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# Geometric Progression of Gear ratios

Though this post is on the same day as the previos, these were written one or two weeks back.
My last article ends with me wondering how gear ratios are decided, and why it is in geometric
progression.
After some discussions with my friends, I got the following inputs from a friends friend, who was
working on it for some time.
The Gear ratios should be such that
1. During the shifting there should not be much change in acceleration.
2. It should be such that it brings the engine to lower SFC range for better fuel efficiency.
My friend was studying on optimizing gear ratios. He has given me some valuable inputs. The
constraints, the parameters we should consider, etc. It is given below.
2. 0-60kmph in 1900m.
Now MY Way of Designing (theoretical, hmmm can be called Philosophical also) and the
Explanations
I start with assumption that I have the engine, its Power, Torque Characteristics available.(I guess it
should be available, I cant go around in dark).
Now I fix the maximum speed and based on it I can find approximately the maximum power losses
(Definitely, This will be an approximate value). From the power curve, I will get the point
corresponding to that, also the engine rpm. I already fixed the maximum speed and hence I can fix the
final drive ratio.
The first gear ratio, I guess, as I have mentioned, will depend on the starting load. (For a sports car
not sure).
The Differential ratios along with the first gear ratio decide the Gradability/restart gradability of the
Vehicle (Given an Engine ).
Now the first and final gear ratios are fixed, I guess(Theoretically)
It is obvious that, the larger the no of gears we have, better will be the acceleration and the fuel
economy, by letting the engine run at the Peak torque rpm/low SFC region
But the maximum no of gears, I guess will be limited by the size of the Gearbox (not good going for a
large GB, obviously) and the moment of inertia of the rotating gears.(Larger the no. of gears in GB
where gears are meshed all the time, larger the inertia, again obvious.) I would like you to share with
me your ideas and knowledge on deciding the no of Gears for a vehicle.
It also depend on the torque band in which we decide to work, I think. The torque band with gears
should cover the entire speed range. (refer to the picture in the last post)
Now the no of gear ratios for Gearbox is fixed, say 5 or 6.
Considering the first two points the acceleration while shifting gears should not change, and the
working in lower SFC range.
- if the gear is shifted at the meeting point as shown in the graph, the acceleration is same.
- After we decide the optimum torque band, SFC band, the design should be such that the speed at the
minimum rpm in the higher gear equal the speed at maximum rpm of lower gear. This will ensure the
working in a particular rpm band. Which if strictly followed implies, the Geometric progression in the
gear ratios is equal to the ratio of the maximum value of rpm to the minimum in the decided rpm
band.
But we know, the gear ratios dont follow geometric progression strictly, but with some variation. The
variation to account for emission and some other properties Again please give us your view/share