Cam design

A cam is a rotating machine element which gives reciprocating or oscillating motion to another element known as follower. The cam and the follower have a line contact and constitute a higher pair. The cams are usually rotated at uniform speed by a shaft, but the follower motion is predetermined and will be according to the shape of the cam.

Classification of Followers
1. According to the surface in contact (a) Knife edge follower: When the contacting end of the follower has a sharp knife edge, it is called a knife edge follower, as shown in Fig. 20.1 (a) Disadvantage: excessive wear (b) Roller follower: When the contacting end of the follower is a roller, it is called a roller follower, as shown in Fig. 20.1 (b). Advantage: Since the rolling motion takes place between the contacting surfaces (i.e. the roller and the cam), therefore the rate of wear is greatly reduced. (c) Flat faced or mushroom follower: When the contacting end of the follower is a perfectly flat face, it is called a flatfaced follower, as shown in Fig. 20.1 (c). Advantage: It may be noted that the side thrust between the follower and the guide is much reduced in case of flat faced followers. The only side thrust is due to friction between the contact surfaces of the follower

(d) Spherical faced follower: When the contacting end of the follower is of spherical shape, it is called a spherical faced follower, as shown in Fig. 20.1 (d). It may be noted that when a flat-faced follower is used in automobile engines, high surface stresses are produced. Advantage: In order to minimize these stresses, the flat end of the follower is machined to a spherical shape.

as shown in Fig. According to the motion of the follower. 3. are all radial followers. two types: (a) Radial follower. is an off-set follower. is an oscillating or rotating follower. two types: (a) Reciprocating or translating follower.1 (a) to (d) are all reciprocating or translating followers. (b) Off-set follower as shown in Fig. .1 (e).1 ( f ).2. as shown in Fig 20. According to the path of motion of the follower. 20.1 (a) to (e). 20. as shown in Fig. 20. (b) Oscillating or rotating follower.

Base circle.Terms used in CAM Fig. The following terms are important in order to draw the cam profile. 1. .3 shows a radial cam with reciprocating roller follower. It is the smallest circle that can be drawn to the cam profile. 20.

For a knife edge and a flat face follower. 7. It is the curve generated by the trace point as the follower moves relative to the cam. the pitch curve and the cam profile are same whereas for a roller follower. It is a reference point on the follower and is used to generate the pitch curve. a reciprocating follower will jam in its bearings. 4. This angle is very important in designing a cam profile. It is the maximum travel of the follower from its lowest position to the top-most position. For a roller follower. Prime circle. Pitch point. It is the smallest circle that can be drawn from the center of the cam and tangent to the pitch curve. Lift or stroke. It is a point on the pitch curve having the maximum pressure angle. the prime circle is larger than the base circle by the radius of the roller. It is the angle between the direction of the follower motion and a normal to the pitch curve. 6. In a roller follower. 3. the prime circle and the base circle are identical. Pitch circle. they are separated by the radius of the roller. 5. It is a circle drawn from the center of the cam through the pitch points. If the pressure angle is too large. In case of knife edge follower. . Pitch curve. the center of the roller represents the trace point.2. the knife edge represents the trace point and the pitch curve corresponds to the cam profile. Pressure angle. Trace point. 8. For a knife edge follower.

may have one of the following motions. and 4. Simple harmonic motion. Cycloidal motion.Motion of the Follower The follower. Uniform acceleration and retardation. Uniform velocity. . 3. 2. 1. during its travel.

The ordinate represents the displacement. Displacement. . AB1 and C1D must be straight lines. therefore the slope of the displacement curves must be constant. Velocity and Acceleration Diagrams Follower Moves with Uniform Velocity The abscissa (base) represents the time or it may represent the angular displacement of the cam in degrees.1. Since the follower moves with uniform velocity during its rise and return stroke. In other words. or velocity or acceleration of the follower.

This is only possible if the acceleration or retardation at the beginning and at the end of each stroke is infinite. By doing so. This may be done by rounding off the sharp corners of the displacement diagram at the beginning and at the end of each stroke. Figure: Camshaft of an IC engine . as shown in Fig.Acceleration is infinity due to the fact that the follower is required to start from rest and has to gain a velocity within no time. the velocity of the follower increases gradually to its maximum value at the beginning of each stroke and decreases gradually to zero at the end of each stroke as shown in Fig.5 (b). it is necessary to modify the conditions which govern the motion of the follower.5 (a). In order to have the acceleration and retardation within the finite limits. 20. 20.

