RESEARCH PAPERS: Power Transmission and Gearing Papers

Comparison of the Dynamics of Conventional and Worm-Gear Differentials

[+] Author and Article Information
J. S. Freeman

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1513 University Avenue, Madison, WI 53706

S. A. Velinsky

Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA 95616

J. Mech., Trans., and Automation 111(4), 605-610 (Dec 01, 1989) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.3259043 History: Received March 01, 1989; Online November 19, 2009


The differential mechanism has been used for many years and a variety of unique designs have been developed for particular applications. This paper investigates the performance of both the conventional bevel-gear differential and the worm-gear differential as used in vehicles. The worm-gear differential is a design in which the bevel gears of the conventional differential are replaced by worm gear/worm wheel pairs. The resultant differential exhibits some interesting behavior which has made this differential desirable for use in high performance and off-road vehicles. In this work, an Euler-Lagrange formulation of the equations of motion of the conventional and worm-gear differentials allows comparison of their respective behavior. Additionally, each differential is incorporated into a full vehicle model to observe their effects on gross vehicle response. The worm-gear differential is shown to exhibit the desirable characteristics of a limited-slip differential while maintaining the conventional differential’s ability to differentiate output shaft speeds at all power levels.

Copyright © 1989 by ASME
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