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Manufacturing challenges with fabrication of large size mechanical harmonic drives

By Vladis Kosse


Mechanical harmonic transmissions are relatively new kind of drives having several unusual features.\ud For example, they can provide reduction ratio up to 500:1 in one stage, have very small teeth module\ud compared to conventional drives and very large number of teeth (up to 1000) on a flexible gear. If for\ud conventional drives manufacturing methods are well-developed, fabrication of large size harmonic\ud drives presents a challenge. For example, how to fabricate a thin shell of 1.7m in diameter and wall\ud thickness of 30mm having high precision external teeth at one end and internal splines at the other\ud end? It is so flexible that conventional fabrication methods become unsuitable. In this paper special\ud fabrication methods are discussed that can be used for manufacturing of large size harmonic drive\ud components. They include electro-slag welding and refining, the use of special expandable devices to\ud locate and hold a flexible gear, welding peripheral parts of disks with wear resistant materials with\ud subsequent machining and others. These fabrication methods proved to be effective and harmonic\ud drives built with the use of these innovative technologies have been installed on heavy metallurgical\ud equipment and successfully tested

Topics: 091399 Mechanical Engineering not elsewhere classified, 091006 Manufacturing Processes and Technologies (excl. Textiles), Large harmonic drives, Manufacturing methods
Publisher: Queensland University of Technology
Year: 2008
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