Canadian Patents Database / Patent 1271604 Summary

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Claims and Abstract availability

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(12) Patent: (11) CA 1271604
(21) Application Number: 596944
(54) English Title: APPARATUS AND METHOD FOR MACHINING AN ENVELOPING-TYPE WORM SCREW
(54) French Title: DIPOSITIF ET METHODE POUR L'USINAGE D'UNE VIS SANS FIN ENVELOPPANTE
(52) Canadian Patent Classification (CPC):
  • 10/29
(51) International Patent Classification (IPC):
  • B23F 15/00 (2006.01)
  • B23F 13/06 (2006.01)
(72) Inventors :
  • BRACKETT, GEORGE E. (United States of America)
(73) Owners :
  • BRACKETT, GEORGE E. (Not Available)
  • MAXAXAM CORPORATION (United States of America)
(71) Applicants :
(74) Agent: G. RONALD BELL & ASSOCIATES
(74) Associate agent: G. RONALD BELL & ASSOCIATES
(45) Issued: 1990-07-17
(22) Filed Date: 1985-03-13
(30) Availability of licence: Yes
(30) Language of filing: English

(30) Application Priority Data:
Application No. Country/Territory Date
588,967 United States of America 1984-03-13

English Abstract






ABSTRACT OF THE DISCLOSURE
A method and apparatus are disclosed for
machining hourglass screw threads on an enveloping-type
worm screw by engaging at least one angularly positioned
cutter with a screw blank having an hourglass shape. The
screw blank is rotated about its central longitudinal
axis at the same time that each angularly positioned
cutter is pivoted through the screw blank at a rate which
is less than the rate of rotation of the screw blank.


Note: Claims are shown in the official language in which they were submitted.





THE EMBODIMENTS OF THE INVENTION IN WHICH AN
EXCLUSIVE PROPERTY OR PRIVILEGE IS CLAIMED ARE DEFINED AS
FOLLOWS:

1. Apparatus for machining an enveloping-type
worm screw from a screw blank having an hourglass shape
and a central longitudinal axis, comprising first mounting
means for mounting said screw blank such that said screw
blank is rotatable about a first axis which is coincident
with said central longitudinal axis of said screw blank;
first positioning means for positioning a first cutter,
having a central longitudinal axis, on one side of said
screw blank such that said first cutter is pivotable about
a second axis arranged at an angle of 90° relative to said
first axis, said first cutter being positioned at a
predetermined inclined angle relative to a plane which
includes said first axis and which is normal to said
second axis and said first cutter being positioned such
that said central longitudinal axis of said first cutter
intersects said central longitudinal axis of said screw
blank at a point intermediate two opposed ends of said
screws blank; first rotating means for rotating said screw
blank about said first axis at a first rate; and first
pivoting means for pivoting said first cutter about said
second axis at a second rate which is less than said first
rate, said first cutter being pivoted as said screw blank
rotates, whereby said first cutter forms a first hourglass
screw thread in said screw blank.

2. Apparatus according to claim 1, further
comprising revolving means for revolving said first cutter
about its central longitudinal axis as said first cutter
is pivoted about said second axis.

3. Apparatus according to claim 1, further
comprising second mounting means for mounting a second
cutter, having a central longitudinal axis, on an opposite
of said screw blank such that said second cutter is
pivotable about a third axis arranged at an angle of 90°

11





relative to said first axis, said second cutter being
positioned at a predetermined inclined angle relative to a
plane which includes said first axis and which is normal
to said third axis and said second cutter being positioned
such that said central longitudinal axis of said second
cutter intersects said central longitudinal axis of said
screw blank at a point intermediate said two opposed ends
of said screw blank, and second pivoting means for
pivoting said second cutter about said third axis at a
second rate during the simultaneous rotation of said screw
blank about said first axis at said first rate, whereby
said second cutter forms a second hourglass screw thread
in said screw blank.

4. Apparatus according to claim 3, further
comprising first revolving means for revolving said first
cutter about its central longitudinal axis as said first
cutter is pivoted about said second axis and second
revolving means for revolving said second cutter about its
central longitudinal axis as said second cutter is pivoted
about said third axis.

5. Apparatus according to claim 3, wherein said
second cutter trails said first cutter by a distance
determined by the value of the lead angle of said first
and second hourglass screw threads, whereby said first and
second hourglass screw threads do not interfere with each
other.

