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Chapter 15 Spur Gears
15.1 Introduction
Gears are defined as toothed members transmitting rotary motion from one shaft to
another, and are among the oldest devices and inventions of man.
In about 2600 B.C. the Chinese used a chariot incorporating a complex series of
gears, see Fig. 15.1.

Function: To transmit power, motion and position.
Advantage: High power transmission efficiency, 98%, compact, high speed,
precise timing.

Disadvantage: Gears are more costly than belts and chains. Gear manufacturing
costs increase sharply with increased precision including high speeds, heavy loads,
and low noise.

Spur gears, see Fig. 15.2, are the simplest and most common type of gears with
teeth parallel to the shaft axes and transmitting motion between parallel shafts.
Figure 15.1 (p. 591)
Primitive gears.
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15.2 Geometry and Nomenclature

The basic requirement of gear-tooth geometry is the ability to transmit motion in a
constant angular velocity ratio at all times. For example, the angular velocity ratio
between a 20-tooth and a 40-tooth gear must be precisely 2 in every position.
The action of a pair of gear teeth satisfying this requirement is termed conjugate
gear tooth action, see fig. 15.3. The basic law of conjugate gear-tooth action is:
As the gear rotate, the common normal to the surfaces at the point of contact must
always intersect the line of centers at the same point P, called the pitch point.

The law of conjugate gear-tooth action can be satisfied by various tooth shapes, but
the most important one is the involute of the circle. An involute of the circle is the
curve generated by any point on a taut thread as it unwinds from a circle, see Fig.
Figure 15.2 (p. 592)
Spur gears.
Figure 15.3 (p. 593)
Conjugate gear-tooth action.
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15.4. Correspondingly, involutes generated by unwinding a thread wrapped
counterclockwise around the base circle would form the outer portion of the left
sides of the teeth. Note that at every point, the involute is perpendicular to the taut
thread. An involute cannot exist inside its base circle.
Fig. 15.5 shows two pitch circles. If there is no slippage, rotation of one cylinder
will cause rotation of the other at an angular velocity ratio inversely proportional to
their diameters. The smaller is called pinion and the larger one the gear. We have,

ω
p

g
=- d
p
/d
g
(15.1)
Where w is the angular velocity, d is the pitch diameter, and the minus sign
indicates that the two cylinders rotate in opposite directions. The center distance is
c =(d
p
+d
g
)/2 =r
p
+ r
g
(15.1a)
where r is the pitch circle radius.

Figure 15.4 (p. 593)
Generation of an involute from its base circle.
4

As in Fig. 15.6, in gear parlance, angle φ is called the pressure angle. Neglecting
sliding friction, the force of one involute tooth pushing against the other is always
at an angle equal to the pressure angle.
Seeing in Fig. 15.7 that the involute profiles do indeed satisfy the fundamental law
of conjugate gear-tooth action. Incidentally, the involute is the only geometric
profile satisfying this law that maintains a constant-pressure angle as the gears
rotate.
Fig. 15.8 shows the continued development of the gear teeth. The involute profiles
are extended outward beyond the pitch circle by a distance called the addendum,
and the outer circle is addendum circle. Similarly, the tooth profiles are extended
inward from the pitch circle a distance called the dedendum and also dedendum
circle. Fig. 15.8 shows the position of a pair of a mating teeth as they enter contact
(approach angle) and they go out of contact (recess angle).
Line nn is called the line of action.
The path of contact is the line segment ac.
Figure 15.5 (p. 594)
Friction gears of diameter d
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Nomenclature of a complete gear tooth is in Fig. 15.9.

Circular pitch, p, measured in inches or mm. If N is the number of teeth and d is
the pitch diameter, then

p = πd/N, p = πd
p
/N
p
, p = πd
g
/N
g
(15.2)

Figure 15.6 (p. 594)
Figure 15.7 (p. 595)
Belt cut at c to generate conjugate involute profiles.
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Diametral pitch, P, is defined as the number of teeth per inch of pitch diameter
(used only with English units):

P = Ν/d, P = N
p
/d
p
, P = N
g
/d
g
(15.3)

Module m, which is essentially the reciprocal of P, is defined as the pitch diameter
in millimeters divided by the number of teeth:

Figure 15.8 (p. 596)
Further development and
nomenclature of involute gear
teeth. Note: The diagram shows
the special case of maximum
without interference; pinion
addendum is far short of the
theoretical limit.
Figure 15.9 (p. 597)
Nomenclature of gear teeth.
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m = d/N, m = d
p
/N
p
, m = d
g
/N
g
(15.4)

It can be seen that,
pP =π (p in inches and P in teeth per inch) (15.5)
and
p/m =π (p in millimeters and m in millimeters per tooth) (15.6)

m =25.4/P (15.7)

In English units the “pitch” means diametral pitch P, a “12-pitch gear” refers to a
gear with 12 teeth per inch of pitch diameter, whereas in SI units “pitch” means
circular pitch p, a “gear of pitch =3.14 mm” refers to a gear having a circular pitch
of 3.14 mm.

