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Explaining worm gears

From Spaggiari worm gearboxes to Zurrer worm gears, there are hundreds of industrial gearbox manufacturers around the world manufacturing worm gears. With so many worm gear motors in and devices in existence, worm gears are obviously an important component of industrial equipment But what exactly are worm gears and how do they work?

 What are worm gears?

A worm gear – or worm drive as it is sometimes referred to – is a specific gear composition. A screw – worm – interlocks with a gear/wheel similar to a spur gear.  The set-up enables the machinery operator to determine rotational speed.  The set-up also allows for higher force to be transmitted.

 How do worm gears work?

Worm gears work by the friction caused by turning lubricated gears. The friction is then turned into heat. By having a low speed and high speed torque level, worm gears are used as speed reducers, which means they are perfect for a number of applications.

What are the different types of worm gear?

There are essentially three types of worm gear – Non-throated, single-throated and double-throated. The non-throated worm gear is a straight worm that doesn’t comprise of a grooved mechanism. A single-throated worm is involved concave helical teeth being wrapped around the worm. The double-throated worm gear has concave teeth on both the gear itself and the worm screw.

Where a worm gears found?

Worm gears can be found in many mechanisms and devices. They are used internally in heavy equipment as well as in devices in the home. In their simplest form, worm gears are evident in the tuning mechanism of an acoustic guitar.


Due to their compact size and non-reversible properties, worm gears are often found in the machinery used to work lifts. This type of gear acts as a secondary braking system as the load cannot transmit motion back through the worm/hoist.

Conveyor belts and security gates

As typical worm drives can only turn in one direction, they will not run backwards when they are locked and not being used. This means worm drives are ideal to be used on conveyor belts. They are also used on automatic security gates. One worm drive is used to open the gate and one to close it. This means the gate can be locked in each direction and cannot be forced open.

Are you looking for worm gears? Y B Components have thousands of industrial equipment parts in stock and available for immediate dispatch, including the likes of Zurrer worm gears and Spaggiari worm gearboxes.