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School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering


Full Laboratory Report:

Gear Train Experiment


Name: Morgan Mooney
Student ID: 15343946
Group No. 16
Module MM203
Date Attended 04/10/16
Report Date 07/10/16

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Introduction

A gear train is a system of gears that transmits motion from one shaft to another. Simplistic
configurable arrangements will be used to gain experience with these systems and the calculations
associated with them. Then will progress to do calculations of gear ratios for epicyclic gear systems.

Simple gear trains were firstly assembled in order to gain a good understanding of what a train gear
was and how to do calculations associated with them. This system consisted of two spur gears
mounted on a frame with the teeth of the gears interlocking so when one of the gears were turned
the other would turn in the opposite direction. The results of this experiment was dependent on the
number of teeth on the gears being used and this was what determined the rotation ratio and the
amount of revolutions the gears did.

The compound gear train consists of a system that has four or more gears in which two gears rotate
together on one shaft. In the experiment, two different arrangements of the gears where arranged
with four gears and two gears together on one shaft in the centre. The rotation ratio and the
amount of rotations that each gear did, depended on the arrangement of the gears and the number
of teeth per gear.

The epicyclic gear system was used in the final section of the experiment. Epicyclic gear systems
consists of two gears which are mounted so that the centre of one gear rotate around the centre of
the other. The two gears are connected in the centre by a carrier. The carrier rotates in order to
carry one gear (‘planet gear’) around the other (‘sun gear’). The results of this experiment was
dependant on the link and the direction in which the system was rotated.

These systems (epicyclic gear systems) are used when a large change in speed or power is needed
across a small distance. They have a large variety of applications including: clocks, car mirrors, toys,
gearhead motors, tractors.

There are many advantages to using these systems [1] including their compact size and low weight,
their high accuracy, high efficiency and their co-axial arrangement. These are some of the reasons
that these systems are so popular to use in engineering. However, they also have their
disadvantages too; they can be quite noisy, they are mainly grease lubricated and high bearing loads
can lead can lead to early wear in dead stud or sleeve bearing construction and thus can be difficult
in some applications.

Aims
The aims of this experiment are:

 To calculate accurately the module of the gears supplied, and from that decide whether the
gears are metric or imperial.
 Another aim is to determine whether or not there is a relationship between the tooth ratio
and the rotation ratio for both simple gear trains and compound gear trains
 The aim of the last step of the experiment was to prove that the ratio between the link and
other components of an epicyclic gear system can be found using the 3 step approach.
 The final aim of the experiment was to investigate whether or not the equipment and
procedure for this experiment are capable of meeting the other aims in this experiment.

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Theory
The first procedure carried out in this experiment is the inspection of each of the four gears. The
module (in mm) of each gear is found using the following equation.

𝑃𝑖𝑡𝑐ℎ 𝐶𝑖𝑟𝑐𝑙𝑒 𝐷𝑖𝑎𝑚𝑒𝑡𝑒𝑟 𝑜𝑓 𝐺𝑒𝑎𝑟


𝑀𝑜𝑑𝑢𝑙𝑒 =
𝑁𝑢𝑚𝑏𝑒𝑟 𝑂𝑓 𝑇𝑒𝑒𝑡ℎ 𝑜𝑓 𝐺𝑒𝑎𝑟

The module of the gears is used to determine whether they are metric or imperial gears.

Using the gear train apparatus provided, the next step of the experiment is to construct a simple
gear train using any two of the four gears. Once they are secured with wingnuts and there is good
meshing (using spacers and washers) between the gear and the pinion on the apparatus, the gear is
rotated for one revolution anti-clockwise. The direction and number revolutions of the pinion are
noted. This step was repeated for the other two gears.
By simplifying the Tooth ratio, the Rotation ratio can be found.

