In simple words, gear manufacturing or gear formation is the process of making gears. It is believed that gears are among the oldest components humankind has ever known. They are basically used for power transmission. Moreover, gears have become increasingly important in modern machines, and every machine now contains gears. In this article, you will get to know everything about Gear Formation.
Gear formation can be done by using a number of different materials, including steel, iron, copper and bronze etc. All these metals are treated with heat and with many operations to produce solid and powerful gears. The process for the manufacturing of gears has now a wide variety.
The choice of process for the gear formation depends upon its area of use and its purpose. Machines that use the gear-generating method are used to produce most of the cut gears. By using a rotating tool and the rotational motion of the work piece, gear cutting is achieved.
Here are two primary processes that are used for gear formation
- Gear Hobbing Process
- Gear Shaping Process
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Gear Hobbing Process
The hobbing process involves using a rotating cutter known as a ‘hob’ to produce gear teeth. A variety of gears, splines, and helical gears can be produced by hobbing, regardless of the material. You can use any metal from iron to copper to bronze in hobbing process.
Gear Shaping Process
The gear shaping process is used for manufacturing internal gears as well as external gears. During the rotation of one gear, the other gear rotates at a different speed depending on the ratio of their teeth. In this way, the profile of the gear is produced. When a reciprocating cutting tool is used to shape a work piece, it rotates while in contact with it. Cutting tools may take the form of pinions or racks, or they may be single-point tools.
However, some of the other methods are also used for the manufacture of gears.
Milling is one of the most common methods to manufacture gears. During milling, rotary cutters are advanced into work pieces to remove material. It can be done by changing the cutter head speed or pressure and varying one or more axes. While the milling machines are the original machines used for milling.
In form milling, the cutter known as a form cutter travels along the length of the gear tooth at an appropriate depth. The cutter is withdrawn after cutting each tooth, the blank is rotated, and the cutter is withdrawn after cutting the next tooth. The process began to continue to cut all the teeth.
In the early part of the last century, the automobile industry saw a boom in the use of bevel gears. Solid blocks called bevel gears are generally used for changing the direction of transmissions. A right-angle change of rotational power without changing speed results in a torque change as well. This is how the gears get their name, as they involve rolling two levels.
The shape of these gears is conical, and there is no wastage of energy during their operation. Moreover, the energy loss during the operation is also minimum or sometimes zero. The primary function of these systems is to adjust the power transmission system’s drive direction by 90 degrees. They can be straight, spiral, or hypoid, and they are ground with precision.
Gear Formation Finishing Operation
For some applications, the surface finish and dimensional accuracy of the parts produced by these processes may not be sufficient. The conventional shaving process is one of the available finishing operations, with a number of abrasive services, such as grinding, honing, and lapping.