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Heavy Machinery Gearbox: Reducing Excessive Noise

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The production of industrial noise is inevitable when working with heavy machinery. This type of equipment can include the different machinery in construction, agricultural and general industrial sectors. Some degree of sound is expected from the heavy implements, but when the noise is excessive, it will compromise the worksite. For example, noise pollution will interfere with the ambience, cause hearing problems and limit communication. One of the common noise sources in heavy machinery is the gear drive unit. The pertinent sounds are produced by the general interaction between gears and the subsequent vibration. Here are some guidelines on reducing the excessive noise in the gearbox component.

Change the Gear Type

The type of gear design incorporated in the drive unit is critical in the management of the noise emitted by the heavy machinery. The gears on the market are categorised depending on the style of teeth that are installed. In simple terms, you can reduce the noise in your operation by selecting a gear with teeth that interact with uniform contact and consistency. The most successful strategy of this nature is switching from spur to helical gears. The spur gear is designed with straight teeth, and it is installed on parallel shafts.

It is the common gear style used to illustrate the function of gears in different forums. Unfortunately, the straight teeth tend to collide and produce excessive noise. Helical gears will resolve this problem in your heavy machinery. This alternative has teeth cut at an angle on the surface of the gears. When the teeth of helical gears engage, the contact will start at one edge of the tooth and gradually move to complete engagement due to the angle. This smooth and eventual movement allow the helical gears to operate more quietly.

Gear Teeth Alteration

Small alterations of the gear teeth can improve the acoustic performance of the heavy machinery. One of the main strategies in this category is tip relief. This process involves removal of some material in the area around the gear tooth tip to reduce the friction generated. Crowning is also a viable strategy, and it involves reshaping of the gear teeth to an oval shape. You should discuss the right potential strategy for your machinery before alteration to limit future functional problems.

Reduce Wear

Noise levels will increase when the gears experience excessive wear. You should perform thorough and regular maintenance of the drive unit to decelerate the rate of degradation. In ideal circumstances, the gears should be aligned, well lubricated and free of contaminants that accelerate friction. 

For more information, contact a company like Shute Engineering.