6 (a). 20. Divide the semi-circle into any number of even equal parts (say eight). velocity and acceleration diagrams when the follower moves with simple harmonic motion are shown in Fig. 3. 20. 4. 2. The displacement diagram is drawn as follows : 1.Displacement. The displacement diagram is obtained by projecting the points as shown in Fig. Velocity and Acceleration diagram (Follower in SHM) The displacement. . Divide the angular displacements of the cam during out stroke and return stroke into the same number of equal parts. Draw a semi-circle on the follower stroke as diameter.6 (a). (b) and (c) respectively.

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We see from Fig.6 (b) and (c) respectively.6 (b) that the velocity of the follower is zero at the beginning and at the end of its stroke and increases gradually to a maximum at mid-stroke. On the other hand.The velocity and acceleration diagrams are shown in Fig. the acceleration of the follower is maximum at the beginning and at the ends of the stroke and diminishes to zero at mid-stroke. 20. . therefore velocity diagram consists of a sine curve and the acceleration diagram is a cosine curve. 20. Since the follower moves with a simple harmonic motion.

ω = angular velocity t = S/V .

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8 (a). (b) and (c) respectively.Displacement. 20. velocity and acceleration diagrams when the follower moves with uniform acceleration and retardation are shown in Fig. Velocity and Acceleration diagram (Follower in uniform acceleration) The displacement. We see that the displacement diagram consists of a parabolic curve and may be drawn as discussed below : .

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V0 = max velocity .

. i. the principle of kinematic inversion is used.e.Construction of Cam profile for a radial cam In constructing the cam profile. the cam is imagined to be stationary and the follower is allowed to rotate in the opposite direction to the cam rotation.

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A symmetrical circular arc cam operating a flat-faced follower is shown in Fig. 20. then the cam is known as circular arc cam. EF and GH are two circular flanks whose centres lie at P and P′ respectively . in which O and Q are the centres of cam and nose respectively.44.Circular Arc Cam with Flat-faced Follower When the flanks of the cam connecting the base circle and nose are of convex circular arcs.

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When the flat face of the follower has contact on the circular flank. . velocity and acceleration of the follower for the above two cases.We shall consider the following two cases : 1. and 2. In deriving the expressions for displacement. When the flat face of the follower has contact on the nose. it is assumed that the cam is fixed and the follower rotates in the opposite sense to that of the cam.

When the cam turns through an angle θ (less than φ ) relative to the follower. such that flat face of the follower is perpendicular to PC. . draw OD perpendicular to PC. therefore OB is parallel to PC. Since OB is perpendicular to BC. From O. at the junction of the circular flank and base circle).e. the contact of the flat face of the follower will shift from E to C on the circular flank.When the flat face of the follower has contact on the circular flank the flat face of the follower has contact at E (i.

From the geometry of the figure. (i) We know that CD=PC−PD=PE−OP cosθ =OP+OE−OPcosθ =OE+OP (1−cosθ) . . the displacement or lift of the follower (x) at any instant for contact on the circular flank. . is given by X = CD−EO .

e. . when θ = 0 ). we see that at the beginning of the ascent (i. The acceleration will be minimum when θ = φ .e. the velocity is zero (because sin 0 = 0 ) and it increases as θ increases. From the above expression. Therefore maximum velocity of the follower. The velocity will be maximum when θ = φ . i. when θ = 0 ). when the contact of the follower just shifts from circular flank to circular nose.e. we see that at the beginning of the ascent (i. the acceleration is maximum (because cos 0 = 1 ) and it decreases as θ increases.From the above expression.

45. In this case.When the flat face of the follower has contact on the nose The flat face of the follower having contact on the nose at C is shown in Fig. 20. The centre of curvature of the nose lies at Q. the displacement or lift of the follower at any instant when the cam has turned through an angle θ (greater than φ ) is given by .

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Quiz # 1 Monday (30/09/2013) Point: 10 Time: 15 min Syllabus: 1. Basic concepts 2. Degree of freedom 5. Cams . Structure of mechanics 3. Kinematic pairs 4.

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