Typically, modeling software provides a set of signal blocks or components that take basic properties into account. For dynamic modeling purposes, this approach might suffice; however, for highly complex models, having the ability to take the geometric properties of the components into account results in higher fidelity models. In the case of systems with gears, models that include the geometric properties of the gears, how the gear teeth interact with each other, and how those effects are transmitted to other components in the model will accurately predict rotational speed, power loss, and dynamic behavior of the gear. The result is a model which more accurately reflects the actual system.
Two typical gear sets used in several applications are worm drives and rack and pinion.
A worm drive is an arrangement of gears consisting of a worm and worm wheel. The worm has only one tooth wrapped continuously around its circumference, much like a thread on a screw. The worm is meshed with a worm-gear or worm-wheel, whose axis is perpendicular to that of the worm. Worm drives are a simple and compact way to achieve a high torque, low speed gear ratio.
Rack and Pinion
A rack and pinion is a type of linear actuator that is used to convert rotary motion to linear motion and vice versa. A circular gear, or “pinion”, engages teeth on a linear gear bar, or “rack.” An example of its use is in rack-and-pinion steering in automobiles. The pinion is attached to the bottom end of the steering column and turns with the steering wheel. The rack meshes with the pinion and is free to move left and right in response to the angular input at the steering wheel.
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