Considering the rich variety of gearbox designs available, it is not surprising that it can be difficult to know when repair or renewal services are needed. Several key components affect how a gearbox performs its job. These factors include speed, noise, gear ratio/backlash, pressure, torque, shaft orientation, operating cycles, installation options, and maintenance concerns. It is important to understand how the many types of gearboxes work in order to understand when your own equipment may need repairs. Below are a few of the most readily accessible gearbox types along with their functions.
These are the most common and simple gearboxes available. The positioning of their radial teeth enable them to handle high gear ratios, providing efficiency levels of 94 to 98 percent. A disadvantage of spur gearboxes is that they tend to create a lot of noise and pressure. This reason is why spur gearboxes are usually desirable for low-impact and low-speed jobs where loud noise is acceptable.
In Helical gearboxes, the gears are much like spur gears, except their teeth are not positioned laterally to the revolving axis. Rather, these gears are locked at an angle, most commonly 90 degrees. They are often laid out in parallel or crossed positions, although crossed helical gearboxes have less load capacity.
Because of their positioning, the gear teeth are engaged little by little and result in a job that is considerably quieter than that of spur gearboxes. The loading directions of helical gearboxes permit them to work with higher torques, although their efficiency ranges are the same at 94 to 98 percent. A disadvantage of these systems is the degree of medial thrust they use, which demands the usage of adequately oiled shaft bearings.
Bevel gearboxes are comprised of two crossing shafts and have cone-style teeth that encourage versatile motion in the area directly between these shafts. The gears, which should be fitted with care, feature axes capable of handling a significant amount of pressure. The efficiency levels of these systems are just a bit lower than spur and helical gearboxes, at 93 to 97 percent. However, bevel types do work well with lower gear ratios, possibly even more efficiently than their helical counterparts. For that reason, bevel gearboxes are generally more suited for low-speed jobs.
Spiral bevel gearboxes are variants of bevel types, and they offer benefits similar to helical gear systems with teeth that engage slowly. This process results in a smoother and less noisy gear shaft. The efficiency levels of spiral gearboxes are very high, somewhere in the vicinity of 95 to 98 percent.
Hypoid gearboxes are another bevel/spiral variation that resemble spiral bevel types, only their drive axes do not touch. These systems are mostly created to work with 90-degree drive shafts. More powerful and less noisy than spiral bevel gearboxes, these systems can handle very high speed ratios. However, their mechanical performance is usually only 80 to 85 percent.
Planetary gearboxes are comprised of multiple outside gears (or planets) that orbit around an inner (or sun) gear. These gearboxes are quite efficient at 96 to 98 percent, even when working at lower speeds. They also provide high gear differentials in each stage, are extremely compact, and can produce triple the amount of torque of standard spur gearboxes. This increased efficiency is due to the load transmissions, which are “shared” by several planets.
Planetary gearboxes are also compatible with bevel and/or helical gears. These systems provide optimized performance features, while still permitting the input/output drives to be angled at 90 degrees.
It is important to remember that, no matter what gearbox system you have, it’s true efficiency will depend on many factors. To get the highest efficiency levels, your gearbox needs to be properly maintained and repaired.
At Amarillo Gear Service, we work with our clients to ensure their industrial gearboxes remain operational for the duration of their intended lifespan. We ensure that every unit we refurbish and repair leaves our facilities in near-new condition. If we notice potential causes of failure during the repair stage, we notify clients immediately. The result is that many of our industrial gearboxes perform better once they are returned and are less prone to damage and further problems. We also provide a stock and exchange program, which allows you to choose a gearbox that is already in stock and ready for purchase.
Amarillo Gear Service is a division of Amarillo Gear Company, which has been in continuous operation since 1917. When you or your business need affordable and high-quality gearbox repair or renewal, contact the experts at Amarillo Gear Service in Amarillo, Texas. You can reach us by phone at (806) 622-1273 or by email to receive more information on our advanced gearbox repair services. We will be glad to tell you more about the regions we service and the quality workmanship we can bring to the repair or renewal of your drive.