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.

Figure 15.1 (p. 591)
Primitive gears.

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 15.2 (p. 592)
Spur gears.

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.

Figure 15.3 (p. 593)
Conjugate gear-tooth action.

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.

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, ωp/ωg = - dp/dg (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 = (dp + dg)/2 = rp + rg (15.1a) where r is the pitch circle radius.

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


Figure 15.5 (p. 594)
Friction gears of diameter d

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 15.6 (p. 594)
Belt drive added to friction

Figure 15.7 (p. 595)
Belt cut at c to generate conjugate involute profiles.

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 = πdp/Np, p = πdg/Ng (15.2)


Figure 15.8 (p. 596)
Further development and nomenclature of involute gear teeth. Note: The diagram shows the special case of maximum possible gear addendum without interference; pinion addendum is far short of the theoretical limit.

Figure 15.9 (p. 597)
Nomenclature of gear teeth.

Diametral pitch, P, is defined as the number of teeth per inch of pitch diameter (used only with English units): P = Ν/d, P = Np/dp, P = Ng/dg (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:


m = d/N, m = dp/Np, m = dg/Ng It can be seen that, pP = π (p in inches and P in teeth per inch) and p/m = π (p in millimeters and m in millimeters per tooth) m = 25.4/P


(15.5) (15.6) (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.

Figure 15.10 (p. 598)
Actual sizes of gear teeth of various diametral pitches. Note: In general, finepitch gears have P ≥ 20; coarse-pitch gears have P < 20. (Courtesy Bourn & Koch Machine Tool Company.)

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 0 is 20 . 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.

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.

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.

15.3 Interference and Contact Ratio

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.

Figure 15.15 (p. 602)
Interference of spur gears (eliminated by removing the shaded tooth tips).

From Fig. 15.15, ra = r + a where ra = addendum circle radius, r = pitch circle radius, a = addendum. The maximum possible addendum circle radius without interference can be obtained from right triangle O1ab or O2ab, (15.8) where ra = maximum noninterfering addendum circle radius of pinion or gear rb = base circle radius c = center distance φ = pressure angle The average number of teeth in contact as the gears rotate together is the contact ratio (CR),
CR =
2 2 2 2 rap − rbp + rag − rbg − c sin φ

ra (max) = rb2 + c 2 sin 2 φ




where rap, rag = addendum radii of the mating pinion and gear rbp, rbg = base circle radii of the mating pinion and gear The base circle pitch pb is (15.10) pb = πdb/N where N = number of teeth, db = diameter of the base circle. From Fig.15.7 db = dcosφ, rb = rcosφ, and pb = 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.

Figure 15.16 (p. 603)
Spur gears for Sample Problem 15.1D.

Solution: 1. Since rp + rg = c = 4 in. and rg / rp = velocity ratio = 3 then rp = 1 in., rg = 3 in., dp = 2 in., dg = 6 in. 2. 6-pitch gears: P = 6 teeth per inch of pitch diameter, hence, Np = 12, Ng = 36. 3. Check for interference: find ra (max) = rb2 + c 2 sin 2 φ , rbp = 1 in. cos 200 = 0.94, rbg = 3 in. cos 200,= 2.82, substituting into the equation we obtain, ra(max) = 1.660 in for pinion and ra(max) = 3.133 in. for gear.


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 ag = 0.060 in. and ap = 0.290 in. then rap = 1.290 in. rag = 3.060 in., also pb = (p/6) cos 200 = 0.492 in. rbp = 0.94, rbg = 2.82, Substituting to
CR =
2 2 2 2 rap − rbp + rag − rbg − c sin φ


CR = 1.43, which should be a suitable value for contact ratio and no interference. 15.4 Gear Force Analysis
Figure 15.17 (p. 605)
Gear-tooth force F, shown resolved at pitch point. The driving pinion and driven gear are shown separately.

The force between mating teeth can be resolved at the pitch point P into two components, see Fig. 15.17. 1. Tangential component Ft, which when multiplied by the pitch line velocity, accounts for the power transmitted. 2. Radial component Fr, which does not work but tends to push the gear apart. Fig. 15. 17 illustrates that (15.12) Fr = Ft tan φ Gear pitch line velocity V, in feet per minute, (15.13) V = πdn/12 where d is the pitch diameter in inches, gear rotating in n rpm. The transmitted power in horse power hp is W’ = Ft V/33,000 (15.14) where Ft is in pound and V is in feet per minute


In SI units V = πdn/60,000 where d is in mm, n is in rpm, and V is in meters per second. Transmitted power in watts, is in Newton W’ = Ft V



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.




