going back about 2100 years to Archimedes, who is generally acknowledged as its inventor. Archimedes' concept used an Archimedial spiral to rotate a toothed wheel. Development of the worm gearing principle progressed along conventional lines until about 500 years ago when Leonardo DaVinci evolved the double enveloping gear concept.
Transmission of power between nonparallel shafts is inherently more difficult than transmission between parallel shafts, but is justified when it saves space and results in more compact, more balanced designs. Where axial space is limited compared to radial space, angular drives are preferred despite their higher initial cost. For this reason, angular gear motors and worm gear drives are used extensively in preference to parallel shaft drives, particularly where couplings, brakes, and adjustable mountings add to the axial space problem of parallel shaft speed reducers.
Rules and Formula for worm gears, bevel gears and strength of gear teeth.
Among the various types of gearing systems available to the gear application engineer is the versatile and unique worm and worm gear set. In the simpler form of a cylindrical worm meshing at 90 degree axis angle with an enveloping worm gear, it is widely used and has become a traditional form of gearing. (See Fig. 1) This is evidenced by the large number of gear shops specializing in or supplying such gear sets in unassembled form or as complete gear boxes. Special designs as well as standardized ratio sets covering wide ratio ranges and center distanced are available with many as stock catalog products.
Worm gear speed reducers give the design engineer considerable options, but these gear systems present a challenge to the lubrication engineer. Heat energy generated by the high rate of sliding and friction in the contact zone causes worm gears to be relatively inefficient compared to other gear types. Because worm gears operate under a boundary or near-boundary lubrication regime, a satisfactory lubricant should contain a friction modifier to alleviate these conditions.
The dimensions of the worm and worm gear tooth surfaces and some of the worm gear drive parameters must be limited in order to avoid gear undercutting and the appearance of the envelope of lines of contact on the worm surface. The author proposes a method for the solution of this problem. The relations between the developed concept and Wildhaber's concept of the limit contact normal are investigated. The results of computations are illustrated with computer graphics.
Several articles have appeared in this publication in recent years dealing with the principles and ways in which the inspection of gears can be carried out, but these have dealt chiefly with spur, helical and bevel gearing, whereas worm gearing, while sharing certain common features, also requires an emphasis in certain areas that cause it to stand apart. For example, while worm gears transmit motion between nonparallel shafts, as do bevel and hypoid gears, they usually incorporate much higher ratios and are used in applications for which bevel would not be considered, including drives for rotary and indexing tables in machine tools, where close tolerance of positioning and backlash elimination are critical, and in situations where accuracy of pitch and profile are necessary for uniform transmission at speed, such as elevators, turbine governor drives and speed increasers, where worm gears can operate at up to 24,000 rpm.
Two questions on hobbing cover the various types of hobs and their unusual names, as well as the importance of hob swivel angle.
Question: When evaluating charts from a gear inspection machine, it is sometimes found that the full length of the profile traces vary, and that sometimes they are less than the length of active profile (above start of active profile-SAP) by up to 20%. This condition could be caused by a concentricity error between tooth grinding and shaping, or by unequal stock removal when grinding. (See Fig. 1.) Is it possible that some of the variation is coming from the inspection machine? How can variation from the inspection machine be reduced?
Question: When cutting worm gears with multiple lead stock hobs we find the surface is "ridged". What can be done to eliminate this appearance or is to unavoidable?
Question: Do machines exist that are capable of cutting bevel gear teeth on a gear of the following specifications: 14 teeth, 1" circular pitch, 14.5 degrees pressure angle, 4 degrees pitch cone angle, 27.5" cone distance, and an 2.5" face width?
Worm gears are among the oldest types of gearing, but that does not mean they are obsolete, antiquated technology. The main reasons for the bad experiences some engineers have with worm gearing are misapplication and misuse. No form of gearing works for every application. Strengths and weaknesses versus the application must be weighed to decide which form of gearing to use. For proper application and operation of worm gears, certain areas that may differ from other types of gearing need to be addressed.
We make a lot of single-start worm and worm gear sets, and it always seems as though we're buying another special hob. We also do a lot of spur gear cutting, and the spur gear hobs and the worm gear hobs look alike, so we wonder why we cannot use the standard hobs for cutting worm gears too. Can we do this?
In the last section, we discussed gear inspection; the types of errors found by single and double flank composite and analytical tests; involute geometry; the involute cam and the causes and symptoms of profile errors. In this section, we go into tooth alignment and line of contact issues including lead, helix angles, pitch, pitchline runout, testing and errors in pitch and alignment.