6. Apparatus according to claim 3, wherein said
first and second cutters are hobbing disks.

7. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said
first cutter is a hobbing disk.

8. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein said
first and second axes are spaced apart a predetermined
distance equal to the radius of a worm wheel adapted for
use in connection with said worm screw.



12





9. Apparatus according to claim 8, wherein said
predetermined distance is adjustable.

10. Apparatus according to claim 1, wherein
said first and second rates are variable so as to achieve
any desired ratio between them.




13

Note: Descriptions are shown in the official language in which they were submitted.

3~ 7~
--1--
The present invention relates to a method and
apparatus for machining enveloping-type worm screws which
are adapted for use in a power transmission system
utilizing a roller worm wheel, rather than a fixed tooth
gear wheel.
In my copending Canadian Patent Applicakion
Serial No. 476,460 filed concurrently herewith, which
copending application is owned by the assignee of the
present application and is entitled "IMPROVED POWER
TRANSMISSION SYSTEM'~, there is disclosed a new and
improved worm drive system which includes an enveloping-
type worm screw and a roller worm wheel. ~ore
particularly, the roller worm wheel includes two sets oE
rollers inclined at an angle relative to a plane which
divides the worm wheel into two symmetrical halves and
which is normal to the worm wheel's axis of rotation. One
set of rollers is positioned on one side of the imaginary
plane of symmetry, while the other set of rollers is
positioned on the opposite side of the imaginary plane of
symmet~ry in a staggered relationship relative to the first
set of rollers.
In Collier United States Patent No. 921,593, a
technique for cutting an enveloping-type worm screw is
disclosed. 'rhe technique involves forming an hourglass
2S screw thread using a cutter which is always directed at
the central longitudinal axis of a worm screw blank.
~ccordingly, the hourglass screw thread is specifically
designed to mate with roller teeth or Eixed teeth which
are always directed at the central longitudinal axis of
the worm screw. The technique described in the Collier
patent is, therefore, not suitable for machining an
hourglass screw thread adapted to mate with the angularly
positioned rollers of the roller worm wheel disclosed in
the copending patent application identified above.
~ccording to one aspect of the present
invention, there is provided a me~hod and apparatus for
manufacturing an enveloping-type worm screw which is
adapted to make with the rollers of the worm wheel


employe(J by the new and improved drive system disclosed
in the above-identiEied copending application. The method
and apparatus involve mounting an hourglass-shaped screw
blanlc such that the screw blanlc is rotatable about a
first axis which is coincident with a cent~al
longitudinal axis oE the screw blank. A first cutter is
positioned on one side of the screw blank such that the
first cutter is pivotable about a second axis arranged at
an angle of 90 relative to the first axis. Furtller, the
first cutter is positioned at a predetermined inclined
angle relative to a plane which includes the first axis
ancl which is normal to the second axis. Tle first cutter
is also positioned such that its central longitudinal
axis intersects the central longitudinal axis of the
screw blank at a point intermediate two opposecl ends of
the screw blank. The screw blanlc is then rotated about
the first axis at a first rate, while the first cutter is
simultaneously pivoted about the second axis at a second
rate which is less than the first rate, whereby the first
cutter forms a first hourglass screw thread in the screw
blank.
In accordance with another aspect of the
present invention, a second hourglass screw thread can be
machined in the screw blank by positioning a second
cutter on an opposite side of the screw blank such that
the second cutter is pivotable about a third axis
arranged at an angle of 90 relative to the first axis.
Further, the second cutter is positioned at a
predetermined inclined angle relative to a plane which
includes the first axis and which is normal to the third
axis. The second cutter is also positioned such that its
central ]ongitudinal axis intersects the central
longitudinal axis of the screw blanlc at a polnt
intermediate the two opposed ends of the screw blanlc.
After the second cutter is so positioned, it is pivoted
about the third axis at the same rate as the Eirst
cutter, while the screw blank is simultaneously rotated
about the first axis at the first rate.

