Simple Gears and Transmission

This engineering resource, produced by Mathematics in Education and Industry (MEI) for the Royal Academy of Engineering, asks the question: how are transmissions designed so that they provide the force, speed and direction required, and how efficient is the design?

Students consider the physical characteristics of two gears, use circle formulae to calculate the number of teeth a gear has and consider the number of rotations performed by differing sized gears. The accompanying resources provide visual stimulus. Further activities consider connecting three gears, torque transmission, transmission efficiency and gear boxes.

The mathematics covered in this activity is:
• Evaluate expressions
• Work with fractions
• Solve problems involving ratio and proportion
• Understand and work with percentages
• Use scale drawings
• Simplify and evaluate expressions involving the use of indices
• Change the subject of the formula
• Solve problems involving angular motion, converting between units of revolution speed

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