Gear Train -Uses & Types


A set of gears is employed to transmit motion from the machine’s main shaft to various revolving elements.

A combination of gears employed to transmit motion from one shaft to other(s) is called the Gear train.

A gear train is a mechanical system formed by mounting gears on a frame so the gears’ teeth engage.

Gear teeth are engineered to ensure the pitch circles of engaging gears roll on each other without slipping, providing smooth transmission of rotation from one gear to the next.

Also, read: 

What Happens When You Skip Gear In A Manual Transmission?


In other words, it’s an assembly of gears connected that changes the rotational speed of what is providing power versus what is receiving it.

Usually but not always, the gear train’s output end is slower, which also multiplies the torque (power). 

An example would be a boat trailer winch; the guy turning the hand crank runs a series of gears that slow the spool with the cable to a small fraction of the handle speed. 

It allows a slim guy to haul a ton or more of the boat up and onto its trailer; slow but powerful.

A more complex gear train exists in an old watch, where the tick-tock escapement gear is swift, but through gears is slowed to 2-3 different speeds, depending upon whether the look has a sweep second hand. 

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The other two drive the minute and hour hand, by tapping rotation speed through various gears in the train. I hope this explains something.

Why Do We Use Gear Train?

There’s a tradeoff between torque and speed. Imagine if you’re running – there’s a tradeoff between speed and endurance.

The only way to improve both is to get more fit/more muscles. Or if you’re riding a bike, you can put it in high gear to go fast, but you can’t go up hills.

If you want to go up hills, you need a higher torque at the cost of lower speed. You can’t increase both speed and torque.

The only way to increase both is to have a more powerful engine (or legs, on a bike).

You use gear trains to change the torque/speed tradeoff if you want a different ratio for your specific application.

For example, a Dremel spins fast, so you want to shift the tradeoff, so you get more speed, even though you have less torque.

Torque is kinda like force if you don’t do anything to change the end part (I.e. Bicycle wheel, Dremel bit, a car tire).

Types Of Gear Train

1.Simple gear train:

In this type, there is only one gear is mounted on each shaft.

2.Compound gear train:

In this type, two or more gears are mounted on each shaft.

3.Riveted gear train:

The compound gear train in which input and output shafts are collinear to each other.

4.Epicyclic gear train:

In this type, one gear is moving upon and around another gear.


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