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News | Gear wear in industrial applications: Factors such as design, production and lubricant make the difference

In mechanical components such as gears, wear can hardly be avoided. The right gear technology, state-of-the-art production processes and optimally compatible lubricants, however, can minimize unwanted material losses. Learn about the role of the speed step in this context and why cycloidal gears are especially resistant to wear.

If the gear wears out, this generally causes a complete standstill of the machine, resulting in production losses – a worst-case scenario that creates stress for users. Often, the cause is premature wear. But this can be avoided. The effects of wear differ in intensity depending on the type of gear. The choice of gear technology also affects the reliability and service life of your machines and systems.

The following factors influence wear behaviour in gears:

  • Gear design
  • Manufacturing precision
  • Type of lubricant
  • Engineering expertise

Cycloidal gears exhibit less wear

Especially when gearwheels are involved, wear is unavoidable. Toothed gears such as planetary gears and worm gears therefore show signs of substantial wear after a while. This has a negative impact on the precision and life of the gears. Not so with cycloidal gears. Due to the transmission of forces by cams and pins, which co-rotate to a certain extent, as well as their two-stage reduction principle, cycloidal gears are intrinsically more resistant to wear. The increase in backlash is extremely low, even over long periods (hysteresis loss 0.5 to max. 1 arcmin). This guarantees precise positioning and a long service life.

Less wear due to fewer gear stages

Cycloidal gears also have a large speed step of 1:40 or even higher. Gear reduction rates of i ≤ 40 can also be achieved in a single gear stage. Even high reduction ratios require only two or three gear stages. By way of comparison: Planetary gears generally allow a maximum speed step of 1:10. This means they need more stages than cycloidal gears for the same reduction ratio. Cycloidal gears are therefore not only much shorter (about 50%) than multi-stage planetary gears, but are also less subject to wear. Because each additional stage causes additional wear.

High-precision and long-lasting gears

Besides the gear design, wear is also influenced by the production process and the lubricants used for the gears. That is why Nabtesco uses state-of-the-art technologies that offer maximum precision, in addition to lubricants that are optimally compatible with the gears and the application. The result: less wear, higher precision, and gears with a longer service life.

Why Nabtesco cycloidal gears are so resistant to wear:

  • Transmission of force by cams and pins instead of gearwheels 
  • Large speed step of 1:40 or higher
  • Optimally compatible components 
  • State-of-the-art production using modern, high-precision technologies
  • Detailed engineering in the gear design phase
  • Innovative tribology concept

Wear-resistant cycloidal gears enable durable machine concepts

Wear is unavoidable, but not insurmountable. Cycloidal gears, in particular, are less subject to wear than conventional technologies such as planetary gears and worm gears. Nabtesco’s high-performance gear systems are therefore an ideal solution for reliable, durable machine and system concepts.

Wear-resistant cycloidal gears – advantages for your production:

  • High-performance, fail-safe and low-maintenance gears
  • Extreme precision throughout the entire service life (hysteresis loss 0.5 to max. 1 arcmin)
  • High reduction ratios in a compact design
  • Reliable operation
  • Long life
  • Uninterrupted production processes

Would you like to learn more about gear wear, or do you have any questions about how cycloidal gears work? Contact us. We look forward to hearing from you.