Gearmotor Sizing Guide
Bison – Gear & Engineering Corp.
1 Determining Torque
2 Adjust for Duty Cycle
3 Consider Overhung Load
4 Factor in Shock Load 5 Select Input Motor
6 Not A Science
Gears are made of molded plastic, powdered metal,
steel and hardened steel. While hardened steel gears
are normally the most expensive, they provide the
greatest strength and longest life. The width of the
gears can affect gear life as well since wide gears
normally outwear narrow gears.
Check to determine whether shafts have bronze
sleeve bearings, ball or needle bearings. These are
preferred since they’re more efficient, increase load
handling capability and lengthen service life.
FHP gearmotor housings are generally made from
cast zinc or cast aluminum. Each material offers
approximately the same degree of strength.
Differences occur in wall thickness and reinforcement
design. Gearmotors with thicker walled housings
tend to wear longer and are more capable of
withstanding rugged handling.
Precision and smoothness of gear teeth are a
function of hobbing quality which varies among
manufacturers. The American Gear Manufacturers
Association ranks hobbing quality numbers. While
some industrial gearmotor gears are hobbed to
a class 9, others can be as low as a class 6.
These lower numbered gears can exhibit surface
irregularities and tooth spacing errors which cause
them to run noisier, produce more heat and wear
Two different systems are used to reduce friction
and heat: 1) Grease 2) Oil Bath. While grease
systems are normally less expensive, they thin and
migrate over time, leaving parts with little or no
protection. Oil bath systems, by lubricating the
entire gear box, eliminate that potential problem.
Sealed oil bath systems that offer lifetime
lubrication are preferable in that they do not
require periodic replenishment.
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