This is also known as the Gear ratio. [2]

𝑇𝑒𝑒𝑡ℎ 𝑜𝑓 𝑔𝑒𝑎𝑟
𝑇𝑜𝑜𝑡ℎ 𝑟𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜 =
𝑇𝑒𝑒𝑡ℎ 𝑜𝑓 𝑃𝑖𝑛𝑖𝑜𝑛

Using the last two gears from the last test, another gear is inserted between the two as an idler gear.
A good meshing is ensured and the meshing points between the idler, gear and pinion is marked.
The gear is turned for one revolution anti-clockwise and the direction and rotation of the idler and
pinion are recorded. This is then repeated for the remaining gear.
Using the same formula as before, the Gear ratio is then calculated.

Following this, a compound gear train is set up. This system refers to a gear system where at least
two gears rotate together on the same shaft. For the first test, the two smaller gears are fixed
together with the smallest one on top to form the idler. The meshing is marked for both the input
and output gears. The input gear is rotated through one anti-clockwise revolution and the direction
and number of revolutions is noted for the other gears.
After this, the central compound idler is configured so that the larger gear is on top of the smaller
one. The input gear is rotated again and the previous observations repeated. The gear ratio for the
whole system is given using the formula. [2]

(𝐼𝑛𝑝𝑢𝑡 𝑔𝑒𝑎𝑟)(𝐿𝑜𝑤𝑒𝑟 𝑔𝑒𝑎𝑟 𝑜𝑓 𝑐𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑟𝑎𝑙 𝑖𝑑𝑙𝑒𝑟)


𝐺𝑒𝑎𝑟 𝑟𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜 =
(𝑃𝑖𝑛𝑖𝑜𝑛)(𝑈𝑝𝑝𝑒𝑟 𝑔𝑒𝑎𝑟 𝑜𝑓 𝑐𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑟𝑎𝑙 𝑖𝑑𝑙𝑒𝑟)

Subsequently, the epicyclical gear system is analysed. This gear system consists of three gears – sun
gear, ring gear, planet gear and a carrier called a link. A mechanism behind the gear system allows
certain parts to be locked, whether it be the ring, the link or the sun. There are three possible
combinations of locking, ring lock (Sun and Link move), link lock (Sun and Ring move) and sun lock
(Ring and Link move). In this experiment, the number of teeth on the sun, ring and planet gears are
all counted before commencing. The direction of rotation of each gear is noted with the sun locked.

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The meshing between the sun, planet and ring gears are marked. The system is then rotated one
whole revolution anti-clockwise, recording the number of revolutions of the planet and ring gears
and the link. The link is then fixed and the gears are rotated clockwise one revolution noting the
number of revolutions of the ring, sun and planet gears.
The Gear ratio for the sun and the link is then calculated by adding the two previous results
together.
[3]

Measurements and Calculations


Initial inspection:

Using a Verniers callipers, measure the diameter of each of the gears, and count the number of
teeth on each gear. Then by dividing the diameter by the number of teeth you can find the modulus
for each of the gears.

𝑃𝑖𝑡𝑐ℎ 𝐶𝑖𝑟𝑐𝑙𝑒 𝐷𝑖𝑎𝑚𝑒𝑡𝑒𝑟 𝑜𝑓 𝐺𝑒𝑎𝑟


𝑀𝑜𝑑𝑢𝑙𝑒 =
𝑁𝑢𝑚𝑏𝑒𝑟 𝑂𝑓 𝑇𝑒𝑒𝑡ℎ 𝑜𝑓 𝐺𝑒𝑎𝑟

Gear no. Diameter (mm) No. of Teeth Module (mm)


1 78.91 100 0.7891
2 64.76 80 0.8095
3 49.23 60 0.8205
4 33.14 40 0.8285

After comparing the modulus of each of the gears to the information in the tables about metric and
imperial gear sizes, it was deduced that all the gears were metric.

Simple Gear Train – Part 1:

Select any two gears and fix them to the arm using the pivots provided, mark the mesh point on
both gears. Then rotate the gear anticlockwise one revolution while counting the number of
revolutions and the direction of the pinion. Repeat the process for the other set of remaining gears
again noting the relevant information. Use the appropriate formulas to calculate tooth ratio and
gear ratio.

