A Deep Dive into Epicyclic Gearboxes
Epicyclic, or planetary gearboxes, operate on an intricate system of gears. The design is inspired by the solar system, hence the term ‘planetary’ gearbox. Multiple spur gears, evenly distributed around a central gear, operate between a gear with internal teeth and a gear with external teeth on a concentric orbit. This unique operation is analogous to the orbiting of the planets around the sun, hence the name.
Main Components of an Epicyclic Gearbox
A typical epicyclic gear train can be broken down into four main components.
- The housing with integrated internal teeth is known as a ring gear. In most cases, the housing is stationary.
- The sun pinion is found in the center of the ring gear and is arranged coaxially to the output.
- The planetary gears, mounted on a planetary carrier, roll between the sun pinion and the ring gear during operation.
- The planetary carrier also forms the output shaft of the gearbox.
Efficiency and Functionality of Epicyclic Gearboxes
The purpose of the planetary gears is to transfer the required torque. Interestingly, the number of teeth doesn’t affect the transmission ratio of the gearbox. However, increasing the number of planetary gears enhances the distribution of the load and consequently the torque that can be transmitted. This unique load distribution capability is a distinctive advantage of a planetary gear compared to a single spur gear. Therefore, high torques can be transmitted with high efficiency in a compact design using a planetary gearbox.
Modifying Ratios in Epicyclic Gearboxes
As long as the ring gear has a constant size, different ratios can be achieved by altering the number of teeth of the sun gear and the number of teeth of the planetary gears. The smaller the sun gear, the higher the ratio. Technically, a meaningful ratio range for a planetary stage is approximately 3:1 to 10:1. Larger ratios can be obtained by connecting multiple planetary stages in series within the same ring gear. In this scenario, the gearbox is referred to as a multi-stage gearbox.
Adapting Epicyclic Gearboxes for Various Applications
With planetary gearboxes, the speeds and torques can be overlaid by having a ring gear that is not fixed but is driven in any direction of rotation. It is also possible to fix the drive shaft to pick up the torque via the ring gear. With their compact design and high efficiency, planetary gearboxes have become crucial in many areas of mechanical engineering. They are especially prominent in applications where high output levels and fast speeds must be transmitted with a favorable mass inertia ratio adaptation.
Advantages of Using WLY Epicyclic Gearboxes
At WLY, we offer an automatic type of epicyclic gearbox where parallel shafts and gear sets from manual gearboxes are replaced with an efficient sun and planetary type of gear arrangement. Our gearboxes are designed to be compact and efficient, making them ideal for various industrial applications.
Our gearboxes feature Parking, Neutral, Reverse, Drive, Sport (P N R D S) modes, obtained by fixing of sun and planetary gears according to the drive’s requirements. They are not only suitable for a wide range of applications but also provide a high efficiency due to low rolling power and nearly unlimited transmission ratio options.
At WLY, we pride ourselves on offering top-quality gearboxes at competitive prices. Our products are backed by exceptional service, ensuring that our customers receive the best value for their investment. We encourage you to explore our extensive range of products and experience the difference that WLY quality can make.
Common Questions about WLY Epicyclic Gearboxes
1. What is the purpose of the planetary gears in an epicyclic gearbox?
The primary function of the planetary gears is to transfer the required torque. They roll between the sun pinion and the ring gear during operation, allowing the gearbox to transmit high torques with high efficiency.
2. How can the transmission ratio of an epicyclic gearbox be changed?
The transmission ratio can be modified by altering the number of teeth of the sun gear and the planetary gears. The smaller the sun gear, the higher the ratio. Larger ratios can be achieved by connecting multiple planetary stages in series within the same ring gear.
3. What makes WLY epicyclic gearboxes stand out?
WLY epicyclic gearboxes are designed to be compact and highly efficient. They offer high output levels and fast speeds, making them ideal for a wide range of industrial applications. In addition, WLY provides top-quality products at competitive prices, backed by exceptional service.