Gear, our top priority is the satisfaction and convenience of our clients.
Whether we're providing you with custom gears, broaching, hobbing, CNC milling and
turning or any of our other services, we focus on every little detail of the
process to ensure you get the highest-quality materials for your next project.
comes to gear manufacturing, one of our specialties, one of the top
considerations we keep in mind is the potential for backlash. Too much or too
little backlash can be an issue in many gear systems, but we have several
techniques available that will help ensure the proper backlash is both achieved
and optimized during any gear-related process. Let's go over the basics of what
backlash refers to and the purpose it can serve in some gear systems, plus a
simple primer on how we handle backlash within our various systems.
backlash is actually something that occurs in every gear system to some degree
or another. The term may actually be used to refer to a couple different
- An error in gear motion where two or
more gears are moving simultaneously when they shouldn't be.
- The small spaces located between gears,
spaces that are often responsible for the error in motion described above.
As we noted,
backlash is common in all gear systems. It's potentially most risky, however,
in systems that have reverse-direction gears. The more backlash found in gear
systems, the more "slop" takes place when the system reverses.
Non-Backlash Systems -
it should be possible to make a gear system, even one where gears reverse, that
contains no backlash at all. This would require complete perfection in
manufacturing, with no lubricant used and no thermal expansion or retraction
whatsoever taking place.
just isn't realistic given modern manufacturing capabilities. This kind of
perfection really isn't possible, despite great levels of precision we and
other gear manufacturers can achieve. Instead, the industry-wide focus in this
area has long been minimizing - or optimizing, in some cases - backlash within
a gear system.
applications, backlash isn't significant and doesn't need to be mitigated. In
others, though, there are a couple techniques that can be used to minimize or
- Splitting gears: In some
applications, you can split gears on a perpendicular plane to the axes, then
use springs along with each half to bring additional torque to the system.
- Taper teeth: In other areas, you
might consider tapering gear teeth in the axial direction, then letting the
gear slide in that same direction to provide some slack to the system, thereby
minimizing the impact of backlash.
For more on
gear backlash and how to deal with it, or to learn about any of our custom gear
manufacturer services, speak to the staff at Butler Gear today.