Design of Worm Gear System

1ST DRAFT (DEC. 2004) BY M. ABD-RABOU AND H. BOGIS Mech. Systems Design and Prod. Dept., King Abdulaziz University

A Procedure to Design The Worm Gear System
1. Select the center distance (a) according to the following equation:
a =750* 3 T2



Where: T2 is the applied torque on gear (in Nm) σc is gear material contact strength (in MPa). Recommended material for Gear is Bronze (Gz Cu Sn 12 DIN 17662) with σc ≈ 480 MPa 2. Select the diameter of the worm as
d1=(0.3 to 0.5) * a


3. Calculate the gear diameter as
d 2 = 2a − d1


4. Speed ratio calculation:


Z2 η Z1

Z1, Z2 are number of starts in worm and no of teeth in gear respectively. Number of starts on worm is to be selected according to Table 1. Table 1 i Z1 <5 6 5 - 10 4 10 - 15 15 - 30 3 2 >30 1

η is the efficiency of power transmission, as given in Table 2. Table 2 Z1 4 3 2 1

η 0.9 0.85 0.8 5. Select suitable module from Table 3


Table 3 module 1 1.25 1.6 2 2.5 3.15 4 5 6.3 8 10 12.5 16 20 6. Adjust the wheel diameter

d 2 =mZ 2
7. Readjust the worm pitch diameter according to Eq. 3 The circular pitch of the gear has to be equal to the axial pitch of the worm PCircular = PAxial π m=PAxial PAxial =π mZ1 8. Calculate the length of the worm L = (11 – 12) m (Worm cutting portion length) Di = d1 – 2 * 1.25 * m Do = d1 + 2 m 9. Calculate the wheel face width

F » 0.75d1 Zm tan b = 1 d1
10. Forces on the worm

(Lead angle ≈ 15o – 25o)

Ft1 =

2T1 d1 F Fa1 = t1 tan b
Ft1 tan a n sin b

Fr1 =

11. Self locking condition m ³ tan b

12. Most common materials Worm materials: • Steel 60 • Steel 70 • Alloy Steel Gear material: • Bronze (e.g. Gz Cu Sn 12 with sc = 480 MPa 13. Critical part in the system is the Wheel 14. Symbols used All dimensions are in mm

DIN 17662)

a d1 d2 T1 T2 i Z1 Z2
m b sc h

center distance between the wheel and the worm diameter of the worm diameter of the wheel torque on the worm torque on the wheel speed ratio number of starts of the worm number of teeth of the wheel coefficient of friction lead angle contact stress in wheel [MPa] [N.m] [N.m]

efficiency of power transmission length of cut portion inner diameter of worm outer diameter of worm worm module

L Di Do m

After choosing suitable worm gear set dimensions, we have to check the safety factor against both contact failure and bending breakage as following:
1. Factor of safety against contact failure(surface contact fatigue) SH

SH =

s H lim * Z h * Z N K Z E * Z P * 1000* T2 * 3A a

³ SHlim


T2 σ H lim ZE Zh ZN ZP KA
a SH lim

Applied torque on wheel in Nm Wheel contact strength in N/mm2 from Table A-1 Elasticity factor in N/mm2 from Table A-1 Life Factor depends on reducer life in working hours, according to Fig. A-1 Speed factor depends on wheel rpm (n2), according to Fig. A-2 Contact factor, according to Fig. A-3 Service factor depends on driving and driven machines and working conditions, ranges from 1 to 2.5 Center distance in mm Minimum safety factor against contact failure, ranges from 1 to 1.3

2. Factor of safety against tooth bending breakage SF

SF =

U lim * m * b2 ³ SF lim Ft 2 * K A

U lim m b2 Ft2 KA SF lim

Wheel bending fatigue strength in N/mm2 from Table A-1 Module in mm Wheel face width in mm, according to eq. A-3a,b Wheel Tangential force in N Service factor depends on driving and driven machines and working conditions, ranges from 1 to 2.5 Minimum safety factor against tooth breakage ≥ 1

b 2 » 0.45*(d1 + 4* m) for C.I. and Bronze Wheels b 2 » 0.45*(d1 + 4* m) + 1.8* m for light alloy wheels

Table A-1. Material properties for common gear material

Gear M i l


Fig. A.1 Life Factor Zh

Life factor Zh

Life in Hours

Fig. A.2 Speed Factor ZN

Fig. A.3 Contact Factor ZP

Velocity Factor ZN

Contact Factor ZP

Worm wheel speed (n2) in rpm

Worm dia./ center distance ( d1/a)