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Calculating Gear ratio's.

Extracts from this document...


Udit Aggarwal                        



Gears are very versatile and can help produce a range of movements that can be used to control the speed of the action.
In basic terms, gears are comparable to continuously applied levers, as one tooth is engaging, and another is disengaging. The gear wheel being turned is called the Input gear and the one it drives is called the Output gear.
Gears with unequal numbers of teeth alter the speed between the input and out put. This is referred to as the Gear Ratio.



The following example shows how the ratios are calculated.

If the input gear (A) has 10 teeth and the output gear (B) 30 teeth, then the ratio is written down as 3:1

Ratio =
number of teeth on the output gear B (30)

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Secondly / Lastly, I had counted the number of times the smaller gear system rotates within the larger gear system, which turns Anti- Clockwise once.


  • Gear system (On the wood).
  • Pen, ruler & Paper.
  • Table (Table was used as a rest while counting the number of Cogs).


There was only one safety issue to be observed while conducting the experiment which was to make less noise, as there were other groups too accomplishing the experiment.

Fair Test

While accomplishing the experiment there was only one variable which was kept the same every time? This was the direction of the teeth in the larger gear. It was always kept as one, while carrying out the experiment.  

I had used the formula given below to work out my results-

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I also learnt a lot about gears and how they work.Lastly, I have learnt the important formula’s in the experiment.

Vocational Aspects

Gears, in industries, are used in tons as mechanical devices. The carry out several important jobs, but most importantly, they provide a gear reduction in motorized equipments. This is important because even a small motor spinning fast, can provide power but not enough torque* (Force). For instance, an electric screwdriver has a large gear reduction because it needs a lot of torque** at a high speed. With a gear reduction, the output speed can be reduced while the torque* is increased. Gears also adjust the direction of rotation.

Important Ratios

Mechanical Advantage = Load / Effort.

Velocity Ratio = Distance moved by the Effort / Distance moved by the Load.

Efficiency (%) = Mechanical Advantage / Velocity Ratio X 100.  

*Torque = Force

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This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Forces and Motion section.

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