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Gear Rack

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Gear racks are used to transform rotational motion into linear motion. A gear rack is a tiny cylindrical gear that meshes with the gear rack and has straight teeth cut onto one surface of a square or circular segment of the rod. In general, “rack and pinion” refers to the gear rack and pinion. Read More…

Gear Rack Gear racks are products that operate in a very similar fashion to spur gears, but in a more linear fashion than that of the spur gear. A basic summary of a gear rack is a straight line of equally spaced teeth and are used for a number of different applications.
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Leading Manufacturers

Joliet, IL  |  800-876-7216

Omni G & M Corporation is a leading gear fabricator specializing in precision machined and custom solutions in a variety of sizes and types. Please check out Omni G & M’s website or call a friendly personnel member today!

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Omni Gear & Machine Corporation $$$

East Walpole, MA  |  800-491-1073

Gears are what we do best, and we are experts in our field. We have three generations of experience backing our company, and we use all of it to benefit you in any way possible.

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Commercial Gear & Sprocket Company, Inc. $$$

Syracuse, NY  |  315-488-0100

Gear Motions is a leading gear manufacturer specializing in supplying custom cut and ground gears. Our wide range of precision gear manufacturing capabilities and services deliver quality gears to meet almost any application.

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Gear Motions, Inc. $$$

New Hartford, CT  |  860-738-2525

With a great variety of available tooling & quick tooling for unique tooth forms, rely on ISO & AS certified Perry for all your gear & spline requirements. Offering expertise with many CNC operations, we do hobbing, shaping, tooling, broaching, machining & inspection for an array of gears, splines, worms & wheels, serrations of all kinds! Call for all your gearing needs – reverse engineering too!

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Perry Technology Corporation $$$

Roscoe, IL  |  815-623-2168

One of the top 10 machine shops in the U.S., family-run gear manufacturer Forest City Gear pursues excellence & innovation with tight quality control & the most advanced technology in the industry. Custom capabilities for spline gears, worms gears, sprockets & face gears are just the beginning. Over the past 60 years, Forest City has remained on the cutting edge of the gear manufacturing industry by constantly expanding our capabilities. Contact Forest City today to learn more!

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Forest City Gear $$$

Cleveland, OH  |  800-423-3169

Cleveland Gear Company has specialized in worm gear technology including industrial gears, bevel gears, helical gears, worm gears and precision gears since 1912. Applications include steel production, electric power generation, and material transport. Fulfilling your exact requirements is what has and continues to make Cleveland Gear one of the top manufacturers of gearing and enclosed gear drives.

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Cleveland Gear Company $$$
placeholder image Omni Gear & Machine Corporation Commercial Gear & Sprocket Company, Inc. Gear Motions, Inc. Perry Technology Corporation Forest City Gear Cleveland Gear Company

Gears may be used in a variety of ways. A gear rack made up of a rack and pinion is employed to transform rotational motion into linear motion. A linear gear, called the rack, and a circular gear, called the pinion, are engaged by the teeth on the rack. Application of rotational motion to the pinion causes the rack to move, which completes the translation of rotational motion into linear movement of the rack. Both helical and straight tooth gear racks feature straight tooth lines. Straight tooth gear racks are more common. The gear rack is mostly used in heavy machineries such as lift trucks, power shovels, machine tools, and many more.

Gear Racks


Three different variations of rack and pinion gears are available:

  1. The tooth axis of straight teeth is parallel to the axis of rotation with teeth that are straight and perpendicular to the gear's axis. Manual or walk-behind load movement or transfer is used.

  2. Often quieter and more effective than straight tooth gears, helical teeth gears offer continuous contact along the tooth length. In the plane of rotation, helical tooth gears resemble spur gears, but they also have teeth twisted in an axial direction in a spiral pattern.

  3. Roller pinion drives employ bearing-supported rollers that interlock with the rack's teeth to offer little to no backlash.

Materials Used

Carbon steel is the most common material used to make gear rack steel.

  1. This material is excellent for most settings and usage scenarios.
  2. The relative strength of the rack tooth combined with the pinion makes this material effective.
  3. Additionally, the material is well-suited for heat-treating to increase strength, allows for the insertion of threaded or bolt holes, upholds dimensional stability, and may be straightened if required.

Construction of Gear Racks

  • Although the degree of manufacturing difficulties varies with the accuracy classes and standards, a rack cutting machine and a gear hobbing machine may still be used to make a rack and pinion.
  • Standard racks available on the market are often no longer than 2000mm overall and come in 500mm chunks like 500mm, 1000mm, and 1500mm.
  • Additionally, the cross-sectional form is often square or rectangular, while some are round and are referred to as round rack types.
  • They are created globally by various rack and gear manufacturers.
Construction of Gear Racks

Gear Rack’s Working Procedure

  • The pinion, a circular gear that drives the gear rack and moves it most about the pinion, works side by side with gear racks.
  • Gear racks are utilized in applications like rack railroads because they offer the additional energy necessary to propel a train up a steep incline. This mechanism transfers rotational motion.
  • A gear rack is frequently used in steering-wheel systems because the rotation of the steering wheel's pinion exerts a force on the gear rack, which affects the direction that a car's tires face and, ultimately, the direction of the vehicle.
  • Without the proper gear rack, the pinion can come loose from the gear rack's teeth, leaving the system inoperable and increasing the risk of damage and associated safety issues.
Gear Rack’s Working Procedure

Benefits of a Gear Rack

  1. Rack and pinion drive systems, renowned for their long strokes, almost have no journey length restrictions as long as the rack can be manufactured long enough.
  2. Gear rack is simple and modest in size, with few pieces.
  3. High strength is attained for the gear by heat treatment (quenching).
  4. It has excellent cost performance.
  5. They provide the simplest method of converting rotational motion to linear motion.
  6. Controlling the vehicle is made simpler and more manageable by rack and pinion.
  7. For usage in their intended context, gear racks are quite robust.

Applications of Gear Racks

  1. Stairlifts, steering systems, rack trains seen on mountain railroads, actuators, and a variety of other comparable applications are a few of these uses.
  2. These drives are ideal for various uses, including axis drives requiring repeatable, accurate positioning, moving gantries and columns, pick-and-place robots, CNC routers, and material handling systems.
  3. These drives can also easily handle high load capacities and duty cycles.
  4. The sectors covered include automotive, material handling, automation, machine tool, aerospace, and robotics.
  5. A train may be pushed up very steep slopes using a rack and pinion railway, which has a central rack between the two rails that interacts with a pinion on the engine.
Rack and Pinion Gear

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