𝑇𝑒𝑒𝑡ℎ 𝑜𝑓 𝑔𝑒𝑎𝑟
𝑇𝑜𝑜𝑡ℎ 𝑟𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜 =
𝑇𝑒𝑒𝑡ℎ 𝑜𝑓 𝑃𝑖𝑛𝑖𝑜𝑛

𝐺𝑒𝑎𝑟 𝑟𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜 = 𝑅𝑜𝑡𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑟𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜 = 𝑇𝑜𝑜𝑡ℎ 𝑟𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜


Assy Teeth Teeth Gear Rotation Pinion Rotation Tooth Ratio Rotation
gear Pinion Dir Revs Dir Revs Ratio
1 80 60 Anti- 1 Clock 1 1/3 80/60=4/3 4/3
Clock Wise
2 100 40 Anti- 1 Clock 2½ 100/40=5/2 5/2
Clock Wise

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Simple Gear Train – Part 2:

Using the last pair of gears from part 1, insert a third gear as an ‘idler’ between the two gears and
ensure there is a good meshing between the gears, mark the mesh points and rotate the gear once
anticlockwise. Count the rotations of the final gear and pinion, replace the idler with the remaining
gear and repeat the experiment. Use the appropriate formulas to calculate tooth ratio and gear
ratio.

𝑇𝑒𝑒𝑡ℎ 𝑜𝑓 𝑔𝑒𝑎𝑟
𝑇𝑜𝑜𝑡ℎ 𝑟𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜 =
𝑇𝑒𝑒𝑡ℎ 𝑜𝑓 𝑃𝑖𝑛𝑖𝑜𝑛

𝐺𝑒𝑎𝑟 𝑟𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜 = 𝑅𝑜𝑡𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜𝑛 𝑟𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜 = 𝑇𝑜𝑜𝑡ℎ 𝑟𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜

Assembly Teeth Teeth Teeth Gear Idler Pinion Tooth Rotation


gear pinion final gear Dir Rev Dir Rev Dir Rev Ratio Ratio
1 100 60 40 Anti- 1 Clock 7/3 Anti- 5/2 5/2 5/2
Clock Wise Clock
2 100 80 40 Anti- 1 Clock 5/3 Anti- 5/2 5/2 5/2
Clock Wise Clock

Compound Gear Train:

Adjust the gears from the previous experiment so that the idler is now replaced with the two smaller
gears joined together with a central pin, these two joined gears will now form the idler, which will be
placed between the fear and pinion. Place the idler such that the smaller gear is uppermost first,
rotate the input gear one revolution anticlockwise, as before note the direction and number of
rotations of the other gears. Rearrange the idler so that the larger gear is the uppermost and repeat
the experiment, once more recording the results. Determine the gear ratios between the input and
output gears from these observations.

(𝐼𝑛𝑝𝑢𝑡 𝑔𝑒𝑎𝑟)(𝐿𝑜𝑤𝑒𝑟 𝑔𝑒𝑎𝑟 𝑜𝑓 𝑐𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑟𝑎𝑙 𝑖𝑑𝑙𝑒𝑟)


𝐺𝑒𝑎𝑟 𝑟𝑎𝑡𝑖𝑜 =
(𝑃𝑖𝑛𝑖𝑜𝑛)(𝑈𝑝𝑝𝑒𝑟 𝑔𝑒𝑎𝑟 𝑜𝑓 𝑐𝑒𝑛𝑡𝑟𝑎𝑙 𝑖𝑑𝑙𝑒𝑟)

Assem Tooth ratio Tooth ratio Gear Compound Pinion Rev Ratio
bly Input:Compound Compound:Output Dir Rev Dir Rev Dir Rev Input:Output
1 100/40 60/80 Anti- 1 Clock 5/2 Anti- 15/8 10/3
Clock Wise Clock
2 100/60 40/80 Anti- 1 Clock 5/3 Anti- 2/3 10/3
Clock Wise Clock

Epicyclic Gear System:

