Mechanical Power Transmissions

In most machinery, energy is created in a different place than it is used. The process of energy moving from the place it is generated to the place it is applied is called mechanical power transmission. Typically, this process involves creation of energy in an electric motor or internal Combustion Engine, which then gets passed to another part of the machine via linkages and transmission elements.

Mechanical power transmission is important because it can often be difficult to generate energy where it is needed while being in the correct form, direction, or magnitude. This makes mechanical power transmission capabilities vital for any engineering design. There are four main reasons Mechanical Power Transmissions are used. They are:

  1. They can take already-generated power or energy and convert it into a useful form.
  2. Physical constraints often limit the power generation at the place of its application, so transmissions enable a smooth transition from the source.
  3. They can be used to change direction, speed, and torque.
  4. They can be used to alter the kind of energy (rotational to linear, etc.).

In addition to this, mechanical power transmission provides benefits such as efficient power transfer, the ability to adjust rotational speeds, and the ability to reverse rotational direction of the motor. The various parts within a mechanical power transmission are able to distribute the power source among several mechanisms allowing each individual part to operate more efficiently. The main components of a mechanical power transmission are shafts, couplings, power screws, Gears/Gear Trains, belts, ropes, pulleys, chains, sprockets, brakes, and clutches.

The brakes found in mechanical power transmissions can vary from locking brakes, stop brakes, regulating brakes, and dynamometric brakes, which can be both hydraulic and electric. When deciding what brakes are best for your system, it is important to consider the amount of Torque Transmitted, the actuating force, as well as energy loss and temperature limits.


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