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A worm gear is a type of mechanical gear system that consists of a cylindrical screw-like worm, which meshes with a toothed wheel or gear, known as a worm wheel. The worm and worm wheel have perpendicular axes and are usually at a 90-degree angle to each other.
The worm gear system is commonly used in applications that require high gear reductions and a large increase in torque output. The system’s design allows for a single worm to drive a large worm wheel, which provides a high gear ratio, resulting in slower output speeds and higher torque output.
Worm gears have a few advantages over other types of gears. They are self-locking, which means that the worm can prevent the worm wheel from turning in the opposite direction, making them useful in applications that require braking or holding. They also provide a high gear reduction in a small package size, making them ideal for applications with limited space.
They are less efficient than other types of gears due to the high friction between the worm and worm wheel. This friction generates a significant amount of heat, which can cause the gears to wear faster and potentially overheat. Therefore, proper lubrication and cooling are critical to ensure the longevity and reliability of a worm gear system.