Dismiss Notice
Join Physics Forums Today!
The friendliest, high quality science and math community on the planet! Everyone who loves science is here!

Need help getting started with gears

  1. Oct 30, 2013 #1
    I'm trying to design a system of two arms connected by a couple of gears. The attached picture shows the setup better than I can describe it. Note, the arms are of equal length and the gears are of equal size.

    What I'm trying to understand is how to calculate the optimal number of teeth per gear. I want them strong enough to support the intended load (say, 150 lbs puling in the direction of the blue arrow - and I do realize that the arm length matters) and to minimize machining costs, but small enough to ensure smooth operation. I'm not sure what material I'll use, but brass, aluminium, and stainless steel are all on the table.

    Can anyone point me in the right direction? I'm not looking so much for the absolute answer, but where go to start learning about how to do this sort of analysis and design.

    Thanks in advance.

    Attached Files:

  2. jcsd
  3. Nov 1, 2013 #2


    User Avatar
    Science Advisor

    Since few teeth are in contact, each must be capable of carrying the entire load.
    For involute profile gears the minimum number of teeth will be about 20.
    That will give strongest teeth.
    The strength will be a trade-off between gear diameter to gear thickness.

    Google search including the quotes for
    "This section presents a technical coverage of gear fundamentals"
    and you should find QTC Gears technical manual.
  4. Nov 2, 2013 #3
    That's a great resource. Thanks.
Share this great discussion with others via Reddit, Google+, Twitter, or Facebook