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Spur Gears

Introduction..... Standards..... Terminology..... Spur Gear Design..... Materials..... Basic Equations..... Module..... Pressure
Angle.....
Contact Ratio..... Forces- Torques etc..... Strength Durability calcs..... Design Process..... Internal Gears..... Table of Lewis Form
Factors.....
The notes below relate to spur gears.

Introduction

Notes specific to helical gears are included on a separate page Helical Gears

Gears are machine elements used to transmit rotary motion between two shafts, normally with a constant ratio. The
pinion is the smallest gear and the larger gear is called the gear wheel.. A rack is a rectangular prism with gear teeth
machined along one side- it is in effect a gear wheel with an infinite pitch circle diameter. In practice the action of gears in
transmitting motion is a cam action each pair of mating teeth acting as cams. Gear design has evolved to such a level that
throughout the motion of each contacting pair of teeth the velocity ratio of the gears is maintained fixed and the velocity
ratio is still fixed as each subsequent pair of teeth come into contact. When the teeth action is such that the driving tooth
moving at constant angular velocity produces a proportional constant velocity of the driven tooth the action is termed a
conjugate action. The teeth shape universally selected for the gear teeth is the involute profile.
Consider one end of a piece of string is fastened to the OD of one cylinder and the other end of the string is fastened to the
OD of another cylinder parallel to the first and both cylinders are rotated in the opposite directions to tension the string(see
figure below). The point on the string midway between the cylinder P is marked. As the left hand cylinder rotates CCW
the point moves towards this cylinder as it wraps on . The point moves away from the right hand cylinder as the string
unwraps. The point traces the involute form of the gear teeth.

The lines normal to the point of contact of the gears always intersects the centre line joining the gear centres at one point
called the pitch point. For each gear the circle passing through the pitch point is called the pitch circle. The gear ratio is
proportional to the diameters of the two pitch circles. For metric gears (as adopted by most of the worlds nations) the gear
proportions are based on the module.
m = (Pitch Circle Diameter(mm)) / (Number of teeth on gear).

In the USA the module is not used and instead the Diametric Pitch d pis used

d p = (Number of Teeth) / Diametrical Pitch (inches)

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Profile of a standard 1mm module gear teeth for a gear with Infinite radius (Rack ).
Other module teeth profiles are directly proportion . e.g. 2mm module teeth are 2 x this profile
Many gears trains are very low power applications with an object of transmitting motion with minium torque e.g. watch and
clock mechanisms, instruments, toys, music boxes etc. These applications do not require detailed strength calculations.

Standards
AGMA 2001-C95 or AGMA-2101-C95 Fundamental Rating factors and Calculation Methods for involute Spur
Gear and Helical Gear Teeth
BS 436-4:1996, ISO 1328-1:1995..Spur and helical gears. Definitions and allowable values of deviations
relevant to corresponding flanks of gear teeth
BS 436-5:1997, ISO 1328-2:1997..Spur and helical gears. Definitions and allowable values of deviations
relevant to radial composite deviations and runout information
BS ISO 6336-1:1996 ..Calculation of load capacity of spur and helical gears. Basic principles, introduction and
general influence factors
BS ISO 6336-2:1996..Calculation of load capacity of spur and helical gears. Calculation of surface durability
(pitting)
BS ISO 6336-3:1996..Calculation of load capacity of spur and helical gears. Calculation of tooth bending
strength
BS ISO 6336-5:2003..Calculation of load capacity of spur and helical gears. Strength and quality of materials
If it is necessary to design a gearbox from scratch the design process in selecting the gear size is not complicated - the
various design formulea have all been developed over time and are available in the relevant standards. However
significant effort, judgement and expertise is required in designing the whole system including the gears, shafts , bearings,
gearbox, lubrication. For the same duty many different gear options are available for the type of gear , the materials and
the quality. It is always preferable to procure gearboxes from specialised gearbox manufacturers