Gear are commonly made to an integral value of diametral pitch P (English units)
or standard value of module m (SI units). Fig. 15.10 shows the actual size of gear
teeth of several standard diametral pitches. With SI units, commonly used standard
values of module are:
0.2 to 1.0 by increments of 0.1
1.0 to 4.0 by increments of 0.25
4.0 to 5.0 by increments of 0.5
The most commonly used pressure angle, φ, with both English and SI units
is 20
0
.
For all systems, the standard addendum is a =1/P, in inches, or a =m, in
millimeters, and the standard dedendum is 1.25 * a.
Figure 15.10 (p. 598)
Actual sizes of gear teeth of various diametral pitches. Note: In general, fine-
pitch gears have P ≥ 20; coarse-pitch gears have P <20. (Courtesy Bourn &
Koch Machine Tool Company.)
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The fillet radius at the base of the tooth, is 0.35/P (English units) or m/3 (SI
units).
Face width, b is generally,
9/P <b <14/P
or
9m <b <14m

Gears made to standard systems are interchangeable and are usually
available in stock.

Copy Figs 15.11 and 15.12 to show pinion and rack, and internal gear.

15.3 Interference and Contact Ratio
Figure 15.11 (p. 599)
Involute pinion and rack.
Figure 15.12 (p. 600)
Involute pinion and internal gear. Note that both rotate in the same direction.
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If either of the addendum circles extends beyond tangent points a and b (see Fig.
15.15) interference will occur, which will prevent rotation of the mating gears.
These points are called interference points. The correction is to remove the
interfering tooth tips, shaded portion, or the tooth flanks of the mating gear can be
undercut.

From Fig. 15.15,
r
a
=r +a
where r
a
obtained from right triangle O
1
ab or O
2
ab,

φ
2 2 2
(max)
sin c r r
b a
+ = (15.8)
where r
a
r
b
c =center distance
φ =pressure angle

The average number of teeth in contact as the gears rotate together is the contact
ratio (CR),

b
bg ag bp ap
p
c r r r r
CR
φ sin
2 2 2 2
− − + −
= (15.9)
Figure 15.15 (p. 602)
Interference of spur gears (eliminated by removing the shaded tooth tips).
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where r
ap
, r
ag
r
bp
, r
bg
=base circle radii of the mating pinion and gear
The base circle pitch p
b
is
p
b
=πd
b
/N (15.10)
where N =number of teeth, d
b
=diameter of the base circle. From Fig.15.7

d
b
=dcosφ, r
b
=rcosφ, and p
b
=pcosφ,
In general, the greater the contact ratio, the smoother and quieter the operation of
the gears.

Example 1.
Two parallel shafts with 4 in distance are to be connected by 6—pitch, 20 spur
gears providing a velocity ratio of -3.0. (a) determine the pitch diameters and
numbers of teeth in pinion and gear. (b) Determine whether there will be
interference when standard full-depth teeth are used. (c) Determine the contact
ratio. See Fig. 15. 16.

Solution:
1. Since r
p
+r
g
=c =4 in. and r
g
/ r
p
=velocity ratio =3
then r
p
=1 in., r
g
=3 in., d
p
=2 in., d
g
=6 in.
2. 6-pitch gears: P =6 teeth per inch of pitch diameter,
hence, N
p
=12, N
g
=36.
3. Check for interference: find φ
2 2 2
(max)
sin c r r
b a
+ = , r
bp
=1 in. cos 20
0
=0.94, r
bg
=3 in. cos 20
0
,=2.82, substituting into the equation we obtain,
r
a(max)
=1.660 in for pinion and r
a(max)
=3.133 in. for gear.
Figure 15.16 (p. 603)
Spur gears for Sample Problem 15.1D.
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For the gear, limiting outer gear radius is 3.133, addendum is 3.133 – 3 =0.133 in,
whereas a full standard full-depth tooth has an addendum of 1/P =0.167 in.
Clearly, the use of standard teeth would cause interference.
4. If choose unequal addenda gears, and a
g
=0.060 in. and a
p
=0.290 in.
then r
ap
=1.290 in. r
ag
=3.060 in., also p
b
=(p/6) cos 20
0
=0.492 in.
r
bp
=0.94, r
bg
=2.82,
Substituting to
b
bg ag bp ap
p
c r r r r
CR
φ sin
2 2 2 2
− − + −
=
CR =1.43, which should be a suitable value for contact ratio and no interference.