-3
According to yet another aspect oE the present
invention, the first cutter can machine both the Eirst
hourglass screw thread and the second hourglass screw
thread by remounting the screw blank, after the machining
of the first hourglass screw threadv such that the two
opposed ends of the screw blank are reversed and such that
the screw blank is again rotatable about the first axis.
After locating the remounted screw blank in a position in
which the first cutter will cut the second hourglass screw
1~ thread without interfering with the first hourglass screw
thread, the screw blank is rotated about the first axis at
the first rate, while the first cutter is simultaneously
pivoted about the second axis at the second rate.
In order that the present invention may be Eully
understood, it will be described with reference to the
accompanying drawings in which:
Figure 1 is a right side elevational view oE a
thread-cutting machine adapted to manuEacture an
enveloping-type worm screw in accordance with the present
invention;
Figure 2 is a left side elevational view of the
machine illùstrated in solid lines in Figure lr a portion
of the machine being broken away to facilitate
consideration and discussion;
Figure 3 is a front elevational view of the
machine i]lustrated in solid lines in Figures 1 and 2;
Figure 4 is a top view of the machine
illustrated in solid lines in Figures 1-3; and
Figure 5 is a diagrammatic illustration oE the
relationship between various elements oE the machine shown
in ~igures 1-4.
The present invention is especially useful in
connection with the manuEacture of worm drive systems like
those described and illustrated in copending Canadian
Patent Application Serial No. 476,460 filed concurrently
herewith, which copending application is owned by the
assignee of the present application and is entitled
"IMPROVED POWER TRANSMISSION SYSTEM".

~ ~7~


In order to facilitate consideration and
discussion of the exemplary embodiments of the present
invention described in detail below, it is assumed that
the invention will be constructed ancl operated so as to
manufacture a worm screw for a twelve to one ratio worm
drive system, which also includes a worm wheel having a
four inch radius and two sets of rollers inclined at an
angle of thirty degrees relative to a plane which divides
the worm wheel into two symmetxical halves and which is
normal to the worm wheel's axis of rotation, one set of
rollers being positioned on one side of the imaginary
plane of symmetry and the other set of rollers being
positioned on the opposite side of the imaginary- plane of
symmetry in a staggered relationship relative to the first
set of rollers. The present invention does, of course,
permit the machining of worm screws for worm drive systems
having other ratios and worm wheels oE various 9i zes and
roller orientations.
With reEerence to Figures 1-5, there is shown a
machine 10 for manufacturing an enveloping-type worm screw
for use wi~th the speciEic worm drive system described
above. More particularly, the machine 10 includes a
support table 12 having a horizontal top 14. A base plate
16, having suitable bearings tnot shown), is slidably and
pivotally mounted on the top 14 of the support table 12.
An angular mounting block 18 is attached to the base plate
16. The mounting block 18 is attached to the base plate
16. The mounting block 18 carries a slide 20, which
slidably receives a variable speed motori~ed quill head
22. The quill head 22 may, for example~ be a Bridgeport
Model SP-651-BJC4-203D having a chuck 24 adapted to
removably support a cutter 26 tsee Figures 2-5~, such as a
fifteen degree tapered end mill, for rotation about an
axis of rotation 28 (see Figure 5).

`" ~2~

,~
A conventional twelve to one ratio worm gear
unit 30 is mounted underneath the top 14 of the support
table 12. The worrn gear unit 30 includes a hori~,ontal1y
arranged input shaft 32 (see ~ig. 2) and a vertically
- 5 arranged output shaft 34 (see Figs. 2, 4, and 5) 9 which
rotates once for every twelve revolutions of the input
shaft 32.
The input shaft 32 is fixedly attached to an
input shaft gear 36 (see Fig. 1), which meshes with a
drive gear 37 (see Fig. 1) of a variable speed elec~ric
motor 38, mounted on one side of the support table 12.
Electrical controls 40 for the motor 38 are mounted on
the front of the support table 12.
The output shaft 34 of the worm gear unit 30
extends upwardly through an opening (not shown) in the
top 14 of the support table 12. The output shaft 34 is
fixedly attached to tlle base plate 16 so that the ~ase
plate 16 rotates conjointly with the output shaft 34
about a central longitudinal axis 42 (see Fig. 5) of the
output shaft 34.
Pillow blocks 44, 46, which are adjustably
mounted on the top 14 of the support table 12, rotatably
support a screw blank 48 (see Fig. 4) for rotation about
a central longitudinal axis 50 (see Fig. 5) of the screw
blank 48. The screw blank 48 has an hourglass shape
characterized by opposed cylindrical ends 52, 54 and a
parabolic midsection 56. The opposed ends 52, 54 of the
screw blank 48 are attached to bearings 58, 60,
respectively, rotatably supported in the pillow
blocks 44, 46, respectively.
With particular reference to Fig. 1, the
bearing 58 of the pillow block 44 is connected to and
driven by the drive gear 37 o~ the motor 38 through a
gearing system 62, which includes the input shaEt
gear 36, a large idler gear 64, two small idler
gears 66, 68 and a pillow block gear ~0. The gearing
system 62 is designed such that the screw blank 48 malces
one complete revolution about its central longitudinflL