Terminology - spur gears


Diametral pitch (d p )...... The number of teeth per one inch of pitch circle diameter.
Module. (m) ...... The length, in mm, of the pitch circle diameter per tooth.
Circular pitch (p)...... The distance between adjacent teeth measured along the are at
the pitch circle diameter
Addendum ( h a )...... The height of the tooth above the pitch circle diameter.
Centre distance (a)...... The distance between the axes of two gears in mesh.
Circular tooth thickness (ctt)...... The width of a tooth measured along the are at the
pitch circle diameter.
Dedendum ( h f )...... The depth of the tooth below the pitch circle diameter.
Outside diameter ( D o )...... The outside diameter of the gear.
Base Circle diameter ( D b ) ...... The diameter on which the involute teeth profile is
based.
Pitch circle dia ( p ) ...... The diameter of the pitch circle.
Pitch point...... The point at which the pitch circle diameters of two gears in mesh
coincide.
Pitch to back...... The distance on a rack between the pitch circle diameter line and
the rear face of the rack.
Pressure angle ...... The angle between the tooth profile at the pitch circle diameter
and a radial line passing through the same point.
Whole depth...... The total depth of the space between adjacent teeth.

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Spur Gear Design


The spur gear is is simplest type of gear manufactured and is generally used for transmission of rotary motion between
parallel shafts. The spur gear is the first choice option for gears except when high speeds, loads, and ratios direct towards
other options. Other gear types may also be preferred to provide more silent low-vibration operation. A single spur gear is
generally selected to have a ratio range of between 1:1 and 1:6 with a pitch line velocity up to 25 m/s. The spur gear has
an operating efficiency of 98-99%. The pinion is made from a harder material than the wheel. A gear pair should be
selected to have the highest number of teeth consistent with a suitable safety margin in strength and wear. The minimum
number of teeth on a gear with a normal pressure angle of 20 desgrees is 18.
The preferred number of teeth are as follows
12 13 14 15 16 18 20 22 24 25 28 30 32 34 38 40 45 50 54 60
64 70 72 75 80 84 90 96 100 120 140 150 180 200 220 250

Materials used for gears


Mild steel is a poor material for gears as as it has poor resistance to surface loading. The carbon content for unhardened
gears is generally 0.4%(min) with 0.55%(min) carbon for the pinions. Dissimilar materials should be used for the meshing
gears - this particularly applies to alloy steels. Alloy steels have superior fatigue properties compared to carbon steels for
comparable strengths. For extremely high gear loading case hardened steels are used the surface hardening method
employed should be such to provide sufficient case depth for the final grinding process used.
Material
Cast Iron

Notes
Ferrous metals

Low Cost easy to machine with high


damping

applications
Large moderate
power, commercial
gears

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Cast Steels

Low cost, reasonable strength

Power gears with


medium rating to
commercial quality

Power gears with


medium rating to
commercial/medium
quality

Plain-Carbon Steels

Good machining, can be heat treated

Alloy Steels

Heat Treatable to provide highest


strength and durability

Stainless Steels (Aust)

Corrosion resistance
with low power
Good corrosion resistance. Non-magnetic
ratings. Up to
precision quality

Stainless Steels (Mart)

Hardenable, Reasonable corrosion


resistance, magnetic
Non-Ferrous metals

Aluminium alloys

Light weight, non-corrosive and good


machinability

Brass alloys

Low cost, non-corrosive, excellent


machinability

Bronze alloys

Excellent machinability, low friction and


good compatability with steel

Magnesium alloys

Light weight with poor corrosion


resistance

Nickel alloys

Low coefficient of thermal expansion.


