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Gearing Systems : Gear Nomenclature

A simple two gear system consists of two gears. Typically one gear is smaller while the other is larger. The smaller gear is normally called the pinion, while the larger gear is called the gear. Refer to the figure below.

Intro gearing example part 2

The image above shows two meshing spur gears. However, the same nomenclature that the smaller gear is the pinion and larger gear is called the gear is also used for other types of gears, as well as pulleys and sprockets.

Gear Train

A meshing pinion and gear is often referred to as a gear train. It is possible to include multiple pinions and gears within a gear train to increase the gear ratio while compacting the design. Refer to the figure below.

Gear Train

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