Friday, October 5, 2018

Worm Drives

So I should be outside putting up firewood. Its cold and light snow coming down, an easy excuse not to. I am still hoping for a nice week or two of Indian Summer, but that is looking more and more like it's not going to happen.

So here is a short article on worm drives and their characteristics. Where slow speed and high power is required, worm drives are hard to beat. They are used in a wide variety of applications from light duty consumer use, such as home appliances to heavy cast iron housed, industrial applications. Worm drives with a ratio greater than 20:1 are self braking, this is not always understood. I once walked in on a helper trying to free up a lime feeder with a pipe wrench on the worm drive connected shaft. I told him it was easier to clear the jam through the rotary feeder access door but if he insisted on the wrench, he should disconnect the worm drive, before he stripped the gears.

In the workshop they are an easy solution where low speed and high power are required. Here is an example of a nice shopbuilt, electrically powered, tubing roller, utilizing a worm drive.


This article was in the August 1979 Power Transmission Design magazine.





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