AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 0056B ACCREDITED

How do Worm Gears work?

Across many industry verticals, gears are required to increase speed, decrease torque, and perform other similar operations when transmitting mechanical energy across a system. Both helical gears and worm gears are popular spiral gears that work with toothed wheels; however, a worm gear is slightly simpler in design than its counterpart. In fact, helical gears have conventionally been a superior alternative to worm gears, but recent developments have changed this by reducing the efficiency gap and introducing a competitive advantage. For your better knowledge, this blog will take a closer look at the working principles of worm gears and applications that would benefit from including one.

Starting with the basics, it is important to understand what a worm gear is. At its most basic, a worm gear is a shaft with a spiral engaged with a toothed wheel, and the use of the shaft is what differentiates worm gears from helical gears. While helical gears are circular components that roll with the accompanying wheel, worm gears allow the wheel to roll along the rotating shaft. Considered one of the six simple machines, a worm gear is fundamentally a screw butted up in front of a wheel that looks like a normal spur gear with slightly curved and angled teeth. In general, the wheel is made of brass, while the worm is made of steel. Using an electric engine or a motor for rotational energy, the worm spins and pushes the wheel by pushing on its teeth.

With modern advancements, there are a few key applications in which one should procure a worm gear over a helical gear. Firstly, worm gears offer a great reduction ratio; in other words, speed can easily be decreased and torque can easily be increased with small effort and little room for error. Secondly, worm gears can not switch power directions, meaning the wheel can never drive the worm. This is good for ensuring proper functioning. Lastly, other gears include more parts like backstops that further complicate their designs, while worm gears are simple by comparison.

The major drawback of a worm gear is that it is difficult to lubricate. Since the teeth of the wheel slide, rather than roll, against the worm, it is difficult to locate a lubricant with high enough viscosity for the job. With a worm gear, the sliding output is the only transfer of energy. As the worm moves across the wheel tooth, it slowly wears out the lubricant layer until there is no lubricant layer left, resulting in the worm wearing away at the metal of the wheel in a boundary lubrication section. All things considered, there are many places a worm box may be used. Examples include mining, manufacturing, and small machinery, among many others. Worm gears also offer the advantages of being quiet, providing quick stops without back driving, and facilitating shock absorption.

For highly accurate and powerful gear, you may consider procuring a worm gearbox, that of which includes the worm gear and a base for containing all parts. These are axial-offset gearboxes that work with low shock sensitivity and low noise pollution, and they are available as different sets of wheel and gear configurations by material. For example, some worm gearboxes include a steel worm and steel wheel, while others use strictly brass or combine different materials. Regardless of your specific applications, it is important to procure only top-quality worm gears from trusted distributors.

At Fastener Orbit, you can feel rest assured that all worm gearboxes, compressors, drives, and other relative parts you require are of top quality. Owned and operated by ASAP Semiconductor, we are proudly an AS9120B, ISO 9001:2015, and FAA AC 00-56B accredited distributor with a strict NO CHINA SOURCING policy, meaning all items in our inventory are vetted for fit and function. With an utmost dedication to quality, we further guarantee rapid lead times and competitive cost savings on all products, and we offer our services around the clock. To receive a competitive quote for any item that piques your interest, simply submit a Request for Quote (RFQ) form with as much relevant detail as possible; we will provide you with a response in15 minutes or less! To learn more, you may reach us at any time via phone or email.


February 19, 2023

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