Types of gearboxes

A gearbox is a device that manages the speed, torque, and direction of a rotating system, or motor. One of the most common types of gearboxes is the transmission system on a car or a bike. Industrial gearboxes, on the other hand, must be more durable than commercial gearboxes. This is to ensure that they can withstand the long-term wear that occurs on production lines or wherever a gearbox is in use. Industrial gearboxes must also be reliable, safe, and stable enough to complete many different high-speed functions over longer periods of time without succumbing to contaminants or environmental elements. 

When it comes to size, gearboxes range from enormous wind turbines to micro gearboxes. Industrial gearboxes can be found across nearly all industries, including, but not limited to oil and gas, mining, food and beverage processing, power generation, trade, transportation, plastics, and metal processing. Each industry and task requires a different type of gearbox.

Most brands produce gearboxes of all kinds. Read on for a look at four of the most common types of gearboxes and their applications and features.

4 Different Types of Gearboxes and Their Applications

1. Helical gearboxes

Helical Gearboxes

Helical gearboxes are used for many purposes but are especially effective for large, heavy-duty applications. They typically require less power than most gearboxes to operate. With the fixed angle of the helical gear teeth, these gearboxes offer consistent contact from one specific direction for an extensive period of time. This is the most common gearbox on production lines and in engines around the world, thanks in part to the enormous amount of thrust that it produces.  

2. Worm gearboxes 

Worm Gearboxes

Worm gearboxes get their name from the large screw, or worm-shaped gear that they rotate on. This unique rotation allows the transmission of high torque, making it an ideal gearbox for heavy-duty tasks that require 90-degree transmissions. Because a worm gearbox cannot run in reverse, it also has a built-in braking or safety system, which is why this type of gearbox is very popular for conveyor belts. If you are looking for machinery that allows for non-perpendicular transmissions, consider the next gearbox on our list, a bevel gearbox.

3. Bevel gearboxes 

Bevel Gearboxes

Bevel gearboxes can be used for many different types of power transmissions and automation applications. The gear teeth are beveled, or slanted, and the gearbox surface is cone-shaped to allow rotation between non-parallel shafts. Bevel gear teeth are either of a spiral, straight, or hypoid shape. The shape affects elements like the direction the gears move in, the amount of area that the gear contacts, and the ratio of the gears. Bevel units are commonly used in mining, food production, and more. 

4. Planetary gearboxes 

Planetary Gearboxes

Of the different types of automatic gearboxes, planetary units boast the newest, most advanced design within the gearbox engineering realm. The planetary gearbox is made up of three gears that orbit around a central, static gear. This allows the gearbox to effectively spread power in a more compact space than most units. There are multiple types of planetary gearboxes, but overall, they are highly popular for applications where space and weight are more important factors than torque, for example. These types of gearboxes are some of the smallest units on the market and are known for bringing precision and durability to fields like robotics and 3D printing.  

Extend the Lifetime of Industrial Gearboxes with Houston Pump and Gear

Over the past few decades, the industry has seen major growth and development in many different types of gearboxes—they are now smaller, lighter, and can handle more power input than ever before. That being said, no matter how effective a gearbox may be, after extensive use, nearly every type of industrial gearbox will still require periodic maintenance and repair. 

If you are experiencing issues like gearbox overheating, oil oxidation and contamination, or slipped gears, give the Houston Pump and Gear repair experts a call! We can help you pinpoint if your gearbox needs to be inspected, remanufactured, repaired, or overhauled. Whatever service you may need, our engineers will get your industrial equipment back to like-new condition and up to OEM spec, tolerance, and size. We also assist in brand-specific maintenance like full-service Flender gearbox repair and Philadelphia Gearbox repair.

With Houston Pump and Gear, you can expect the most competitive prices, the most extensive warranty, and the longest-lasting repair on the market. So whatever brand or type of gearbox you use, we have a custom repair or maintenance solution. Get in touch today!