Poor machinability

Titanium alloys

High strength, for low weight, good


corrosion resistance

Highest power
requirement. For
precision and high
precisiont

Low to medium
power ratings Up to
high precision levels
of quality

Light duty instrument


gears up to high
precision quality

low cost commercial


quality gears. Quality
up to medium
precision
For use with steel
power gears. Quality
up to high precision
Ligh weight low load
gears. Quality up to
medium precision

Special gears for


thermal applications
to commercial quality
Special light weight
high strength gears
to medium precision

Di-cast alloys

High production, low


Low cost with low precision and strength quality gears to
commercial quality

Sintered powder alloys

Low cost, low quality, moderate strength


Non metals

Acetal (Delrin

Wear resistant, low water absorbtion

Phenolic laminates

Low cost, low quality, moderate strength

Nylons

No lubrication, no lubricant, absorbs


water

PTFE

Low friction and no lubrication

High production, low


quality to moderate
commercial quality
Long life , low load
bearings to
commercial quality

High production, low


quality to moderate
commercial quality

Long life at low loads


to commercial quality
Special low friction
gears to commercial
quality

Equations for basic gear relationships


It is acceptable to marginally modify these relationships e.g to modify the addendum /dedendum to allow Centre Distance
adjustments. Any changes modifications will affect the gear performance in good and bad ways...
Addendum

Base Circle diameter

h a = m = 0.3183 p
Db = d.cos

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a = ( d g + d p) / 2

Centre distance

p = m.
ctt = p/2
h f = h - a = 1,25m = 0,3979 p

Circular pitch

Circular tooth thickness


Dedendum

Module
Number of teeth

m = d /z
z=d/m
D o = (z + 2) x m

Outside diameter

d = z . m ... (d g = gear & d p = pinion )

Pitch circle diameter


Whole depth(min)

h = 2.25 . m
t o = 0,25 . m

Top land width(min)

Module (m)

The module is the ratio of the pitch diameter to the number of teeth. The unit of the module is milli-metres.Below is a
diagram showing the relative size of teeth machined in a rack with module ranging from module values of 0,5 mm to 6 mm

The preferred module values are


0,5

0,8

1,25

1,5

2,5

10 12

16

20

25

32

40

50

Normal Pressure angle

An important variable affecting the geometry of the gear teeth is the normal pressure angle. This is generally standardised
at 20o. Other pressure angles should be used only for special reasons and using considered judgment. The following
changes result from increasing the pressure angle
Reduction in the danger of undercutting and interference
Reduction of slipping speeds
Increased loading capacity in contact, seizure and wear
Increased rigidity of the toothing
Increased noise and radial forces
Gears required to have low noise levels have pressure angles 15o to17.5o

Contact Ratio

The gear design is such that when in mesh the rotating gears have more than one gear in contact and transferring the
torque for some of the time. This property is called the contact ratio. This is a ratio of the length of the line-of-action to
the base pitch. The higher the contact ratio the more the load is shared between teeth. It is good practice to maintain a
contact ratio of 1.2 or greater. Under no circumstances should the ratio drop below 1.1.
A contact ratio between 1 and 2 means that part of the time two pairs of teeth are in contact and during the remaining time
one pair is in contact. A ratio between 2 and 3 means 2 or 3 pairs of teeth are always in contact. Such as high contact
ratio generally is not obtained with external spur gears, but can be developed in the meshing of an internal and external
spur gear pair or specially designed non-standard external spur gears.

contact ratio m =

(Rgo2 - Rgb2 )1/2 + (Rpo2 - Rpb2 )1/2

a sin

p cos

R go = D go / 2..Radius of Outside Dia of Gear


R gb = D gb / 2..Radius of Base Dia of Gear
R po = D po / 2..Radius of Outside Dia of Pinion

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R pb = D pb / 2..Radius of Base Dia of Pinion
p = circular pitch.
a = ( d g+ d p )/2 = center distance.

