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You are on page 1of 5

OBJECTIVE

The objectives of this experiment are to become more familiar with the methods of analysis of epicyclic

gearing systems and to verify the methods with a physical model.

DISCUSSION

Analysis of planetary gearing systems (which include epicyclic and differential gearing systems) is often

not understood very well by engineering students due to a lack of understanding of how an epicyclic gear

system works. This experiment allows the analysis and then the physical verification of each term of the

analysis thus permitting a more comprehensive understanding.

THEORY

Planetary gearing systems are distinguished by the fact that some of the gears in the system have an axis of

rotation that rotates about a central axis during operation. Simple and compound gear trains have gears

that have stationary axes of rotation. As shown in Figure 1, planetary gearing systems have four major

types of elements: sun gears, planet gears, ring gears, and an arm. Sun and planet gears are external

gears and the ring gear is an internal gear. All of

Ring Gear

these elements are rotating about a central axis; in

Planet Gear

addition, the planet gears rotate about an axis on the

Arm

arm. The rotation of the planet gears about an axis

Sun Gear

on an arm that rotates about the central axis is the

unique feature of this type of gearing system, hence

the name: planetary gearing system. Inputs and

Bearing

Supports

outputs to this gear system can be through any of the

elements except the planet gears.

Central

Axis

Planetary gearing consists of two subcategories:

epicyclic gearing and differential gearing.

(a) Front View

(b) Side View

Differential gearing systems have two degrees of

freedom which means that the rotations of two of the

Figure 1. Planetary Gearing System

elements must be specified to completely define the

motion of the gear system. This means that the differential

Ring #1

Ring #2

Arm

gearing system will have three input/outputs (i.e., two inputs and

one output, or one input and two outputs), two of which must be

Planet #1

Planet #2

specified to determine the third. Epicyclic gearing is a special

Sun #1

Sun #2

case of the differential system in which one of the sun or ring

gears is fixed and cannot rotate (thus defining its rotation rate as

zero). With this specification, and epicyclic system has a single

Bearing

Bearing

Supports

Supports

degree of freedom that requires only one rotation to be specified

Central

to completely specify the system rotations. Usually and epicyclic

Axis

system will have only a single input and a single output.

Figure 2. General Planetary System

Figure 1 shows both the front view and side view of a planetary

gearing system. Typically only the side view is given since all

the information is provided in this view. This is the best type of view since the arm may have a planet gear

cluster on it (consisting of two planet gears which are attached). As shown in Figure 2, a complete

planetary gearing system could consist of two sun gears, two planet gears, two ring gears, and an arm (one

maximum). A planetary system must contain an arm and one or more planet gears. It will also contain

some combination of sun and ring gears.

Epicyclic gearing systems are analyzed by superimposing two separate motions into the actual motion.

First, the entire system is considered to move through a rigid body rotation about the central axis. Since no

relative motion is permitted between the elements, they will all rotate the same amount. Secondly, the fixed

gear is rotated back to its original position while holding the arm fixed. This permits the analysis of the

relative rotation between the elements to be accomplished using standard techniques used for simple and

compound gear systems.

A (60 T)

shown in Figure 3 as an example. Notice that there is one input

(C), one output (E), and one fixed gear (A). All of the gears in the

system can be identified as either a sun gear (C and E), a planet

gear (B and D), or a ring gear (A). The analysis is most easily

accomplished using a table with each of the epicyclic gear elements

as columns, and the motions to be superimposed as rows. It is

important to fill out the top of this table carefully since it will aid in

the filling out of the rest of the table (therfore analyzing the system).

The table for use with this example problem (along with the

essential header information is given in Table 1:

Arm

B (15 T)

D (36 T)

C (30 T)

E (24 T)

in

500 rpm

out

Is output direction

shown correctly?

Fixed

Input

Output

30

24

+1

+1

GEAR:

60

+1

-1

+1

B, D

15

36

+1

Arm

+1

The header information contains three types of data. First, on line , the designation is given for each

system element which has a separate rotation. The planet gears, B and D, are connected together and

therefore must rotate together so they are located in the same column. Second, on line , the number of

teeth on each gear is identified from the problem statement. Finally, on line , an indication is made as to

which of the elements is the input, which is the output, and which gear is fixed.

The analysis of the total relative motion consists of two parts: rigid body motion and relative motion with

the arm fixed. The rigid body motion is easy since all of the elements rotate exactly the same amount; this

is indicated in row of the table as a rotation of +1 for each element. The relative rotation with the arm

fixed specifies two entries in row . First, since the arm is fixed in this step, a 0 (representing no rotation)

is put in the column labeled Arm. Second, since the net rotation of the fixed gear must be 0, the relative

rotation in row must be -1 so that the sum of the two motions will equal 0. These entries are shown in

Row is completed using the fundamental law of gearing (the relative rotation of two meshing gears is

inversely proportional to the number of teeth on the gears) and the facts that two meshing external gears

rotate in opposite directions and a meshing internal and external gear rotate in the same direction. Note

that signs (+ and -) are used to indicate rotation directions in the table. Each position in row may be

completed once the position for a meshing gear has been completed.

