Worm Gear Action and Benefits: A Guide
You're likely to consider worm gears if you're a machine manufacturer or user seeking the ideal kind of gears, taking into account the matters of costs, space, and efficiency. Certainly, worm gears do not feature the most efficient design, however, there are so many advantages of these gears that make them a suitable choice.
Worm Gear Action
Worm gears have two components--worm gear and worm wheel. Mostly, steel is used to make the worm wheel is bronze. The gears work on a sliding action and not rolling, which is typical of other kinds of gears. Because of the friction that results from their sliding action, the gears tend to have low efficiency. Typically, worm gears have an efficiency scope of between 40% and 90%. Due to lower efficiency, these gears will need more power to accomplish the same task than if you used another more efficient type of gear. Here's a good read about Spur and helical gears, check it out!
Addressing the Matter of Worm Gear Efficiency
Owing to the sliding of the worm gear and worm wheel, their efficiency is impacted, but the matter can be managed. The most reliable way to deal with the issue of efficiency in worm gear is to lubricate and reduce friction. Application of oil lubricants in worm gearboxes helps cut friction, heat, and loss of energy. When there's less friction within the gear system, there's increased efficiency.
The use of two different metals for the system, one for the worm wheel and the other for the worm gear may result in a certain increase in efficiency levels. The softness of the bronze worm wheel against the steel worm gear results in less friction.
Worm Gears are Still Practical
The efficiency issues of worm gears notwithstanding, the gears offer numerous advantages that make them perfect for a several applications. First of all, these gears are less noisy while in operation owing to their sliding action, as opposed to other types of gears. In addition, higher ratios with fewer gears are attainable on worm gears since these can have a low number of teeth. And since the bronze worm wheel is soft, the gears have superior shock absorbing characteristics.
Another benefit of worm gears is compact size. Since you can attain a higher ratio with fewer gear sets, it is possible to create worm gearboxes that are smaller in size. Additionally, self-locking characteristics can be added to worm gears to suit them for braking. Where back-driving of worm gears is impossible, these can work in lifts and cranes, or any other application that require braking.
Worm gears are some of the most practical for manufacturers as well as end-users because of their many benefits.