Gears are important to mechanical engineering as a majorityof mechanical systems require gears to function meaning that they aremass-produced all the time for creating new products, new systems, ormaintenance. (2) Machining (Milling, shaping), forming (stamping, extrusion),and additive processes (die casting, powder metallurgy) are used to creategears. They can even be heat treated (hardened, annealed, tempering) in orderto improve the properties of the material that the gear is made of in order toensure that it is less likely to wear out. All of these processes will requireenergy, especially if gears are being mass-produced at such a high rate.Obstacles occur during the process of constructing the gears, one example iswhen the metal is being cut for the gears, the excess metal and cooling agentbecome difficult to handle and dispose of. The metal would be difficult torecycle as it requires a lot of energy to reform it but the cooling agent ismore dangerous to the environment as it could potentially contaminate theground. Another example is that pumpingthe cooling agent on the metal whilst it’s being machined does consume morepower than other systems meaning energy could be easily wasted.
The finishingprocesses such as heat treatment, powder metallurgy, and trimming does consumea large amount of energy due to there being maintenance performed on itregularly making it more challenging to recycle. The situation is that gearshave to be made to a good standard therefore lots of finishing processes mustbe used in order to achieve this quality therefore showing that large amountsof energy is used to produce gears of a high quality. Furthermore if theseprocesses are being used constantly, the tool bits are going to be worn outquickly meaning more has to be produced in order to replace it or it has to betaken to maintenance to be repaired or sharpened, both of which prove to bewasteful as well Solutions One strategy that was implemented was to use an environmentallyfriendly cooling agent that couldn’t endanger the environment and make it lesslikely for workers to injure themselves on wet excess metal with sharp edges.This would mean that there is less waste disposal due to the fact that thecooling agent must be used to a minimum to ensure that you don’t have anyunneeded wastage when it comes to coolant or energy.
Gear Rolling Diagram Diagram originally from Reference (8) The second scheme was to use advanced manufacturing processes for thegears, the process used for this was called gear rolling, otherwise known asflat rolling. The gears are rolled at a cold temperature (the temperature atwhich the metal is below its recrystallization temperature) that move inopposite directions of each other allowing for the rolling dies to make theteeth using compressive forces. This would consequently increase its compressivestrength thus making finishing processes such as heat treatment, formingprocesses, and additive processes to be unnecessary allowing energy to be saved.Another factor is that tool bits are used less frequently meaning they do notneed to be repaired/ replaced as frequently.