Count the number of teeth on the ring, planet, and sun gears, rotate the whole system one
revolution anticlockwise and observe the direction and number of rotations of each of the gears.
Then fix the link and rotate the fixed gear one revolution clockwise, again observe the direction and

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the number of rotations of each of the gears. Finally add the results to find the gear ratio between
the ring and the link

Procedure Sun Planet Ring Link


Rotate system 1 rev 1 3/2 0 1/3
anticlockwise
Fix Link and rotate -1 9/4 ½ 0
sun gear 1 rev
clockwise
Sum steps 1 & 2 0 24/7 ½ 1/3

Gear ratio between the ring and link is ½ :1/3

Discussion
From the results in the first section of the experiment it is possible to calculate the modulus of the
gears and from the calculations determine whether the gears were metric or imperial. In the case of
the gears used in this experiment, the gears were metric.

From the second experiment it was proven that the tooth ratio and the rotation ratio are the same
when there is no idler used. The direction of rotation of the pinion is always opposite to that of the
gear. For the second part off the experiment upon insertion of the idler, it can be seen that, the idler
then allows the pinion to rotate in the same direction as the gear. Once again it is observed that the
tooth ratio and the rotation ratio is the same even after the addition of the idler. It is observed that
even after altering the size of the idler the rotation ratio remains unchanged.

For the experiment involving the use of the compound gears it is observed, that the compound gear
changes the rotation ratio and also the speed of the pinion. The changing of the compound gear
changes the number of rotations of the pinion. In the case of this experiment the larger the number
of teeth (ie. the teeth ratio) the larger the number of rotations of the pinion.

For the final experiment involving the Epicyclic gear system it was found that even when link was
fixed the sun still rotated the same amount. While in the case of both the ring and the planet the
number of revolutions of both increased upon the fixing of the link.

We found that the most significant source of measurement error was when the gears didn’t
perfectly mesh together and if they weren’t perfectly aligned. We solved these problems by pinning
the gears in place and using washers to make sure all the gears lay on the same level.

Another thing that might significantly affect the experiments is the differences in terms of the model
and practical setup. This is because in the model all the gears are perfectly aligned, while in the
practical setup, washers must be used to attempt to align the gears and it might not be possible to
ensure that they are balanced due to different thickness of the gears and washers.

Conclusions
After completing this experiment it was found that the equipment and the procedure for this
experiment was capable of meeting the other aims of this experiment in terms of getting results and
calculating data.

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It was also found that there was a relationship between the tooth ratio and the rotation ratio for a
simple gear, the tooth ratio and the rotation ratio were the same even after the insertion of the
idler. While for the compound gear while there was a relationship between the tooth ratio and the
rotation ratio, they were not the same, for the compound gear it was found that as the tooth ratio
increased so too did the rotation ratio.

It was also found that the modulus of the gear could be calculated using the number of teeth and
the diameter of the gear, and from the result it was possible to calculate whether the gear was
metric or imperial.

Finally it was proven that the ratio between the link and other components of an epicyclic gear
system can be found using the 3 step approach and how the fixing of the link will have an effect on
all the readings except for the sun.

References

[1 “Bodine Electric Gearmotor Blog,” 2013. [Online]. Available:


] https://gearmotorblog.wordpress.com/2013/05/07/planetary-gearmotors/. [Accessed 06
October 2016].

[2 “Woodgears,” [Online]. Available: https://woodgears.ca/gear/ratio.html. [Accessed 5 October


] 2016].

[3 D. T. Levingstone, “MM203 Lab manual,” [Online]. Available:


] https://loop.dcu.ie/pluginfile.php/1228608/mod_resource/content/1/MM203LabManual2016.p
df. [Accessed 5 October 2016].

[4 “Woodgears,” [Online]. Available: https://woodgears.ca/gear/ratio.html. [Accessed 5 October


] 2016].

[5 “Woodgears,” [Online]. Available: https://woodgears.ca/gear/planetary.html. [Accessed 5


] October 2016].

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