15.4 Gear Force Analysis

The force between mating teeth can be resolved at the pitch point P into two
components, see Fig. 15.17.
1. Tangential component F
t
, which when multiplied by the pitch line velocity,
accounts for the power transmitted.
r
, which does not work but tends to push the gear apart.

Fig. 15. 17 illustrates that
F
r
=F
t
tan φ (15.12)
Gear pitch line velocity V, in feet per minute,
V = πdn/12 (15.13)
where d is the pitch diameter in inches, gear rotating in n rpm.
The transmitted power in horse power hp is
W’ =F
t
V/33,000 (15.14)
where F
t
is in pound and V is in feet per minute
Figure 15.17 (p. 605)
Gear-tooth force F, shown resolved at
pitch point. The driving pinion and
driven gear are shown separately.
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In SI units
V = πdn/60,000 (15.13a)
where d is in mm, n is in rpm, and V is in meters per second.
Transmitted power in watts, is in Newton
W’ =F
t
V (15.14a)

Sample problem 15.2 Forces on Spur gears

Fig. 15.18a shows three gears of P =3, φ =20. Gear a is the driving or input,
pinion. It rotates counterclockwise at 600 rpm and transmits 25 HP to idler gear b.
Output gear c is attached to a shaft that drives a machine. Nothing is attached to the
idler shaft, and friction loses in the bearings and gears can be neglected. Determine
the resultant load applied by the idler to its shaft.

Figure 15.18 (p. 607)
Gear forces in Sample Problem
15.2. (a) Gear layout. (b) Forces
acting on idler b.
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14

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15.5 Gear-Tooth Strength

See Fig. 15.19 for stress distribution and find out bending stress and deformation
are main factors causing failure.

15.6 Basic Analysis of Gear-Tooth-Bending Stress (Lewis Equation)

By using English unit system, the bending stress is:

bY
P F
t
= σ (15.16)
where F : Tangential force; P: Diametral pitch; b: Face width; Y: Lewis form
factor (see Fig. 15.21).
When using SI units, we have
mbY
F
t
= σ (15.16a)

Figure 15.19 (p. 608)
Photoelastic pattern of stresses in a spur gear tooth.
(From T.J . Dolan and E.L. Broghammer, A Study of Stresses in Gear Tooth Fillets, Proc. 14
th
Eastern
Photoelasticity Conf., PE December 1941.)
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15.7 Refined Analysis of Gear-Tooth-Bending Strength: Basic Concepts
The important strength property is usually the bending fatigue strength, as
represented by the endurance limit. From Eqa. 8.1
S
n
=S
n
’ C
L
C
G
C
S

For steel members
S =(0.55S
u
)C
L
C
G
C
S

15.8 Refined Analysis of Gear-Tooth-Bending Strength: Recommended
Procedure

In the absence of more specific information, the factors affecting gear-tooth-
bending stress can be taken into account by embellishing the Lewis equation
to the following form:
m o v
t
K K K
bJ
P F
= σ (15.17)
J =spur gear geometry factor from Fig. 15.23
K
v
=velocity or dynamic factor
K
o
K
m
=mounting factor
Figure 15.21 (p. 611)
Values of Lewis form factor Y for standard spur gears (load applied at tip of the
tooth).
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Figure 15.23a (p. 614)
Geometry factor J for standard spur gears (based on tooth fillet radius of 0.35/P).
(From AGMA Information Sheet 225.01; also see AGMA 908-B89.) (Continued
on next slide.)
Figure 15.23b (cont.)
Figure 15.24 (p. 615)
Velocity factor K
v
. (Note: This figure, in a very rough way, is intended to
account for the effects of tooth spacing and profile errors, tooth stiffness and
the velocity, inertia, and stiffness of the rotating parts.)
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The effective fatigue stress from Equa. 15.17 must be compared with the
corresponding fatigue strength. For infinite life the appropriate endurance limit is :
S
n
=S
n
’ C
L
C
G
C
S
k
r
k
t
k
ms
(15.18)
where S
n
’ =standard R.R. Moore endurance limit
C
L

