Helical gears are a type of cylindrical gear with helix-shaped teeth. This means that the gears cut at an angle. In this way, the contact between the teeth is gradual – starting from one end before coming into touch on the other end as the gears rotate.
This gear design provides a smoother, more efficient, and quieter operation process. This design also allows for less pressure on the gear teeth resulting in a longer gear lifespan and fewer maintenance expenses.
Helical Gearbox: Advantages and Disadvantages
While helical gears are more expensive than traditional worm and spur gearboxes, they offer some considerable competitive advantages including:
- Smooth operation: The gradual engagement of the gear’s teeth results in a smoother operation process.
- Less vibration and noise: Since the gears come into contact in small increments at a time, instead of engaging all at once, this minimizes the vibration and noise usually caused by most gearboxes.
- Durability: Helical gearboxes are more durable than spur and worm gears since they have more teeth. This way, each tooth takes less load, extending the lifespan of the gearbox and reducing your machinery maintenance costs.
- Strength: Helical gearboxes are preferred in heavy load operations since they have more prominent teeth, making the gears stronger.
- Flexibility: Usually, helical gearboxes are installed on parallel shafts, but they can also be mounted on perpendicular shafts if needed.
However, there are a few considerations you should keep in mind. Helical gearboxes have:
- Higher manufacturing costs: Helical gearboxes are more expensive to manufacture and come at a higher price.
- Higher friction: The sliding of the gears increases the friction between parts and requires more lubrication.
- Increased thrust: The thrust created by the sliding movement requires the installation of proper thrust bearings, which can absorb the load.
- Overheating: The sliding between the gears can generate heat (especially if the gearbox operates for a longer time), leading to partial power loss and decreased efficiency.
Helical Gearbox Applications
Helical gears are used in industries that require high speeds and low sound levels. They’re the preferred gearbox type in the following sectors:
- Air conditioning
- Hotel industry machinery
- Printing machinery
- Earth-moving machinery
- Fertilizer machinery
Spur and Worm Gears: Advantages and Disadvantages
Spur and worm gears also have their advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a peek at each.
This is the most common type of gear. They are used to transfer motion between parallel axes in conveyors, transmissions, and speed reducers.
Spur gears offer:
- Good efficiency
- Simple design
- Easy aligning between the teeth
However, they have a few drawbacks:
- Low speed
- Generate too much noise
- Cannot be used on non-parallel axes
- The teeth can wear out fast
- Not as strong and durable as other gear types
Worm gears are another very popular gear type that consists of worm gear and worm wheel. They’re used in braking systems, conveyor belts, automotive steering systems, and automatic door systems.
They are a good gearbox option because of their:
- Noise reduction
- Compact design
- High speed reduction
- Great torque increase
Worm gears have the following disadvantages:
- Low efficiency
- Higher costs
- Low power transmission
- Require more lubrication than other gear types
Maintain Your Industrial Gearbox Regularly
No matter what gearbox type you have, it is essential you perform routine maintenance checks. Regular servicing of your industrial equipment ensures its increased lifespan and performance. If you’re in need of industrial gearbox repair or industrial pump repair, Houston Pump and Gear can help. They offer reliable services by expert technicians who can help with your gearbox repair in Texas and throughout the US, Canada, and Mexico.
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