Worm Gear Reducers

Worm Gear Reducers Overview

Worm gear reducers are a type of reduction gear box which is comprised of an output worm gear, worm pinion input, and characterized by a right angle output orientation. Generally speaking, worm gear producers are used to take a rated motor speed and produce a low speed output based on the reduction ratio with a higher torque value. Since the worm gear reducer is one of the sleekest reduction gearboxes available due to the small diameter of its output gear, they can also save a lot of space.

Worm gear reducers are a very prevalent type of speed reducer because they provide the most speed reduction in the smallest package. With a high speed reduction ratio and high torque output multiplier, it is no surprise why a worm gear reducer can be used for several power transmission systems. Worm gear reducers have many applications as they are most commonly used for tuning instruments, elevators, medical testing equipment, security gates, conveyor belts, etc.

Application of Worm Gear Reducers

Due to the perpendicular input and output shafts of a worm gear reducer, it is usually used for applications that require a very high transmission ratio. 

A single-start worm gear only functions in one direction, and because of the high friction between the worm wheel and the worm, the worm cannot be driven backwards. This makes worm gears suitable for hoisting operations where a transmission path reversal would be disruptive or unsafe. For this reason, heavy gates are often operated by worm drives.

Because of their compact design, worm gear reducers are typically used in small electric motors. They can also be found in other applications such as in rudders, presses, mining applications, conveyor systems, and metalworking. Furthermore, worm gear reducers are also used to tune stringed musical instruments as many may not know this.

Advantages of a Worm Gear Reducers

There are many great benefits of using a worm gear reducer. They include:

Uniformity: One great thing about worm gear reducers is that they are interchangeable and are widely available. A broad range of them are typically stocked by gear manufacturers as in the inventory as one of the “regulars”. In terms of the interchangeability, the mounting dimensions of worm gear reducers are generalized across manufactures, as gear ratios have been standardized as well. Since everything is universal across the board, engineers do not have to sweat over the shaft height, length and diameter. 

Provision of Backup Breaking: As mentioned earlier, single-start worm gear only operates in one direction. This means the worm gears serve as backup breaks. Only from the reducer to the load can the load be transmitted, making it an ideal setup for lifting applications. For hoist system, worm gears are recognized as control breaks by OSHA. As for backup breaks, worm gear reducers can prevent the load break from releasing abruptly, which may lead to premature failure and overheating.

Flexible Mounting Choices: In a worm gear reducer, the gear is mounted on the output shaft perpendicularly (at an exact 90-degree angle) to the input shaft. This enables both ends of the output shafts to be freed up for further proposed engineering design options. In addition, with worm gear reducers, both solid and hollow output shafts can be used. As they eliminate the need for belts or chains that transmit torque from solid shaft reducers, hollow output shafts are gaining prevalence. Again, the rule of thumb is that less moving parts means lower likeliness of a repair.

Low Noise Level: Worm gear reducers generally operate more quietly because the teeth come in contact with one another and that more gear teeth are always touching the gear mesh. Furthermore, less noise is generated overall because a worm gear reducer only requires one single stage, whereas other gear reducers may require up to two or three stages.

In addition to the advantages stated above, the simplicity of worm gear reducers is also another well-known benefit. When it comes to machinery, the complexity is often directly correlated with the possibility of failure. Thanks to the simple and compact design of a worm gear reducer, it is fairly easy to maintain and is much less prone to malfunction. 

Moreover, worm gear reducers also have superior lifespan compared with other gear reducers. As the newer type of gear reducers, worm gear reducers have definitely fostered the growth of industries with its innovative design and functionality, as they will continue to remain popular because of the many advantages that they offer.

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