Spur gear Forces, torques, velocities & Powers

F = tooth force between contacting teeth (at angle pressure angle to pitch line tangent. (N)
F t = tangential component of tooth force (N)
F s = Separating component of tooth force

= Pressure angle

d 1 = Pitch Circle Dia -driving gear (m)


d 2 = Pitch Circle Dia -driven gear (m)
1 = Angular velocity of driver gear (Rads/s)
2 = Angular velocity of driven gear (Rads/s)
z 1 = Number of teeth on driver gear
z 2 = Number of teeth on driven gear
P = power transmitted (Watts)
M = torque (Nm)
= efficiency

Tangential force on gears F t = F cos


Separating force on gears F s = F t tan
Torque on driver gear T 1 = F t d 1 / 2
Torque on driver gear T 2 = F t d 2 / 2
Speed Ratio = 1 / 2 = d 2 / d 1 = z 2 /z 1
Input Power P 1 = T1 . 1
Output Power P 2 =.T 1 . 2

Spur gear Strength and durability calculations

Designing spur gears is normally done in accordance with standards the two most popular series are listed under
standards above:
The notes below relate to approximate methods for estimating gear strengths. The methods are really only useful for first
approximations and/or selection of stock gears (ref links below). Detailed design of spur and helical gears is best
completed using the standards. Books are available providing the necessary guidance. Software is also available
making the process very easy. A very reasonably priced and easy to use package is included in the links below
(Mitcalc.com)
The determination of the capacity of gears to transfer the required torque for the desired operating life is completed by
determining the strength of the gear teeth in bending and also the durability i.e of the teeth ( resistance to wearing/bearing
/scuffing loads ) .. The equations below are based on methods used by Buckingham..

Bending
The basic bending stress for gear teeth is obtained by using the Lewis formula

F t = Tangential force on tooth

= Ft / ( ba. m. Y )

= Tooth Bending stress (MPa)


b a = Face width (mm)
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Y = Lewis Form Factor
m = Module (mm)

Note: The Lewis formula is often expressed as

= Ft / ( ba. p. y )

Where y = Y/ and p = circular pitch


When a gear wheel is rotating the gear teeth come into contact with some degree of impact. To allow for this a velocity
factor ( Kv ) is introduced into the equation. This is given by the Barth equation...
V = the pitch line velocity = d./2 (m/s)

The Lewis formula is thus modified as follows

= K v.Ft / ( ba. m. Y )

Surface Durability

This calculation involves determining the contact stress between the gear teeth and utilises a Herzian contact stress
analysis . This is based on the analysis of two cylinders ,in contact alon their length and subject to a radial force.

w = 2.F / ( .b .l )

w = largest surface pressure

F = force pressing the two cylinders (gears) together


l = length of the cylinders (gear)
b = halfwidth = half of the width of the contact surface between the two cylinders.

d 1 ,d 2 Are the diameters for the two contacting cylinders.

1, 2 Poisson ratio for the two gear materials

E 1 ,E 2 Are the Young's Modulus Values for the two gears


To arrive at the formula used for gear calculations the following changes are made

w is replaced by c (dynamic contact stress)


F is replaced by F t / cos

d is replaced by 2.r
l is replaced by W ( Face width of gear)
The velocity factor K v as described above is introduced.
Also an elastic constant Z E is created

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When the value of E used is in MPa then the units of Ze are MPa . The Imperial version of Ze is Cp with value of E used
in psi and value of Cp = psi
The resulting formula for the compressive stress developed is as shown below

Note: r1 and r2are the radii of curvature of the tooth surfaces at the contact point.
As gear tooth wear is generally first found at the pitch point, the curvatures at the pitch point are used:
r1 = d1 sin /2
r2 = d2 sin /2

The dynamic contact stress c developed by the transmitted torque must be less than the allowable contact stress Se...
Note: Values for Allowable stress value (Se) and the elastic constant ZE for some materials are provided at Gear Table
Important Note: The above equations do not take into account the various factors which are integral to calculations
completed using the relevant standards. These equations therefore yield results suitable for first estimate design
purposes only...

Design Process

To select gears from a stock gear catalogue or do a first approximation for a gear design select the gear material and
obtain a safe working stress e.g Yield stress / Factor of Safety. /Safe fatigue stress
Determine the input speed, output speed, ratio, torque to be transmitted
Select materials for the gears ( pinion is more highly loaded than gear )
Determine safe working stresses (uts /factor of safety or yield stress/factor of safety
or Fatigue strength / Factor of safety )
Determine Allowable endurance Stress Se
Select a module value and determine the resulting geometry of the gear
Use the lewis formula and the endurance formula to establish the resulting face width
If the gear proportions are reasonable then - proceed to more detailed evaluations
If the resulting face width is excessive - change the module or material or both and
start again
The gear face width should be selected in the range 9-15 x module or for straight spur gears-up to 60% of the pinion
diameter.

