Posts Tagged ‘machine design expert’

Determining the Gear Train Tradeoff of Torque vs. Speed, Part Three

Wednesday, August 27th, 2014

      We’ve been working towards a general understanding of how gear trains work, and today we’ll solve a final piece of the puzzle when we identify how increased gear train torque is gained at the expense of gear train speed.

      Last time we developed a mathematical relationship between the torque, T, and the rotational speed, n, of the driving and driven gears in a simple gear train.    This is represented by equation (8):

TDriven ÷  TDriving = nDriving ÷ nDriven        (8)

      For the purpose of our example we’ll assume that the driving gear is mounted to an electric motor shaft spinning at 100 revolutions per minute (RPM) and which produces 50 inch pounds of torque.

      Previous lab testing has determined that we require a torque of 100 inch pounds to properly run a piece of machinery that’s powered by the motor, and we’ve decided that the best way to get the required torque is not to employ a bigger, more powerful motor, but rather to install a gear train and manipulate its gear sizes until the desired torque is obtained.   We know that using this approach will most likely affect the speed of  our operation, and we want to determine how much speed will be compromised.

      So if the torque on the driven gear needs to be 100 inch pounds, then what will be the corresponding speed of the driven gear?

      To answer this question we’ll insert the numerical information we’ve been provided into equation (8).   Doing so we arrive at the following:

TDriven ÷ TDriving =  nDriving ÷ nDriven

(100 inch pounds) ÷ (50 inch pounds)  = (100 RPM) ÷ nDriven

2 =  (100 RPM) ÷ nDriven

nDriven = (100 RPM) ÷ 2 = 50 RPM

      This tells us that in order to meet our torque requirement of 100 inch pounds, the gear train motor’s speed must be reduced from 100 RPM to 50 RPM, which represents a 50% reduction in speed, hence the tradeoff.

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      This wraps up our blog series on gears and gear trains.    Next time we’ll move on to a new topic: Galileo’s experiments with falling objects.


Determining the Gear Train Tradeoff of Torque vs. Speed, Part Two

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

      In this blog series we’ve been examining gear train usefulness, specifically in terms of increasing torque.   Equations presented last week began us on the final leg of our journey, and we’ve arrived at the point where the closing combination of equations will demonstrate the loss of speed that takes place when torque is increased within a gear train.

     To that end, the two main equations under consideration as presented last week, are:

R = NDriven ÷  NDriving =  nDriving ÷ nDriven (1)
TDriving ÷ TDriven =  DDriving ÷ DDriven (2)

where R is the gear ratio of the gear train, N is the number of gear teeth, n is the gear rotational speed in revolutions per minute (RPM), T is the torque, and D is the gear pitch radius.

      We were able to link these two equations by working through five key design equations applicable to simplified gear trains.   For the full step-by-step progression see last week’s blog.

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      After working through the equations presented last time we were able to arrive at an equation which links equations (1) and (2).   Here it is:

nDriven ÷ nDriving = DDriving ÷ DDriven (7)

      If you follow the color coding, you’ll see the elements of equations (1) and (2) which come together in equation (7).   Because equation (7) links the gear speed ratios (red) with the gear pitch radii ratios (green), we can set the ratios in equation (1) equal to those in equation (2).   Doing so, we get:

R = NDriven ÷  NDriving = nDriving ÷ nDriven = DDriven ÷ DDrivng = TDriven ÷ TDriving

      In order to see the tradeoff between speed and torque, we need only consider the parts of the equation which concern themselves with factors relating to speed and torque.   Removing the other unnecessary factors, we arrive at:

TDriven ÷  TDriving = nDriving ÷  nDriven (8)

      Next week we’ll plug numbers into equation (8) and disclose the tradeoff of speed for torque.


Gear Train Torque Equations

Thursday, May 22nd, 2014

      In our last blog we mathematically linked the driving and driven gear Force vectors to arrive at a single common vector F, known as the resultant Force vector.   This simplification allows us to achieve common ground between F and the two Distance vectors of our driving and driven gears, represented as D1 and D2.   We can then use this commonality to develop individual torque equations for both gears in the train.

gear train exoert

      In this illustration we clearly see that the Force vector, F, is at a 90º angle to the two Distance vectors, D1 and D2.   Let’s see why this angular relationship between them is crucial to the development of torque calculations.

      First a review of the basic torque formula, presented in a previous blog,

Torque = Distance × Force × sin(ϴ)

      By inserting D1, F, and ϴ = 90º into this formula we arrive at the torque calculation, T1 , for the driving gear in our gear train:

T1 = D1 × F × sin(90º)

      From a previous blog in this series we know that sin(90º) = 1, so it becomes,

T1 = D1 × F

      By inserting D2, F, and ϴ = 90º into the torque formula, we arrive at the torque calculation, T2 , for the driven gear:

T2 = D2 × F × sin(90º)

T2 = D2 × F × 1

T2 = D2 × F

      Next week we’ll combine these two equations relative to F, the common link between them, and obtain a single equation equating the torques and pitch circle radii of the driving and driven gears in the gear train.


The History of Gears

Monday, December 23rd, 2013

      Could it be that after cave men invented the wheel they moved on to invent another circular object, the gear?   Gear assemblies are found in a wide variety of applications, from tiny ones used inside wrist watches to massive ones found in aircraft carriers.

      No one knows for certain when gear technology was first employed, but we do know that gear driven machinery has been around since before the Industrial Revolution.   As far back as the Renaissance we’ve documented their use within flour milling equipment and the first primitive clocks.   Going even further back in time, Roman engineers are known to have developed a primitive gear driven odometer.   It was attached to horse drawn cart wheels and the number of revolutions performed allowed the distance traveled to be calculated.

      In fact gears have been used far longer than scientists originally thought.    In October of the year 1900 sponge divers stumbled upon an ancient Roman shipwreck at the bottom of the Aegean Sea near the Greek island of Antikythera.   Inside this wreck they found mineral encrusted fragments of an artifact composed of a bronze alloy.   This amazing discovery appeared to be a remarkably modern looking gear assembly which would come to be known as the Antikythera Mechanism.

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The Antikythera Mechanism

      Analysis of the Mechanism conducted over the last 100 years has revealed it to be a highly complex device.   Still visible engraved inscriptions disclose it to be of Greek origin, dating back to about 100 BC.   As such it’s the oldest known complex gear driven mechanism in the world.   Prior to its discovery it was thought that mechanisms of its kind were not made until 1400 AD.   As to the purpose it served, that remains a subject of controversy, since many of its parts are missing.

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X-Ray View of the Antikythera Mechanism

      The X-ray image reveals some of the Mechanism’s hidden complexity.   Based on detailed examination of these images coupled with engineering analysis, it’s theorized by scientists that the mechanism may have been configured as illustrated below.

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Possible Configuration of the Antikythera Mechanism

      Since there’s no evidence that ancient Greeks possessed motors, such as those used in modern clocks, some scientists believe that the gears in the Mechanism were set into motion by simply turning a hand crank.   Others believe that the arrangement and size of the gears indicate that the Mechanism’s movement is analogous to planetary motion within our solar system.   They theorize further that it may have been used to calculate the positions of the Sun, Moon, and other celestial bodies.

      Next time we’ll fast forward to present day to familiarize ourselves with the basic terminology of gears and then later see how they’re used in modern devices.