C
G
=gradient factor =1.0 for P >5, and 0.85 for P <=5
C
S
=Surface factor from Fig. 8.13
k
r
=reliability factor from Fig. 6.19 or Table 15.3.
k
t
=temperature factor. For steel gears k
t
=1.0 if temp. <160 F, if temp. >160 F,
k
t
=620/(460 +T).
k
ms
=mean stress factor. Use 1.0 for idler gears, use 1.4 for input and output gears

Table 15.1 (p. 615)
O
.
Table 15.2 (p. 616)
Mounting Correction Factor K
m
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15.10 Gear-Tooth Surface Fatigue Analysis- Recommended Procedure

Surface fatigue stress

m o v P H
K K K
I
C
P
t
bd
F
= σ (15.24)
where

g
g
P
p
P
E
v
E
v
C
2 2
1 1
1
564 . 0

+

=

1 2
cos sin
+
=
R
R
I
φ φ

Table 15.3 (p. 616)
Reliability Correction Factor k
r
, from Figure 6.19 with Assumed Standard
Deviation of 8 Percent.
Table 15.4a (p. 621)
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Surface fatigue strength compared with stress (15.24) is:
S
H
=S
fe
C
Li
C
R
(15.25)

Table 15.4b (p. 621)

Table 15.5 (p. 624)
Surface Fatigue Strength S
fe
, for Use with Metallic Spur Gears (107-Cycle
Life, 99 Percent Reliability, Temperature <250°F)
Figure 15.27 (p. 624)
Values of C
Li
for steel gears (general shape of surface fatigue S-N curve).
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Table 15.6 (p. 625)
Reliability Factor C
R
.
22

23

24

25

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15.13 Gear Trains

The speed ratio (or gear ratio of a single pair of external spur gear is:

g
p
p
g
g
p
g
p
N
N
d
d
n
n
− = − = =
ω
ω
(15.26)
where w and n are rotating speed in radians per second and rpm, respectively, d
represents pitch diameter, and N is the number of teeth. The minus mean opposite
directions. If it is internal teeth the sign will be positive and is in same direction.
Pinion is usually driver and the gear the driven, which provide a reduction ratio,
but increase in torque.

Fig. 15.29 shows a double reduction gear train involving countershaft b as well as
input shaft a and output shaft c. The overall speed ratio is:

2 1
2 1
2 1
2 1
2
2
1
1
p p
g g
p p
g g
p
g
p
g
c b
b a
c
a
N N
N N
d d
d d
d
d
d
d
= + =

− − = =
ω ω
ω ω
ω
ω
(15.26)
This equation can be extended to three, four or any number of gear pairs.

Planetary (or epycyclic) gear trains are more complicated to analyze because some
of the gears rotate about axes that are themselves rotating. Fig. 15.30a illustrates a
typical planetary train, which includes a sun gear S at the center, surrounded by
planets P that rotate freely on shafts mounted in arm A (also called the carrier).
Also meshing with the planets is a ring or annulus gear R that has internal teeth.
Actual planetary trains incorporate two or more planets, equally spaced, to balance
the force acting on the sun, ring and arm.
Figure 15.29 (p. 633)
Double-reduction gear train.
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The three members S, A, and R are normally assigned three functions: input,
output, and fixed reaction member.
(1) A fixed, S and R rotate in opposite directions, simple gear train.
(2) R fixed, S and A rotate in same directions, different speed.
(3) S fixed, R and A in same direction different speed.

Three methods for planetary gear ratios:

1. Free-body force analysis. From Fig. 15.31 of three exploded three components:

4 2
) 2 / 2 / (
2
S R S R S P S +
=
− +
=
+

Let input torque T applied to the ring, we place loads on each of the members to
put them in equilibrium:

R
S
T
T
i
o
o
i
+ = = 1
ω
ω
(i)

2. Velocity vector analysis. From Fig. 15.32 considering S is fixed, V is zero. This

3. General planetary train equation. First identify the three members providing the
input, output, and reaction functions. One of these will be the arm. Call the other
two X and Y. Then the train value is

A Y
A X
Y
X
e
ω ω
ω ω
ω
ω

= = (15.29)
Figure 15.30 (p. 633)
Typical planetary gear train.
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HW 3d. 15.1, 15.2, 15.3, 15.11, 15.14 15.19, 15.22, 15.23, 15.41D, 15.47, 15.50

HW 4
th
ed. 15.3, 15.4, 15.5, 15.13, 15.16; 15. 21, 15.22, 15.25, 15.43D, 15.49,
and 15.52.

Figure 15.31 (p. 634)
Torque ratio (1 divided by the speed ratio) determined by free-body diagrams.
Figure 15.32 (p. 635)
Speed ratio determined by velocity vector diagram.