Internal Gears

Advantages:
1. Geometry ideal for epicyclic gear design
2. Allows compact design since the center distance is less than for external gears.
3. A high contact ratio is possible.
4. Good surface endurance due to a convex profile surface working against a concave
surface.
Disadvantages:
1. Housing and bearing supports are more complicated, because the external gear
nests within the internal gear.
2. Low ratios are unsuitable and in many cases impossible because of interferences.
3. Fabrication is limited to the shaper generating process, and usually special tooling is
required.

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Lewis form factor.

Table of lewis form factors for different tooth forms and pressure angles

No
Teeth

Load Near Tip of Teeth


14 1/2 deg

20 deg FD

20 deg Stub

25 deg

10

0,176

0,201

0,261

0,238

0,076

0,277

11

12
13
14
15
16
17
18
19
20
21
22
23
24
25
26
27
28
29
30

0,192

0,061

0,21

0,223
0,236
0,245
0,255
0,264
0,27

0,277
0,283
0,289
0,292
0,296
0,302
0,305
0,308

0,056
0,067
0,071
0,075
0,078
0,081
0,084
0,086
0,088
0,09

0,092
0,093
0,094
0,096
0,097
0,098

0,226

0,072

0,245
0,264
0,276
0,289
0,295
0,302
0,308
0,314
0,32

0,326
0,33

0,333
0,337
0,34

0,344

0,064
0,078
0,084
0,088
0,092
0,094
0,096
0,098
0,1

0,102
0,104
0,105
0,106
0,107
0,108
0,109

0,289

0,092

0,311

0,324
0,339
0,349
0,36

0,368
0,377
0,386
0,393
0,399
0,404
0,408
0,411

0,416
0,421

0,083
0,099
0,103
0,108
0,111

0,115
0,117
0,12

0,123
0,125
0,127
0,129
0,13

0,131
0,132
0,134

0,311

0,099

0,348

0,111

0,426

0,136

0,316

0,101

0,355

0,113

0,434

0,138

0,314
0,318

0,1

0,101

0,352
0,358

0,112
0,114

0,43

0,437

0,137
0,139

0,259
0,293
0,307
0,32

Load at Near Middle of Teeth

14 1/2 deg
Y

20 deg FD
Y

0,088

0,355

0,113

0,415

0,132

0,098

0,399

0,127

0,468

0,149

0,082
0,093
0,102

0,332

0,106

0,352

0,112

0,342

0,361
0,369
0,377
0,384
0,390
0,396
0,402
0,407

0,109
0,115
0,117
0,12

0,122
0,124
0,126
0,128
0,13

0,412

0,131

0,421

0,134

0,417
0,425

0,133
0,135

0,377
0,415
0,43

0,446
0,459
0,471
0,481
0,49

0,496
0,502
0,509
0,515
0,522
0,528
0,534
0,537
0,54

0,12

0,132
0,137
0,142
0,146
0,15

0,153
0,156
0,158
0,16

0,162
0,164
0,166
0,168
0,17

0,171
0,172

0,443
0,49

0,503
0,512
0,522
0,534
0,544
0,553
0,559
0,565
0,572
0,58

0,584
0,588
0,592
0,599
0,606

0,141
0,156
0,16

0,163
0,166
0,17

0,173
0,176
0,178
0,18

0,182
0,185
0,186
0,187
0,188
0,191
0,193

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31

0,32

0,101

0,361

0,115

0,44

0,14

0,429

0,137

0,554

0,176

0,611

0,194

33

0,324

0,103

0,367

0,117

0,445

0,142

0,436

0,139

0,55

0,175

0,623

0,198

32
34
35
36
37
38
39
40
43
45
50
55
60
65
70
75
80
90

100
150
200
300

Rack

0,322
0,326
