Gearboxes and transmissions are used in everything from vehicles to machines, but do you know what goes on inside them?
There are many of different ways of making a differential system, and one of the more ingenious ways is the “Torsen” differential. Where the old basic version of a differential has big problems with wheels slipping on oil spills, ice and other slippery surfaces, the Torsen differential solves this conundrum in a beautiful mechanical way. Learn Engineering has made this excellent video that explains how it works, but this is a bit advanced. If you aren’t comfortable with how a basic differential works, you should first watch these videos, just to get your head around the mechanics:
A standard differential is great for maximizing the efficiency to which an engine can translate its energy into movement on most surface. But if the vehicle or robot encounter slippery surfaces like oil, mud or ice, it has a major drawback. As soon as one wheel encounter a more slippery surface then the other, it will start slipping and spinning out of control, while the other wheel is basically dead. The result is that the vehicle wont go anywhere. In order to solve this problem, the “Limited Slip Differential” was invented. Too complex to explain in mere words, Learn Engineering have made this excellent 3D animation to help you wrap your mind around it. Keep in mind, this is advance stuff, so you might want to check out how a standard differential works before you tackle this tutorial:
Whether you want to build your own vehicle or a simple wheeled robot, you will be confronted with an inherent problem. When two wheels share the same axle, it works fine while they travel in a straight line. But as soon as you want to make a turn, the wheels needs to turn at different speeds. If the wheels are connected with one axle, it will cause one or both of the wheels to slip, and you lose a great deal of the engines power to friction. The solution to this problem is called “The differential” and it is such a huge innovation that all cars and trucks use them today. In fact, even LEGO made a differential gear solution for their system of “Technic LEGO” more than 25 years ago! So if you have any interest in wheeled propulsion, you need to know how a differential work. Lucky for you, Learn Engineering have made this excellent video to teach you!
Ever wonder what make gears or transmissions work? This clip from Jeff Quitney is another beautiful example of how old movies can still hold excellent educational value even to this day. Here we will see how gears are really continuous levers, and how “Clutch sleeves” can enable the gears to change and be used in a transmission. Another perk of watching this is realizing how far modern technology has come in the last half a century or so. The so-called “common can-opener” in this film is a delightful proof of this.