15.5 Gear-Tooth Strength See Fig. 15.19 for stress distribution and find out bending stress and deformation are main factors causing failure.

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. 14th Eastern Photoelasticity Conf., PE December 1941.)

15.6 Basic Analysis of Gear-Tooth-Bending Stress (Lewis Equation) By using English unit system, the bending stress is:
Ft P bY


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



Figure 15.21 (p. 611)
Values of Lewis form factor Y for standard spur gears (load applied at tip of the tooth).

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 Sn = Sn’ CLCG CS For steel members S = (0.55Su)CLCG CS 15.8 Refined Analysis of Gear-Tooth-Bending Strength: Recommended Procedure In the absence of more specific information, the factors affecting gear-toothbending stress can be taken into account by embellishing the Lewis equation to the following form:
Ft P Kv Ko Km bJ


J = spur gear geometry factor from Fig. 15.23 Kv = velocity or dynamic factor Ko = overload factor Km = mounting factor


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 Kv. (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.)


Table 15.1 (p. 615)
Overload Correction Factor KO.

Table 15.2 (p. 616)
Mounting Correction Factor Km

The effective fatigue stress from Equa. 15.17 must be compared with the corresponding fatigue strength. For infinite life the appropriate endurance limit is : Sn = Sn’ CLCG CS kr kt kms (15.18) where Sn’ = standard R.R. Moore endurance limit CL = load factor = 1.0 for bending loads CG = gradient factor = 1.0 for P > 5, and 0.85 for P <= 5 CS = Surface factor from Fig. 8.13 kr = reliability factor from Fig. 6.19 or Table 15.3. kt = temperature factor. For steel gears kt = 1.0 if temp. < 160 F, if temp. > 160 F, kt = 620/(460 + T). kms = mean stress factor. Use 1.0 for idler gears, use 1.4 for input and output gears


Table 15.3 (p. 616)
Reliability Correction Factor kr, from Figure 6.19 with Assumed Standard Deviation of 8 Percent.

15.10 Gear-Tooth Surface Fatigue Analysis- Recommended Procedure Surface fatigue stress
σ H = CP
Ft Kv Ko Km bd P I


C P = 0.564 1 1− v EP I=
2 p


2 1 − vg


sin φ cos φ R 2 R +1

Table 15.4a (p. 621)


Table 15.4b (p. 621)

Surface fatigue strength compared with stress (15.24) is: SH = Sfe CLiCR (15.25)

Table 15.5 (p. 624) Surface Fatigue Strength Sfe, for Use with Metallic Spur Gears (107-Cycle Life, 99 Percent Reliability, Temperature < 250°F)

Figure 15.27 (p. 624)
Values of CLi for steel gears (general shape of surface fatigue S-N curve).


Table 15.6 (p. 625)
Reliability Factor CR.






15.13 Gear Trains The speed ratio (or gear ratio of a single pair of external spur gear is:
dg Np ωp np = =− =− ωg ng dp Ng


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.

Figure 15.29 (p. 633)
Double-reduction gear train.

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:
d g1 ⎛ d g 2 ⎞ d d N N ω a ω a ωb ⎜− ⎟ = + g1 g 2 = g1 g 2 = =− ω c ωbω c d p1 ⎜ d p 2 ⎟ d p1 d p 2 N p1 N p 2 ⎝ ⎠


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.

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.

Figure 15.30 (p. 633)
Typical planetary gear train.

Three methods for planetary gear ratios: 1. Free-body force analysis. From Fig. 15.31 of three exploded three components: Arm radius is
S + P S + ( R / 2 − S / 2) R + S = = 2 2 4

Let input torque T applied to the ring, we place loads on each of the members to put them in equilibrium:
ωi To S = = 1+ ωo Ti R


2. Velocity vector analysis. From Fig. 15.32 considering S is fixed, V is zero. This leads to Eqa. (i). 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

ωX ωX − ωA = ωY ωY − ω A



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.

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


Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful