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Gears (232)

A gear is a rotating machine part having cut teeth, or cogs, which mesh with another toothed part in order to transmit torque. Two or more gears working in tandem are called a transmission and can produce a mechanical advantage through a gear ratio and thus may be considered a simple machine. Geared devices can change the speed, torque, and direction of a power source. The most common situation is for a gear to mesh with another gear, however a gear can also mesh a non-rotating toothed part, called a rack, thereby producing translation instead of rotation.

The gears in a transmission are analogous to the wheels in a pulley. An advantage of gears is that the teeth of a gear prevent slipping.

When two gears of unequal number of teeth are combined a mechanical advantage is produced, with both the rotational speeds and the torques of the two gears differing in a simple relationship.

Numerous nonferrous alloys, cast irons, powder-metallurgy and plastics are used in the manufacture of gears.
However, steels are most commonly used because of their high strength-to-weight ratio and low cost. Plastic is commonly used where cost or weight is a concern. A properly designed plastic gear can replace steel in many cases because it has many desirable properties, including dirt tolerance, low speed meshing, the ability to "skip" quite well  and the ability to be made with materials not needing additional lubrication.