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Technical Brief

Worm Gear Drives With Adjustable Backlash

[+] Author and Article Information
Wojciech Kacalak

Professor
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering,
Koszalin University of Technology,
Koszalin 75-620, Poland
e-mail: wojciech.kacalak@tu.koszalin.pl

Maciej Majewski

Associate Professor
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering,
Koszalin University of Technology,
Koszalin 75-620, Poland
e-mail: maciej.majewski@tu.koszalin.pl

Zbigniew Budniak

Assistant Professor
Faculty of Mechanical Engineering,
Koszalin University of Technology,
Koszalin 75-620, Poland
e-mail: zbigniew.budniak@tu.koszalin.pl

1Corresponding author.

Manuscript received November 18, 2014; final manuscript received March 15, 2015; published online August 18, 2015. Assoc. Editor: James Schmiedeler.

J. Mechanisms Robotics 8(1), 014504 (Aug 18, 2015) (7 pages) Paper No: JMR-14-1323; doi: 10.1115/1.4030164 History: Received November 18, 2014

This article presents the design of patented worm gear drives, which allow backlash adjustment or elimination by using specially designed worms and worm wheels. Many of the presented solutions allow backlash adjustment without disassembling the drive. The proposed solutions allow reduction of both backlash and its standard deviation to as little as 7.5% and 5% of their initial values, respectively. The presented solutions are a good alternative to harmonic drives and conventional precise drives, which are currently in use. The presented drives can successfully find their application in mechanisms for precise positioning of test benches, as well as in precise technological equipment, technological instrumentation, and in the case of miniaturization—in mechanisms resistant to severe working conditions.

FIGURES IN THIS ARTICLE
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Copyright © 2016 by ASME
Topics: Worm gears
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References

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Figures

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 1

The designed adaptive worm wheel solutions: (a) with cut-outs and (b) with a joining wall

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Fig. 2

The design of a worm wheel with its rim split with a circumferential cut-out: (a) bare worm wheel and (b) fully assembled worm wheel

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Fig. 3

The design of a worm wheel, one part of which has an adaptive rim: 1—rim, 2—worm wheel's circumferential cut-out, 3—circumferential narrowing of the worm wheel's cross section, 4—narrowing concentric to the worm wheel's shaft hole, 5—pressure element, 6—worm wheel's hub, 7—a screw, 8—a nut, 9—pressure ring's circumferential cut-out, 10—conical pressure area, and 11—a washer

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Fig. 4

The design of a worm gear drive with worm wheel's teeth situated on a thin-walled sleeve: 1—teeth, 2—shaft, 3—thin-walled sleeve, 4—bearing, 5—worm, 6—thin-walled sleeve's bottom wall, 7—collar, 8—case, 9—eccentric pressure mechanism, 10—screw, 11—circumferentially prolonged holes, and 12—hook spanner hole [18]

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Fig. 5

A photorealistic rendering of the worm gear drive with worm wheel's teeth situated on a thin-walled sleeve [18]

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Fig. 6

The design of the worm gear drive with a locally axially adaptive worm: 1—worm, 2—worm wheel's rim, 3—arbor, 4—pressure nut, 5—housing, 6—fitted worm situation surface, 7—screw cuts, and 8—worm wheel

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Fig. 7

A photorealistic rendering of the worm gear drive with a locally axially adaptive worm

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Fig. 8

The modified outline of the locally axially adaptive worm's tooth, where Rc—the tooth curvature's radius, Rm—the modified curvature radius, R = Rc or R = Rm, Rm < Rc, vs—peripheral speed of the grinding wheel, vw—peripheral speed of the workpiece (of the worm), and fa—axial feed rate of the worm

Grahic Jump Location
Fig. 9

A diagram illustrating backlash reduction as a result of worm axial contraction in a worm gear drive with a locally axially adaptive worm, where (a) state of drive defined as initial, (b) boundary contraction, and (c) full contraction

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Fig. 10

The decrease of axial pitch along the worm's thread for different amounts of compression ΔB [25]

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Fig. 11

A chart presenting the dependency between backlash and angular position of the worm wheel with different drive's adjustments (amounts of axial compression) [25]

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