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PLANETARY GEAR TRAINS

In simple gear trains the axes of each gear was connected to the fixed link by revolute joints. A
gear train is called a planetary gear train if there are some gears whose axes are not fixed. The
velocity ratio between the rotating links will be different than the gear ratio. They can produce
large changes in speed using very few gears. They are used in differentials, computing devices, in
automatic car transmission and in a variety of instruments where a high speed ratio between the
input and output is required within a small space (i.e. in heavy duty tractors, hoists, screw drives
etc) and/or when a speed change without disengagement of the input and output (i.e. automatic
gear boxes) is required.
The simplest form of a planetary gear is as shown. The arm (link k ) can rotate about A0. Link j
(which is called sun gear, if external or ring gear, if internal) is also connected to the fixed link
by a revolute joint at Ao. Link i, which is called the planet gear, is connected to the arm at A by a
revolute joint, and links i and j are gear paired. (In the schematic representation of planetary gear
trains side view is usually preferred.)

Planetary Gear Train
Planetary gear trains are also called "Epicyclic Gear Train" from the fact that a point on the
planet will describe an algebraic curve which is an epicycloid or hypocycloid. This curve can be
represented in parametric form as:
x = a1cos+a2cosR
y = a1 sin +a2sinR
or in complex numbers:

Where q is the variable parameter (usually the angle of rotation of the arm) a1, a2 and R are
constants (R is a function of the gear ratio, a1 and a2 are the link lengths of the arm and the
position of the point relative to the moving pivot of the planet respectively). Very interesting
curves (epi- or hypocycloid curves) can be obtained. An example is given in below. One field of
application of such motion is in mixers where the pedal or blade is moved on a cycloidal path.

In the kinematic analysis of planetary gear trains.. there is usually more than one planet located symmetrically around the sun gear as shown in Fig. one must consider only one planet. 6. The planetary gear train thus formed is over closed and thus there must be special dimensional requirements (such that all the planets being equal).13. .. Curves traced by a point on the planet For large force transmission. Accurate clearance is required for the operation of such a gear train.

Let us derive an equation that relates the angular speeds of the links and the gear ratio. Consider the simple planetary gear train as shown in Fig. One is the motion of the centre of the planet (point A) and the other is the rotation of the planet about the planet axis. Point P is the point of contact of the gear teeth. The motion of the planet can be considered as composed of two parts. may be in opposite sense). the vector velocity .14. and due to pure rolling between the mating gears the velocity of the coincident points Pi and Pj are equal. The velocity of point P can be expressed as: VPi = VPj = VA + VP/A Let us assume that the angular speed is positive if it is counter clockwise. Since the velocities considered are along the same direction (but. 6.For the motion analysis of planetary gear trains one can refer to the relative motion concept discussed in Chapter 3.

if external.w1k) ki = (1i . Therefore. sometimes it is useful to write this equation in the form: 1iRij + 1k(1-Rij)-lj = 0 If the number of teeth on each gear is known.: kj = (w1j . and 1k. . In simple gear trains the speed ratio.equation can be treated as a scalar equation.if external. Then: 1j rj=1k(rj±ri) ± 1iri or: (. The sun gear has 60 teeth . In planetary gear trains these two ratios are not the same. there are three unknowns ( 1j. It is also interesting to note that the terms (wlj . one can solve for the third speed. 1i. The symbol Rij was used to represent both of these ratios. and the gear ratio.if internal mesh) (. the symbol Rij will be used as the gear ratio (or the speed ratio when the arm is considered fixed) and the symbol Nij will be used as the speed ratio: Nij = 1j/ 1i.w1k) are really the angular speeds of the sun and planet gears relative to the arm. 1j/ 1i. If any two of the angular speeds are given.g. The velocities can be expressed in terms of angular speeds and the gear radii as: VPj = VPi = 1j rj VA = 1k(rj±ri) VP/A=±1iri (+ if external. + if internal mesh) The left side of the equation can be expressed as: Note that the definition of the gear ratio is the same for the planetary gear trains and for simple gear trains. For external gearing Rij= -Ti/Tj and for internal gearing Rij =+Ti/Tj. + if internal mesh) Where ri and rj are the radii of the gears. e. As a simple example.w1k) (angular speed of link j with respect to link k) (angular speed of link i with respect to link k) Therefore: or. Ti/Tj were the same.w1k) and (w1i . For simple gear trains Rij= Nij. consider an epicyclic gear train shown below.

If there is more than one arm in the planetary gear train. the planetary gear relation must be written.and the planet has 22 teeth. Denoting the counter clockwise rotation as positive we obtain: or: rpm (CCW). Two examples are given below. In such a case the above equations must be written for each simple planetary gear train. Example . Hence the gear ratio has the same meaning as in the simple gear trains. Next. These gears are the planet gears. In Compound gear trains one must first identify gears that have a moving axis of rotation. As another example. one must identify the links that are connected to the planet by a revolute joint. the gear train is called compound planetary gear train. consider the planetary gear train shown below in side view. We can write: Since . The arm rotates at 100 rpm counter clockwise and the sun gear rotates at 150 rpm clockwise. Then for each arm found. This link is the arm of the planet considered.

simple gear train relation yields: and or . since we are involved with the ratio of the speeds. substituting into the first equation and solving for n16 yields: and for n12=3000 rpm: n16=-59.Determine the output speed and the direction of rotation when the input speed is 3000 rpm . Therefore it is the arm. For this planetary system: or For the remaining portion of the gear train all the gears have a fixed axis of rotation (they are connected by a revolute joint to link 1) therefore. Link 3 does not have a fixed axis of rotation. Note that one can use the angular speed in radians/s or in rpm. Example: . Link 2 is connected to link 3 by a revolute joint. Therefore it is a planet.8 rpm (in opposite direction of the input speed).

Therefore link 5 is the planet and link 4 connected to 5 by a revolute joint is the arm. ©es . it is advisable not to use a calculator up to the last step of the computation. Determine the output speed and state its relative direction of rotation with respect to the input link. 4 and 6) the gears have a fixed axis of rotation. Especially in planetary gear trains where very large or very small speed ratios are to be obtained. 3. In general it is a good practice to carry integer numbers till the end of calculation. the difference between two numbers which are close to each other is very critical.A speed changer is shown. The input speed is 1800 rpm. Therefore for this planetary gear train: solving for n17 yields: (in the same direction with the input link). In the first portion of the gear train (links 2. Therefore: or or In the upper part of the gear train link 5 does not have a fixed axis of rotation. Therefore.