Three pieces of information will be put in each position: a sign (indicating rotation direction), a gear ratio,

and the rotation magnitude of the meshing gear. The only gear for which the rotation is initially known is

the "fixed" gear (it has a rotation of -1). In the example problem this is gear A. Since A meshes with gear

B, the "B" column position may be completed. Since the gears form an internal/external pair, the rotation

directions must be the same so the signs in the two columns will be the same (both -). The gear ratio of B

to A is NA/NB where NA and NB are the number of teeth on A and B respectively. Note that the number of

teeth are conviently located in row of the appropriate columns. Also note that the number of teeth of the

gear whose rotation is being determined (B in this case) is always in the denominator of the ratio. The

magnitude of the previous rotation is the absolute value of the quantity in row of the column of the gear

with the known rotation (A in this case). In summary, the entry for row , column B,D is determined as:

Sign: - (same as column A since gears are internal/external)

Ratio: 60/15 (gear ratio of NA/NB)

Previous magnitude: 1 (absolute value of -1, |-1| = 1)

Now the value for the position in column C may be determined since gear B meshes with gear C and the

table is now completed in column B,D. The results:

Sign: + (opposite of column B since gears are external/external)

Ratio: 15/30 (gear ratio of NB/NC)

Previous magnitude: 60/15 (absolute value of +60/15, |+60/15| = 60/15)

Finally the value for the position in column E may be determined since gear D meshes with gear E and the

table is completed in column B,D. The results:

Sign: + (opposite of column D since gears are external/external)

Ratio: 36/24 (gear ratio of ND/NE)

Previous magnitude: 60/15 (absolute value of +60/15, |+60/15| = 60/15)

The total relative rotation, row , is determined by summing rows and . The completed table is

shown as Table 2.

Table 2. Example Problem #1 Solution

Fixed

60

+1

-1

B, D

15

36

+1

FG 60IJ b1g

H 15 K

-3

Input

Output

30

24

+1

+1

+1

FG 36 IJ FG 60 IJ

H 24 K H 15 K

+7

+1

FG 15 IJ FG 60 IJ

H 30 K H 15 K

+3

Arm

The solution to the system is determined by taking the ratio of the output to the input and multiplying by

the input speed:

out =

out

+7

in =

500 rpm = +1170 rpm

in

+3

The + sign indicates that the input and output shafts are rotating in the sane direction. Referring to Figure

3, the output rotation therefore is shown correctly.

PROCEDURE

(1) Analyze theoretically the relative rotations of each of the eight epicyclic systems shown on the next

page.

(2) Assemble the epicyclic gear kit in the configuration which corresponds to each of the eight systems

shown.

(3) For each revolution of the input link, determine the number of revolutions of the other links and record

in a table.

All of the experiments are to be performed on the epicyclic gearing system apparatus.

REPORT

(1)

(a)

(b)

(c)

(d)

Indicate the ratio of output rotation to input rotation

Include the experimental results

Discuss any discrepancy

(2)

Discuss the use of epicyclic gearing systems (i.e. why are they used?).

(3)

A differential gearing system is a system with two inputs and one output (or two outputs and one

input). Their analysis consists of analyzing two epicyclic systems (first with one input fixed and

then the other input fixed) and then superimposing the results. That is, if out = 21 (input 2

fixed), out = -32 (input 1 fixed), then the output of the differential gearing system is out = 21

- 32. Determine the output speed of the differential gearing system shown below.

D (63 T)

B (20 T)

A (21 T)

C

(21 T)

Input #1

100 rpm

Input #2

200 rpm

Output Shaft

Stop Post

Stop Post

C 63T

B 21T

F 63T

C 63T

Small Spacers

(3 required)

B 21T

Small Spacers

(3 required)

E 20T

2 Aluminum Bars

1 Sleeved Steel Bar

Small Circular

Disk

A 21T

Small Circular

Disk

D 21T

Indicator (Input)

Indicator (Input)

Planetary

Unit #1

Planetary

Unit #2

System 1

System 1

Input

A

Fixed

C

Stop Post

Small Spacers

(3 required)

Large Spacers

(3 required)

P1

System 2

System 3

System 4

Input

D

D

D

C 63T

B 21T

F 63T

E 20T

Planetary

Unit #1

Systems 2, 3, and 4

Output

P

Small Spacers

(3 required)

A 21T

Output

P

F

C

Small Spacers

(3 required)

Fixed

C

C

F

Stop Post

C 63T

B 21T

F 63T

E 20T

Small Spacers

(3 required)

Large Spacers

(3 required)

(connects plates)

P2

Small Circular

Disk

D 21T

A 21T

Indicator (Input)

Small Circular

Disks

D 21T

A 21T

Indicator (Input)

Planetary

Unit #1

Planetary

Unit #2

Input

D

D

Output

P2

P2

Planetary

Unit #1

Planetary

Unit #2

Systems 5 and 6

System 5

System 6

P1

Systems 5 and 6

Fixed

C

F

System 7

System 8

Input

D

D

Output

P

P

Fixed

F

C

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