Second, the planet gear bearings have to play an active role in torque transfer. Planetary systems split the torque input from sunlight gear amongst the planet gears, which transfer torque to a planet carrier connected to the gearbox output. The bearings that support the planets on the carrier have to bear the entire brunt of this torque transfer.
Or, in acute cases, they could select angular contact or tapered roller bearings, both which are designed to withstand axial loads.
In planetary gearboxes, however, it’s much more difficult to create around these axial forces for just two related reasons. First, there is typically hardly any room in a planetary gearbox to include the kind of bulky bearings that can tolerate high axial forces.
The presence of axial forces makes things completely different for the bearings that support helical gears. But it is important to make a distinction between fixed-axis and planetary gearboxes. In fixed-axis gearboxes, the excess axial forces amount to little more than an inconvenience. Gearbox designers will often upsize the bearings to accommodate the additional forces.
Since they don’t need to withstand any axial forces, spur gear bearings enjoy just a supporting role in the functioning of the gearbox. The bearings should just support the rotating gear shafts, but they do not really play an active part in torque transfer.
Helical Gears Place Greater Demand on Bearings
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