What is a right-angle gear motor?
Right-angle gear motors consist of an electric motor integrated with a gear reducer that has an output shaft that is perpendicular to its input shaft. This type of gear motor is often preferred in automated equipment where space is very limited and the torque requirements are high. Right-angle gear motors are available with with a wide range of characteristics including the type of motor, the gear technology, the the number of gear stages, the mechanical features and materials, and the associated cost.
Common Motor Types:
- AC Induction
- Brushless DC
- Brushed DC
Common Right-Angle Gear Technologies:
Worm Gears: A pair of gears consisting of a Worm Wheel, similar to a helical gear, and the Worm, which resembles a screw thread. Provides a very compact gear reducer with very high output torque capability, high durability, and a relatively low price point. Due to the sliding interaction between the Worm Wheel and the Worm, this type of gearing is significantly less efficient than other right-angle and in-line gearing technologies. Especially at high gear ratios, worm gears provide high back-drive torque which helps the gear motor hold position when power is removed from the motor.
Spiral Bevel Gears: A pair of perpendicular gears that resemble helical gears but are cut using a spiral-like tooth shape. This style of gearing provides the most efficient solution of the three right-angle gear technologies and is typically utilized in higher speed and/or higher precision applications or where minimal noise or maximum efficiency are critical. This style of gearing is typically higher in cost than worm gearing.
Hypoid Gears: A pair of perpendicular gears that are essentially a combination of worm and spiral bevel gearing. Hypoid gear motors are not as common as worm or spiral bevel gear motors in automated equipment but provide the unique benefits of high torque, compact size, and relatively high efficiency.
Where are right-angle gear motors used?