When you think of gears, I bet you think of a bunch of circles. Sure they’re covered in little teeth and maybe some are bigger than others, but they’re still mostly circles. An out of the box idea is to have square gears.
Non circular gears are strange. Many people think that it is impossible to make a square gear that actually meshes properly. Ac actual demonstration of the same is here for you to see for yourself.
The idea of non-circular gears originates from the precursors of the engineering thought. These gears were sketched by Leonardo da Vinci, and found their application in many types of mechanical devices, like clocks and toys. In late XIX, century Franz Reuleaux ordered at Gustav Voigt Mechanische Werkstatt in Berlin a series of non-circular gear models to help study kinematics. The gears made at those times had simplified tooth shapes and, for this reason, the meshing conditions were not always correct.
The applications of non-circular gears include:
– Textile industry machines, for improving machine kinematics resulting in the process optimization
– Window shade panel drives, for introducing vibration which interfere with natural oscillations and cancel them out
– Mechanical presses, for optimization of work cycle kinematics
– High torque hydraulic engines for bulkhead drives
– High-power starters, mechanical systems providing progressive torque for easier starting of the machines, where progressive torque helps to overcome the start-up inertia
– Forging machines, for optimizing the work cycle parameters (reducing pressure dwell time).