Have you ever wondered about the huge array of different products made by gear manufacturing companies? Bevel gears, spur gears, pinion gears, worm gears and custom gears of every imaginable shape and size – it’s mind boggling. Gear, which are sometimes also called cogwheels, are most often circular metal pieces with specially cut teeth, which meshes with another gear to transmit what’s called torque for torque – a measurement of force. Two or more gears working together is what’s referred to as transmission.This is the origin of the driving-related terms “manual transmission” and “automatic transmission.”
The seemingly infinite number of different gear types is tempered when you look at the list of industries employing the use of them. In the U.S., in descending order:
Industrial Machinery Manufacturing
Construction Equipment Manufacturing
Farm Machinery Manufacturing
Material Handling and Service Equipment Manufacturing
Machines and Tools Manufacturing
Turbines and Power Transmission Equipment Manufacturing
Mining, Oil and Gas Field Equipment Manufacturing
Railroad Equipment Manufacturing
Looking at the list, you can see how gears are intrinsically important to making many of the items that inform our daily lives. Although they’re sometimes available in plastic and nylon, the sturdiest gears are made of cast iron or steel – durable metals that don’t give in easily to pressure.
The American Gear Manufacturers Association, founded in 1916, claims to have over 400 different gear manufacturing companies registered as members, though this includes entities from Mexico, Canada, and 30 other countries around the globe.
Having a basic understanding of how gears work can help you better maintain your car, boat, gardening equipment and can also inform your ability to repair screens, doors, plumbing problems, washer/dryer systems and more. Even just being able to recognize the different basic kinds by sight can save multiple trips to the hardware store and give you additional insight as to the nature of a technical problem.
While computer technology threatens to make obsolete many aspects of the modern world we’ve come to know, gears are poised to stick around. Some thing aren’t so easily replaced.