Worm Gears vs. Bevel Gears: What’s The Difference?

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Understanding the differences between gear types is critical for achieving the necessary power transmission in mechanical applications. There are a lot of  factors to consider when picking a suitable gear  for your parts,  such as precision grade standard, proportions, permitted efficiency and engine power, need for heat treating and teeth grinding, and more. But first, what is a gear?

A gear is a machine element with teeth that are cone-shaped or cut around cylindrically with equal spacing. By meshing two of these components, they can transmit forces and rotations from the main shaft to the driven shaft. Gears come in various shapes and sizes, such as spur gears, helical gears, bevel gears, worm gears, gear racks, etc. These gears can be categorized based on the orientation of their axes, such as parallel shafts, intersecting shafts, and non-intersecting shafts.

This article focuses on two well known gears – worm gear and bevel gear.Let’s know their differences in terms of benefits, downsides, and applications. In order to fully comprehend how they differ, let us first define what those two gears are.

What Is A Worm Gear?

A worm gear, also known as a worm drive, is a gear structure consisting of a shaft with a spiral thread, or a (screw that looks like a worm) that engages with the drives a toothed wheel or the worm wheel. Worm gears are commonly used when significant speed reductions are required. The manufacturer can adjust the rotational speed of a worm gear configuration, which is ultimately determined by the number of threads or starts and teeth on the gearbox.

Worm gears use a sliding effect to transmit movement force at right angles. It changes the rotational movement by 90° and the plane of movement also changes due to the position of the wheel. Frequently, the two components are made of different materials, typically a steel worm and a brass wheel.

What is a Bevel Gear?

Bevel gears have tooth-bearing faces that are conically shaped, and the axes of the two shafts intersect. They are typically mounted on shafts 90° apart, but they can also be designed to work at other angles.

Bevel gear units have two main components: the pinion and the gear, which transform right-angle movements. It makes use of angular gear teeth. Several teeth make contact simultaneously, and the entire tooth width of the interlocking teeth transmits force as the gears turn.

Pros & Cons: Worm Gears vs. Bevel Gears

The following are the advantages and disadvantages of using worm gears and bevel gears units:

Advantages Of Worm Gears

  • Worm gears are used when a high gear ratio is required.
  • A worm gear unit’s highest ratio is approximately 100:1.
  • Because of the high self-locking based on the sliding result of the worm shaft, an extra brake is either unnecessary or only necessary to set a less expensive, small brake. However, this feature depends on the friction angle and the inclination angle.
  • Worm gears are typically more favorable than bevel gears, especially in industrial applications.

Disadvantages Of Worm Gears

  • The sliding contact of the gears causes significant friction, resulting in an extremely high operating temperature and low efficiency.
  • The worm wheel, mostly made of bronze, wears out quickly.

Advantages Of Bevel Gears

  • Operating noise is low.
  • It has a higher torque capacity when compared to worm gears of the same size.
  • It has high efficiency
  • A hollow shaft is possible.

Disadvantages Of Bevel Gears

  • Bevel gears are significantly more expensive than worm gears.
  • Bevel gears are produced in pairs. In case of maintenance and repair, you must replace both gears.
  • They need to be positioned precisely to achieve high efficiency
  • Their translation range is limited, with a maximum ratio of 6:1 per bevel gear set.
  • Not advisable to use for high-speed reduction because they make noise at high speeds.

Applications: Worm Gears vs. Bevel Gears

Both gears are used in various applications, but they specialize in different areas.

Worm Gears Applications

Worm gears are used in many applications requiring low speed and relatively high power amplification. They can be found in everyday household items as well as heavy machinery. Worm gears have numerous advantages over other modes of transmission, especially when speed reduction is required. Here are a few examples of products and appliances that use worm gears:

  • Tuning instruments
  • Lifts and elevators
  • Cranes
  • Mining industry machines
  • Small engines
  • Rolling mills
  • Automatic security gates
  • Conveyors

Bevel Gears Applications

Bevel gears are typically used in mechanical settings since they can transfer energy from linear to sheer power. The following are some examples of items and products that used bevel gears:

  • Hand drills
  • Automobiles
  • Printing presses
  • Marine applications
  • Power plants
  • Steel plants
  • Cooling towers
  • Railway track inspection machines

High-Quality Engineered Gear Products By Superior Gearbox Company

Worm gears are one of the most common and cost-effective methods of reducing rotational speed, and they are used in a wide range of simple and complex mechanisms. Meanwhile, bevel gears are power transmission components used to reverse the direction of shaft rotation, reduce speed, and increase torque between non-parallel rotating shafts. To achieve the precision required, you must find a company that can accommodate your specifications.

Superior Gearbox Company custom-designs  high-quality gear drives and gear boxes that meet even the most stringent clients’ requirements for various industries and applications for over 45 years. From high performance manufactured bevel gear drives, worm speed reducers, helical gear motors, and other gearbox components, you can count on our team to deliver only the superior output for the product you need when you need it.

Our outstanding engineering and design, sourcing, turning, machining, assembly and testing capabilities as well as our excellent customer service and tight teamwork, can ensure that we can find you the best solutions for you gearbox or gear drive needs for any application.

To know more about our superior capabilities, feel free to contact us, or request for a quote for your upcoming project!