0,327
0,329
0,33

0,333
0,335
0,336
0,339
0,34

0,346
0,352
0,355
0,358
0,36

0,361
0,363
0,366
0,368
0,375
0,378
0,38

0,39

0,101
0,104
0,104
0,105
0,105
0,106
0,107
0,107
0,108
0,108
0,11

0,364
0,371
0,373
0,377
0,38

0,384
0,386
0,389
0,397
0,399
0,408

0,112

0,415

0,114

0,425

0,113
0,115
0,115
0,116
0,117
0,117
0,119
0,12

0,122

0,124

0,421
0,429
0,433
0,436
0,442
0,446
0,458
0,463
0,471

0,484

0,116
0,118
0,119
0,12

0,121
0,122
0,123
0,124
0,126
0,127
0,13

0,132
0,134
0,135
0,137
0,138
0,139
0,141
0,142
0,146
0,147
0,15

0,154

0,443
0,447
0,449
0,451
0,454
0,455
0,457
0,459
0,467
0,468
0,474
0,48

0,484
0,488
0,493
0,496
0,499
0,503
0,506
0,518
0,524
0,534

0,55

0,141
0,142
0,143
0,144
0,145
0,145
0,145
0,146
0,149
0,149
0,151
0,153
0,154
0,155
0,157
0,158
0,159
0,16

0,161
0,165
0,167
0,17

0,175

0,433
0,44

0,443
0,446
0,449
0,452
0,454
0,457
0,464
0,468
0,477
0,484
0,491
0,496
0,501
0,506
0,509
0,516
0,521
0,537
0,545
0,554
0,566

0,138
0,14

0,141
0,142
0,143
0,144
0,145
0,145
0,148
0,149
0,152
0,154
0,156
0,158
0,159
0,161
0,162
0,164
0,166
0,171
0,173
0,176

0,18

0,547
0,553
0,556
0,559
0,563
0,565
0,568
0,57

0,574
0,579
0,588
0,596
0,603
0,607
0,61

0,613
0,615
0,619
0,622
0,635
0,64
0,65
0,66

0,174
0,176
0,177
0,178
0,179
0,18

0,181
0,181
0,183
0,184
0,187
0,19

0,192
0,193
0,194
0,195
0,196
0,197
0,198
0,202
0,204
0,207
0,21

0,617
0,628
0,633
0,639
0,645
0,65

0,655
0,659
0,668
0,678
0,694
0,704
0,713
0,721
0,728
0,735
0,739
0,747
0,755
0,778
0,787
0,801
0,823

0,196
0,2

0,201
0,203
0,205
0,207
0,208
0,21

0,213
0,216
0,221
0,224
0,227
0,23

0,232
0,234
0,235
0,238
0,24

0,248
0,251
0,255
0,262

Links to Gear Design

1. Excelcalcs;...Site includes number of excel based gear calculation sheets.(annual subscription)


2. OnDrives-precision gears ... Supplier of Gears / Gearboxes,Including technical info ( download)
3. Gear Design ...A comprehensive source of Gear Design Information
4. Efunda ...Efunda -> Design Centre-> Gears.. Some useful Notes.
5. Gear Design Topics ... A site providing amazing motion graphics of different gear types
6. SEW Eurodrive...All the information on Gearboxes you will need
7. Quality Transmission Components...Supplier with downloadable Gear Design Handbook
8. Stock Drive Products= Sterling Instruments...Supplier with large quantity of downloadable drive information
9. Mitcalc...Excel based software including coded gear design
10. Lenze...Drive system supplier with geared motor section
11. Davall Gears...UK Supplier of stock gears and gearboxes
12. Muffett gears...UK Supplier of stock gears and gearboxes
13. Gear Design Lecture Notes...Plymouth.ac.uk - Useful Notes on gear strength design

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Last Updated 2/02/2013

30/06/2016 03:44 PM