A worm gear reducer, also known as a worm drive, is the smallest mechanical speed reducer. It enables an incredibly high application of torque in a small space. A linear gear together with grooves cut into it like a screw drives a circular gear. The term 'worm drive' relates to the arrangement - the linear gear is referred to as the worm, while the gear is known as the worm gear.
Once the worm spins at a high speed, the worm gear moves little by little, but with a significant amount of force, allowing it to move high-inertia objects. These right angle gear reducers often heat the surrounding air up to 100 degrees hotter than the ambient temperature, which may seem high for a gear reducer, but is considered low when it comes to industrial applications.
It is essential to note that worm gear drives are not frequently used for high-horsepower applications. Worm gear drives usually are low priced solutions to produce high levels of force, but in regards to high-speed, high-horsepower applications, the more expensive helical gear reducers are utilized.
Additional Advantages of Worm Gear Reducers
As said, the chief purpose of worm gear reducers is to utilize high levels of torque in a small space. Essentially, they used in industrial load lifting applications, to enhance the strength of small electric motors for toys, as differential gears for automobiles, and as exact tuning mechanisms for musical instruments. These applications are chosen due to the following additional benefits:
- Non-Reversibility - Worm gears may be turned by the worm shaft, however high levels of friction prevent the circular gear from turning the shaft back the other way. In industrial lifting applications, this often serves as a secondary braking mechanism, helping to keep heavy loads from free fall and regulate lowering speeds. However, because of the unstable nature of frictional forces, it is a good idea to use load brakes rather than relying upon the self-locking, non-reversible characteristics of these right angle gear reducers.
- Low Cost - Small electric plastic toys are usually produced cheaply in bulk, but the motors will have to be powerful enough for a 21st century youth market. The cheap, high-torque qualities of worm gear drives make them suited to toy electric cars and other such items.
- Highly Precise - Find the pegs on guitars that could be turned to adjust the sound of several strings; these generally use worm gear drives. For precision applications for instance tuning, worm gear reducers allow for musicians to make minute adjustments to their musical instruments with rather broad movements.
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