Machinedesign 1935 1210msd Grove Gear 0 0

Better by Design: Worm gear workhorse

Dec. 1, 2010
Worm gearboxes are the workhorses of modern manufacturing, increasing motor torque and acting as speed reducers in myriad industrial applications. Their

Worm gearboxes are the workhorses of modern manufacturing, increasing motor torque and acting as speed reducers in myriad industrial applications. Their Achilles' heel — inefficiency — is also their strength, as worm gear designs can hold even the heaviest loads without slipping. Even so, the inherent sliding friction of worm drives allows efficiency of only 45% to 85%, depending on the gear ratio and application. To address this issue and increase gear-reducer efficiency, several European designers incorporate helical-bevel gearing, which significantly reduces sliding action, translating to higher efficiency and less wasted energy. However, these designs often don't work with standard C-face motors.

As another option, Grove Gear, Union Grove, Wis., built the IronMan E Series gear reducer — a design that marries the footprint of a traditional worm gearbox to the high efficiency and extra torque of helical-bevel gearing arrangements. To illustrate: A typical worm gearbox with a 2.4-in. center distance provides 1,000 to 1,200 in.-lb of torque, whereas the E Series offers 2,600 in.-lb in the same-size package. This additional torque is especially useful in applications requiring overload capacity, such as conveyors that require frequent starts, stops, and reversing. What's more, the E Series boasts an operating efficiency of 90% across all ratios. Materials are also engineered for power density: The E Series' modified helical-bevel steel gearing offers higher torque capacity and better wear resistance than traditional bronze worm gearing.


On display: Grove Gear IronMan E Series gear reducer

Key features: Will replace up to 6-in. center distance; four models available with double reduction ratios from 7.8:1 to 60:1; triple reduction units possible by adding a ratio multiplier; power to 8.5 hp

What it means to you: Higher efficiency and greater torque than traditional worm gearboxes in the same size footprint facilitate motor downsizing and reduced energy costs.

What else: One-piece cast-iron housings with single output cover design; Viton double-lip seals with microfinished seal surfaces on input and output shafts; O-rings on all bearing covers eliminate gaskets, sealants, and leaks; extra-large lubricant reservoir filled with premium, high-temperature, synthetic PAG food-grade lubricant; all-angle mounting provisions, plus wide selection of accessory bases and flanges.

Innovator: Grove Gear
(262) 878-1221

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