Spur Gear vs Helical Gear: Difference and Comparison

Key Takeaways

  1. Spur gears are simple and efficient gears widely popular in applications ranging from small devices to large industrial machinery.
  2. Helical gears are advanced over spur gears and are commonly used in mechanical systems.
  3. Spur gears are noisy during operation, whereas helical gears operate more quietly and with reduced vibration.

What is Spur Gear?

Spur gears are one of the most common, simple and efficient gears used in applications ranging from small devices to large industrial machinery. They have a simple design which allows for easy manufacturing and maintenance.

The design of spur gears involves cylindrical discs with teeth that are straight and parallel to the gear’s axis. These teeth mesh with other spur gears and transmit motion and power. 

Spur gears are cost-effective because of their simple manufacturing process. They can handle high load capacities, which makes them an economical choice for many applications. They also have features like precise speed control and uniform motion, which makes them handy for applications that involve consistent rotational motion.

However, spur gears have a few drawbacks as well. They can be noisy during operation, which results in higher vibration levels. Another drawback is the stress caused by contact between teeth, which might result in potential wear and tear over time.

What is Helical Gear?

Helical gears are essential gears advanced over spur gears and offer several unique advantages. They are commonly used n mechanical systems.

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The teeth of helical gears are not straight like those in spur gears. Instead, they are cut at an angle, forming a helix around the gear’s circumference. This design allows the teeth to engage gradually, resulting in smoother and quieter operation than spur gears.

Helical gears provide significant benefits, such as their ability to handle higher loads while maintaining smooth motion. The helical teeth provide increased surface contact and distribute the load evenly across the gear teeth. This feature enhances their load-carrying capacity and reduces the stress concentrations common in spur gears. They can also transmit power between non-parallel shafts, offering more flexibility in the arrangement of mechanical components.

However, a significant drawback of helical gears is their production costs. Their manufacturing process is more complex than spur gears which can increase production costs. Nevertheless, their versatility makes them suitable for various applications, including automotive transmissions, industrial machinery and heavy equipment. 

Difference Between Spur Gear and Helical Gear

  1. The teeth of spur gear are straight and parallel to the gear’s axis, whereas the teeth in helical gears are cut at an angle and form a helix shape around the gear’s circumference.
  2. Spur gears are noisy during operation due to direct tooth engagement, whereas helical gears operate more quietly and with reduced vibration because of gradual tooth engagement.
  3. Spur gears are less efficient due to higher friction between teeth during meshing, whereas helical gears offer high efficiency, especially at higher speeds, as they reduce friction and tear.
  4. Spur gears are suitable for moderate-load applications, whereas helical gears can handle higher loads and are used in heavy-duty applications.
  5. Spur gears are best suited for parallel shaft configurations, whereas helical gears can be used in parallel and non-parallel shaft configurations.
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Comparison Between Spur Gear and Helical Gear

Parameters of ComparisonSpur GearHelical Gear
Tooth orientation Straight and parallel to the gear’s axisCut at an angle and form a helix shape around the gear’s circumference
Noise Noisy during operationOperate more quietly with reduced vibration
Efficiency Less More 
Applications Suitable for moderate load applications Can handle higher loads and heavy-duty applications
Gear arrangement Parallel shaft configurations Both parallel and non-parallel shaft configurations
  1. https://asmedigitalcollection.asme.org/manufacturingscience/article-abstract/92/2/504/427379
  2. https://wwwhttps://arc.aiaa.org/doi/pdf/10.2514/6.1994-3366.

Last Updated : 14 October, 2023

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