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# Gears, Pulley Drives, and

Sprockets

Nanotechnology Simple
Machines

## Gears, Pulleys, & Sprockets

These three power train elements transfer
energy through rotary motion.
Change the speed of rotation
Change the direction of rotation
Change the amount of torque available to
do work

Gears
A gear train is a mechanism used for
transmitting rotary motion and torque through
interlocking teeth.
A gear train is made when two or more gears
are meshed
Driver gear causes motion
Motion is transferred to the driven gear

Gears
Mating gears always
turn in opposite
directions.
An Idler Gear allows the
driver and driven gears
to rotate in the same
direction.
Mating gears always
have the same size
teeth (diametric pitch).

Gears
The rpm of the larger gear
is always slower than the
rpm of the smaller gear.
Gears locked together on
the same shaft will always
turn in the same direction
and at the same rpm.

Gear Ratios
Variables to know
n = number of teeth
d = diameter
w = angular velocity (speed)
t = torque

## ** Subscripts in and out are used to distinguish between gears **

nin= 6
din = 2in.
win = 40rpm
40
ft-lb
t =
in

nout = 12
dout = 4in.
wout = 20rpm
t = 80 ft-lb
out

Gear Ratios
Equations to know
GR = Gear Ratio

nout
dout
GR

1
nin
din
?
1

2
1

12
6

4in.
2in.

in

out
40rpm
20rpm

out

in
80 ft lb
40 ft lb

Gear Ratios

## What is the gear ratio

between gear A and B?

nout
GR

1
nin

## What is the gear ratio

between gear B and C?

5 .42
nout
GR

12
1
1
nin

## What is the gear ratio

between gear C and D?

nout
GR

1
nin

12 .6

20 1

20 4

5 1

Gear Ratios
Idler gears dont
affect GR!
What is the TOTAL gear
train gear ratio?

0.6
0.42
4 1

1
1
1 1

nout
20 1
GR

## connected to each other, what

20 1
1
nin
would the resulting gear ratio be?
What would the total gear ratio be if the last gear had
40 teeth?
nout
GR
40 2
0.6
0.42
8 2

or
1
nin
20 1
1
1
1 1

## Example Compound Machine

Here are 3 mechanisms
in series:
#1 Wheel-axle
#2 Gear train
#3 Wheel-axle

## Gear Ratios Compound Machines

Used similarly to MA
Applies to torque instead of force

## In a compound machine, total MA and GR are

products of components

## MA used only to calculate forces, not torques.

GR used only to calculate torques, not forces.

## Example Compound Machine

Mechanism #1: Wheel-axle

## Example Compound Machine

Mechanism #2: Gear train

## Example Compound Machine

Mechanism #3: Wheel-axle

Driver

## The two middle gears share

a common axle, so they
rotate at the same speed.
This allows the final gear to
rotate slower and produce
more torque than if it were
connected only to the driver
gear.

D

B
A

C
20 T

10 T

40 T
50 T

## What is the gear ratio

between gear C and D?
GR
nout

1
nin

## What is the gear ratio

between gear A and B?
GR
nout

1
nin

40 4

10 1

50 2.5

20
1
What is the gear ratio of the entire gear train?
4
2.5
10

1
1
1

out

Equations

in

2in.

dout in out

din out in
6in.
2in.

d = diameter

30rpm
10rpm

55 ft lb
1
18 ft lb
3

= torque

60
ft-l
b

45
rpm

3in.

1.5in.
in

out

120 ft-lb

90
rp
m

## nout dout in out

nin
din out
in
22
11
n = number of teeth

3in.
1.5in.

d = diameter

90rpm 120 ft lb
45rpm 60 ft lb
= angular velocity (speed)

= torque

Because both gears use the same chain and have teeth of
the same size, you can count the number of teeth to find
the IMA, as follows.

## Shifting gears on a bicycle is a way of adjusting

the ratio of gear radii to obtain the desired IMA.
If the pedal of a bicycle is at the top or bottom of
its circle, no matter how much downward force you
exert, the pedal will not turn.

## On a multi-gear bicycle, the rider can change the

MA of the machine by choosing the size of one or
both gears.
When accelerating or climbing a hill, the rider
increases the ideal mechanical advantage to
increase the force that the wheel exerts on the

## To increase the IMA, the rider needs to make the

rear gear radius large compared to the front gear
For the same force exerted by the rider, a larger
force is exerted by the wheel on the road.
However, the rider must rotate the pedals through
more turns for each revolution of the wheel.

## On the other hand, less force is needed to ride the

bicycle at high speed on a level road.
An automobile transmission works in the same
way. To accelerate a car from rest, large forces are
needed and the transmission increases the IMA.

## At high speeds, however, the transmission reduces

the IMA because smaller forces are needed.
Even though the speedometer shows a high
speed, the tachometer indicates the engines low
angular speed.

## Comparing Pulleys and Sprockets

Pulley

Sprocket

Method of
Transmitting
Force

Belt

Chain

Quiet, no lubrication
needed, inexpensive

No slip, greater
strength