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Grooves on a gear

Grooves on a gear

RE: Grooves on a gear

Those are identification markings (one groove, two grooves, three grooves, etc) indicating what application the gear is used for. Sometimes a basic production transmission design will use a slightly different gear set for specific applications, with variations in tooth geometry (pressure angle, addendum modification, etc) made to optimize efficiency, performance, fatigue life, etc. All of the gear variants might use the same number of teeth and have a very similar visual appearance, but each would only mesh properly with the correct mating gear.

The reason for using a series of grooves on the tooth top lands is because it provides a quick and fool-proof method to visually confirm the correct gears are being used. Back in the olden days, before the availability of laser marking systems, turning a set of grooves in the OD of the gear blank was a cheap way to permanently ID the part.

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