Right-angle gear motors consist of an electric motor integrated with a gear reducer that has an output shaft perpendicular to its input shaft. This type of gear motor is preferred for automated equipment where the space is very limited and the torque requirements are high. Right-angle gear motors are available with a wide range of characteristics that include motor type, gear technology, number of gear stages, and other mechanical features. Motor types that can be used as right-angle gear motors include:
Common Motor Types:
Typical gear technologies used in the right-angle gearbox include worm gears, spiral bevel gears, and hypoid gears. Each technology offers specific advantages related to efficiency, output torque capabilities, and compactness.
Worm Gears are of a pair of aligned gears consisting of a worm wheel (similar to a helical gear) and the worm, which resembles a screw thread. This arrangement provides a very compact gear reducer with high output torque, high durability, and a relatively low price point. The sliding interaction between the worm wheel and the worm makes this type of gearing significantly less efficient than other right-angle and in-line gearing technologies. Worm gears provide high back-drive torque to help the gear motor hold position when the power is removed from the motor.
Spiral Bevel Gears consist of a pair of perpendicular gears that resemble helical gears but are cut using a spiral-like tooth shape. Of the three right-angle gear technologies, this style of gearing provides the most efficient solution and is typically used in higher speed and/or higher precision applications or where minimal noise or maximum efficiency are critical. Spiral bevel gears are typically higher cost than worm gearing.
Hypoid Gears consist of a pair of perpendicular gears that are essentially a combination of worm and spiral bevel gearing. Though hypoid gear motors are not as commonly used as worm or spiral bevel gear motors in automated equipment, they provide the unique benefits of high torque, compact size, and relatively high efficiency.
Choosing a right-angle gearbox type depends on the specific output of speed and torque, efficiency, and available space requirements. Right-angle gear motors are used in medical, industrial, material handling, food service, and other industries.