When it comes to the various techniques that are employed to make sure that gears are being produced or repaired properly and finished in the right way, one of the most important of them is called gear grinding. Here, you’re essentially creating the teeth of a gear. This is accomplished through a method called abrasion, which involves rubbing a rough surface against a piece of metal (in this case, the gear) until you get the desired result.
But what is gear grinding in a more specific sense, how is it accomplished, and what are the ultimate benefits that it brings to the table? The answers to these questions and more require you to keep a few key things in mind.
What is Gear Grinding?
At its core, gear grinding is a process that involves removing unwanted materials from components during an abrasion process. It’s notable because it is usually the final step of the gear creation process. With other techniques, those unwanted materials may be removed first. With gear grinding, the materials are removed last – making sure that you end up with a product that meets your exact specifications each and every time.
As mentioned, gear grinding works through a process called abrasion. A rough surface is rubbed against the pieces that are being worked on at high speeds, which eliminates any unwanted materials from those items. Because the types of equipment that you’re talking about are operating at such high speeds, they can remove unwanted elements very quickly – thus making it a great way to put the “finishing touches” on any gears that you’re working with before they go into steady rotation.
Methods of Gear Grinding
Depending on the nature of the project you’re talking about, gear grinding can be completed in a few different ways. They include the following methods.
This process is referred to by a few different names, including non-generating grinding. When this method is employed, a specially designed disc wheel grinds each side of the space between the teeth of the gear at the same time. The process is guided by an involute form that is attached to the wheel itself.
Here, you’re talking about a straight sided gear grinding method – which means that the gear itself moves against the abrasive tool to ultimately create the teeth, as opposed to how things are done in the form grinding method.
Once the splines have been properly formed, it’s important to note that the gear grinding process is still not complete. A polishing process follows, which is used to perfect the grinding of the gear so that it can be used as intended. Polishing is used to smooth out the “face” of the gear itself through the use of what is called a polishing wheel. It is a technique used to make sure that the face of the gear is as shiny and perfect as possible, all while removing any imperfections that might eventually impede performance along the way.
Again, which method of gear grinding that you use will ultimately come down to what you are trying to accomplish. Each brings with it a unique set of benefits and the technique you choose will also impact the cost of your finished parts. Don’t start with one or the other and hope it achieves your goals – instead, start with what you need your finished gears to do and work your way back to the method that meets or exceeds those expectations. This also underlines the importance of having a partner like Illinois Pulley & Gear by your side – we can offer recommendations based on years of experience, all so that you can rest easy knowing that your gear grinding needs are being properly taken care of.
Benefits of Gear Grinding
One of the biggest advantages of the gear grinding process has to do with the quality of the finished product. Due to the precise geometry that is often required for the types of gears that you’re talking about, gear grinding offers excellent meshing effectiveness and virtually guarantees stable operation at the same time. This means that you’ll have access to gears that work more efficiently and more quietly as opposed to generic, cut gears. Because everything is so precise, these gears will also likely be able to manage greater loads as well. The performance of your equipment will never be higher and you’ll have the inherent properties of the gear grinding process to thank for it.
Another one of the major benefits of the gear grinding process comes by way of working with a custom gear manufacturer like the team at Illinois Pulley & Gear. Sometimes, you might find yourself in a situation where an older piece of machinery breaks down, and it’s difficult to find the precise parts that you need – but you’d still rather execute a repair rather than replace something that otherwise works perfectly well. In other scenarios, you may be building a totally new piece of equipment from scratch, and you need top quality gears to make sure that it stands the test of time.
In either situation, gear grinding – and the custom gear manufacturer that offers it – can leverage these and other techniques to create materials that meet and often exceed your exact requirements. That includes not only the choice of materials (like metals or plastics) to pitch, width, the total amount of teeth, the beveling characteristics, the style of the gear, and more. Because the gear grinding process is nothing if not versatile, there is virtually no end application that it can not be employed to meet. If you’d like to find out more information about the gear grinding process and how it can benefit your next big project, or if you’d just like to discuss your requirements with someone in a bit more specificity, please don’t hesitate to contact the team at Illinois Pulley & Gear today.