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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.
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.
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.
Worm gears display unique behavior of surfaces because of the presence of wear phenomena in addition to contact pressure phenomena.
The load capacity of worm gears is mainly influenced by the size and the position of the contact pattern.
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?
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?
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).
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.
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.
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.
How does one determine the center of a worm and a worm wheel? Also, what are the differences between the common worm tooth forms?
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?
A very direct and effective way of increasing power transmission efficiency is a changeover from mineral-oil-based lubricants to synthetic lubricants.
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.
How local stresses obtained from FEA can be used to determine fatigue strength of worm wheel 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.
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.
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.
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
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?
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).
Rules and Formula for worm gears, bevel gears and strength of gear teeth.
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.
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.
Eliot K. Buckingham explains the procedure for proper measurement over wires for worm gears, in response to last issue's article.
Two questions on hobbing cover the various types of hobs and their unusual names, as well as the importance of hob swivel angle.
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.
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?
Q&A is an interactive gear forum. Send us you gear design, manufacturing, inspection or other related questions, and we will pass them to our panel of experts.
Does anyone know where we can find a gear-shaped fruitcake? It's the holiday season again, and the Addendum staff has many friends. We'd like to get each of them the perfect holiday gift, something the demonstrates thought, caring and good will. Of course, we're looking for gifts with meaning, and for us, that can only mean gears.
The first part of this article describes the analytical design method developed by the author to evaluate the load capacity of worm gears. The second part gives a short description of the experimental program and testing resources being used at CETIM to check the basic assumptions of the analytical method; and to determine on gears and test wheels the surface pressure endurance limits of materials that can be used for worm gears. The end of the article compares the results yielded by direct application of the method and test results.
For over 50 years, grinding has been an accepted method of choice for improving the quality of gears and other parts by correcting heat treat distortions. Gears with quality levels better than AGMA 10-11 or DIN 6-7 are hard finished, usually by grinding. Other applications for grinding include, but are not limited to, internal/external and spur/helical gear and spline forms, radius forms, threads and serrations, compressor rotors, gerotors, ball screw tracks, worms, linear ball tracks, rotary pistons, vane pump rotators, vane slots, and pump spindles.
Gear designers today are continually challenged to provide more power in less space and improve gear performance. The following article looks at some of the most common ways to increase the power density or improve the performance of gear trains. The author also takes an in-depth look at the case of a steel worm mating with a plastic helical gear and explores ways to optimize this increasingly common configuration.
Chicken Run - the summer that used stop-motion clay figures - is about a group of chickens laying a plan to escape from their farm before they're turned into chicken pies. Distributed by Steven Spielberg's Dream Works, Chicken Run is also about a group of specially-made worms and wheels.
Myth No. 1: Oil Is Oil. Using the wrong oil is a common cause of gear failure. Gears require lubricants blended specifically for the application. For example, slow-speed spur gears, high-speed helical gears, hypoid gears and worm gears all require different lubricants. Application parameters, such as operating speeds, transmitted loads, temperature extremes and contamination risks, must be considered when choosing an oil. Using the right oil can improve efficiency and extend gear life.
Traditionally, a worm or a multi-stage gear box has been used when a large speed ratio is required. However, such boxes will become obsolete as size and efficiency become increasingly important considerations for a modern transmission. The single-enveloped worm gear has a maximum speed ratio of only 40 to 60. Its efficiency is only 30 to 60 per cent. The necessity of using bronze for the worm gear and grinding nitoalloy steel for the worm drives up material and manufacturing costs.
There are three distinct gear types in angle drives. The most commonly used are bevel and worm drives. Face gear drives are the third alternative.
It is well known that hobs with straight-sided teeth do not cut true involutes. In this paper, the difference between the straight side of a hob tooth and the axial profile of an involute worm is evaluated. It is shown that the difference increases as the diametral pitch increases, to the extent that for fine-pitch gearing, the difference is insignificant.
Super-reduction hypoid gears (SRH) are bevel worm gears with certain differences regarding hypoid gears. If two axes are positioned in space and the task is to transmit motion and torque between them using some kind of gears with a ratio above 5 and even higher than 50, the following cases are commonly known. Tribology Aspects in Angular Transmission Systems, Part VIII.
Since size and efficiency are increasingly important considerations in modern machinery, the trend is gear design is to use planetary gearing instead of worm gearing and multi-stage gear boxes. Internal gearing is an important part of most of planetary gear assemblies. In external gearing, if the gears are standard (of no-modified addenda), interference rarely happens. But in an internal gearing, especially in some new types of planetary gears, such as the KHV planetary, the Y planetary, etc., (1) various types of interference may occur. Therefore, avoiding interference is of significance for the design of internal gearing.
News Items About Worm
1 Royal Purple Develops High Performance Worm Gear Oils (May 1, 2006)
Royal Purple developed a para-synthetic Synergy Worm Gear Oil and a fully synthetic Thermyl-Glyde Worm Gear Oil. Both contain slippery... Read News
2 Drake Ships Steering Worm Grinder to Europe (June 26, 2012)
Drake Manufacturing Services Co. has recently shipped a GS:TE-LM 200 Steering Worm Grinder to a European automotive parts supplier. The m... Read News
3 Koepfers Versatile MZ 130 Provides Same-Setup Gear Hobbing and Worm Milling (January 10, 2007)
Koepfers MZ130 hobbing and worm milling CNC machine from Monnier + Zahner was designed with versatility and ease of use in mind. ... Read News
4 Boston Gear Introduces New Worm Gear Reducer (January 10, 2006)
A new 700 Series Conveyor Flange Adapter (CFA) is specifically designed for increased control and lower maintenance cost on material hand... Read News
5 Flowserve Introduces New Models to PT Series Worm Gears (April 13, 2005)
Flowserve Corp., a provider of fluid motion and control products and services, added two new sizes to the Flowserve Limitorque PT series ... Read News
6 Zeitlauf's Angular Gearing Offers Worm Gear Drive/Bevel Spur Gear Alternative (June 21, 2007)
The EtaCrown concept from Zeitlauf offers an energy-efficient alternative to worm gear drives and bevel spur gears.According to the compa... Read News
7 KISSsoft Releases Calculation for Shearing Strength for Plastic Worm Wheels (February 17, 2011)
For crossed axis helical gear designs where a worm meshes with a cylindrical worm wheel made of plasti... Read News
8 KISSsoft Offers Fine Sizing for Worm Wheels and Crossed Helical Gears (September 25, 2013)
For the calculation of worm wheels and crossed helical gears, fine sizing modules are now available (module ZD5 and ZE6). The KISSsoft fi... Read News
9 Holroyd Launches Worm Gear Grinding Stations (May 31, 2013)
Holroyd Precision Limited has launched a brand new, full CNC machine range that is specifically designed to provide ultra-high levels of ... Read News
10 KISSsoft Offers Profiles for Worm Wheel (October 31, 2012)
In the KISSsoft Release 03/2012, the profiles for worms with enveloping worm wheel were enhanced. The 3-D models for the profile types N,... Read News
11 Affolter Develops Worm Power Skiving Machine (June 20, 2016)
Affolter Technologies SA, a technology and market leader in micro gear hobbing machines for the aerospace, medical and micromechanical in... Read News
12 Baldor Expands Worm Gear Reducer Line (February 4, 2009)
The Dodge Ultra Kleen right-angle worm gear reducer line has been expanded by Baldor Electric Company. Housed in 316 stainless steel for ... Read News