Bevel gear

Bevel gear

Bevel gears are gears where the axes of the two shafts intersect and the tooth-bearing faces of the gears themselves are conically shaped.Bevel gears are most often mounted on shafts that are 90 degrees apart, but can be designed to work at other angles as well. The pitch surface of bevel gears is a cone.


Two important concepts in gearing are pitch surface and pitch angle. The pitch surface of a gear is the imaginary toothless surface that you would have by averaging out the peaks and valleys of the individual teeth. The pitch surface of an ordinary gear is the shape of a cylinder. The pitch angle of a gear is the angle between the face of the pitch surface and the axis.

The most familiar kinds of bevel gears have pitch angles of less than 90 degrees- cone shaped. This type of bevel gear is called "external" because the gear teeth point outward. The pitch surfaces of meshed external bevel gears are coaxial with the gear shafts; and the apexes of the two surfaces are at the point of intersection of the shaft axes. Bevel gears that have pitch angles of greater than ninety degrees have teeth that point inward and are called "internal" bevel gears. Bevel gears that have pitch angles of exactly 90 degrees have teeth that point outward parallel with the axis and resemble the points on a crown. That's why this type of bevel gear is called a "crown" gear.


There are two issues regarding tooth shape. One is the cross-sectional profile of the individual tooth. The other is the line or curve on which the tooth is set on the face of the gear: in other words the line or curve along which the cross-sectional profile is projected to form the actual three-dimensional shape of the tooth. The primary effect of both the cross-sectional profile and the tooth line or curve is on the smoothness of operation of the gears. Some result in a smoother gear action than others.

Tooth line

The teeth on bevel gears can be straight, spiral or "zero".
*In straight bevel gears the teeth are straight and parallel to the generators of the cone. This is the simplest form of bevel gear. It resembles a spur gear, only conical rather than cylindrical. The gears in the floodgate picture are straight bevel gears. In straight, when each tooth engages it impacts the corresponding tooth and simply curving the gear teeth can solve the problem.
*Spiral bevel gears have their teeth formed along spiral lines. They are somewhat analogous to helical gears, a cylindrical type, in that the teeth are angled; however with spiral gears the teeth are also curved. The advantage of the spiral tooth over the straight tooth is that they engage more gradually. The contact between the teeth starts at one end of the gear and then spreads across the whole tooth. This results in a less abrupt transfer of force when a new pair of teeth come in to play. With straight bevel gears, the abrupt tooth engagement causes noise, especially at high speeds, and impact stress on the teeth which makes them unable to take heavy loads at high speeds without breaking. For these reasons straight bevel gears are generally limited to use at linear speeds less than 1000 feet/min; or, for small gears, under 1000 r.p.m.1
*Zero bevel gears are an intermediate type between straight and spiral bevel gears. Their teeth are curved, but not angled.

The bevel gear planer was invented by William Gleason at Gleason Works in 1874.

These gears permit minor adjustment during assembly and allow for some displacement due to deflection under operating loads without concentrating the load on the end of the tooth. For reliable performance, gears must be pinned to shaft with a dowel or taper pin.

Hypoid bevel gears can engage with the axes in different planes. They are used in many car differentials. The ring gear of the differential and the input pinion gear are both hypoid. This allows input pinion to be mounted lower than the axis of the ring gear. Hypoid gears are stronger, operate more quietly and can be used for higher reduction ratios. They also have sliding action along the teeth, potentially reducing efficiency.

Miter gears are mating bevel gears with equal numbers of teeth and with axes at right angles.

Skew bevel gears are those for which the corresponding crown gear has teeth that are straight and oblique.


A good example of bevel gears is seen as the main mechanism for a hand drill. As the handle of the drill is turned in a vertical direction, the bevel gears change the rotation of the chuck to a horizontal rotation. The bevel gears in a hand drill have the added advantage of increasing the speed of rotation of the chuck and this makes it possible to drill a range of materials.

The bevel gear finds its application in locomotives, marine applications, automobiles, printing presses, cooling towers, power plants, steel plants, defence and also in railway track inspection machine.

Bevel gears are used in differential drives, which can transmit power to two axles spinning at different speeds, such as those on a cornering automobile.

[ Spiral bevel] gears are important components on all current rotorcraft drive systems. These components are required to operate at high speeds, high loads, and for an extremely large number of load cycles. In this application, spiral bevel gears are used to redirect the shaft from the horizontal gas turbine engine to the vertical rotor.


* This gear makes it possible to change the operating angle
* Differing of the number of teeth (effectively diameter) on each wheel allows mechanical advantage to be gained. By increasing or decreasing the ratio of teeth between the drive and driven wheels one may increase the ratio of rotations between the two, meaning that the rotational drive and torque of the second wheel can be changed in relation to the first.


* One wheel of such gear is designed to work with its complementary wheel and no other.
* Must be precisely mounted.
* The axes must be capable of supporting significant forces.

See also

* Gear
* Pitch cone
* Front cone
* Back cone


#Doughty and Vallance, "Design of Machine Members".

External links

* The theory of [ spiral bevel gears.]
* Alternative methods of manufacturing of [ bevel gears]

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Bevel gear — Bev el gear (Mech.) A kind of gear in which the two wheels working together lie in different planes, and have their teeth cut at right angles to the surfaces of two cones whose apices coincide with the point where the axes of the wheels would… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • bevel gear — n. a toothed wheel gear meshed with another so that their shafts are at an angle of less than 180°: see GEAR …   English World dictionary

  • bevel gear — A gear shaped like the wide end (frustum) of a cone, used to transmit motion through an angle. They are found in differentials. Also see spiral bevel gear …   Dictionary of automotive terms

  • bevel gear — A pair of toothed wheels with teeth cut on a surface at an angle other than 90° to the axis of the shaft on which the wheels are mounted. Bevel gear permits one shaft to drive another shaft that is not parallel to it …   Aviation dictionary

  • bevel gear drive — A transmission which is used to drive one or more shafts which do not line up with the output shaft. Also called bevel gear transmission …   Dictionary of automotive terms

  • bevel gear transmission — A transmission which is used to drive one or more shafts which do not line up with the output shaft. Also called bevel gear drive …   Dictionary of automotive terms

  • bevel gear — noun a gear working another gear at an angle to it by means of bevel wheels …   English new terms dictionary

  • bevel gear — noun gears that mesh at an angle • Syn: ↑pinion and crown wheel, ↑pinion and ring gear • Hypernyms: ↑gear, ↑gear wheel, ↑geared wheel, ↑cogwheel • Hyponyms: ↑ …   Useful english dictionary

  • bevel gear — Mach. a gear having teeth cut into a conical surface, usually meshing with a similar gear set at right angles. Cf. hypoid gear. [1825 35] * * * …   Universalium

  • bevel gear — bev′el gear n. mac a gear having teeth cut into a conical surface, usu. meshing with a similar gear set at right angles …   From formal English to slang

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