--6--
axis 50 f~r each complete revolution of the input
shaft 32 of the worm gear unit 30. Inasmuch as the output
shaft 34 of the worrn gear unit 30 rotates once for every
twelve revolutions of the input sha~t 32, the screw
blank 48 which rotates at the same rate as the input
shaft 32, revolves twelve times for each complete
revolution of the quill head 22, which rotates conjointly
with the output shaft 34, about the central longitudinal
axis 42 of the output shaft 34.
In order to machine the desired worm screw from
the screw blank 48~ the pillow blocks 44, 46 are locatecl
such that the shortest distance (d) between the cent~al
longitudinal axis 50 of the screw blank 48 and the
central longitudinal axis 42 of the output shaft 34 is
four inches (see ~'i.g. 5), which distance ~d) corresponds
to the radius of the worm wheel to be used in combinatio
with the worm screw machi.ne from the screw blanlc 48. Tlle
cutter 28 is positioned at an inclined angle (~ )
relative to the top 14 of the support table 12 and hence
to the horizontal (see Fig. 5). The angle (~ ) is
selected so as to match tlle angle of the rollers employed
by the worm wheel of the contemplated worm gear set.
Thus, the angle (~ ) is thirty degrees. The quill head 22
is positioned such that a vertical plane containing the
axis of rotation 28 of the cutter 26 is normal to the
central longitudinal axis 50 of the screw blank 48 at a
point intermediate the opposed ends 52, 54 of the screw
blank 48, the screw blank 48 beîng symmetrical about this
vertical plane when the plane intersects such an
intermediate point on the screw blank 48. With the quill.
head 22 so positioned, the cutter 26 is located at a
height selected such that its axis of rotati.on 28
intersects the central longitudinal axis 50 of the screw
blank 48 intermediate the ends 52, 54 of the screw
blank 48. The depth of the cut to be made by the
cutter 26 can be selected by moving the quill head 22 up
or down the sl.ide 20.

` ~2 ~L~

Upon actuation of the motor 38, the drive
gear 37 of the motor 38 rotates the input shaft gear 36
which, in turn, rotates the input shaft 32 of the worrn
gear unit 30. The worm gear unit 30 is designed such that
S the output shaEt 34 makes one revolution for every twelve
revolutions of the input sh~ft 32. The rotation of the
output shaft 34 is transferred to the quill head 22
through the base plate 16. The controls 40 for the
motor 38 are such that the direction of rotation of the
drive gear 37 can be reversed, whereby the output
shaft 34 and, hence, the quill head 22 can be rotated in
a clockwise direction or in a counterclockwise cllrection.
Reversing the direction of rotation of the drive gear 37
of the motor 38 would also, of course, reverse the
direction of rotation of the screw bLank 48 about its
central longitudinal axis 50.
The gearing system 62 is designed such that the
screw blank 48 rotates twelve times cluring the period
that it takes the quill head 22 and, henceg the cutter 26
to make one complete revolution about the central
longitudinàl axis 42 of the output shaft 34 of the worm
gear unit 30. During a typical milling operation, the
quill heacl 22 does not, however, malce a complete
revolution about the axis 42. Rather, the quill head 22
rotates through an arc which is less than three hunclred
and sixty degrees. The length of this arc, which is
typically about forty five degrees, is determined by the
diameter of the screw blank 48.
In order to cut a first hourglass screw threacl
in the screw blank 48, the cutter 26 is set for the depth
of cut desired for the first pass of the cutter 26
through the screw blank 48. The quil] head 22 is then
positioned such that the cutter 26 is pointed in the
general direction of the pillow block 44, the cutter 26
being out of contact with the screw blank 48. When tlle
quill head 22 is so positioned, the axis of rotation 28
of the cutter 26 does not intersect the centraL
longituclinal axis 50 oE the screw blanlc 48 b~t ralher

extends below the central longitudinal axis 50. The quill
head 22 is then rotated about the central longitudillal
axis 42 of the output sllaft 34 in a collnterclockwise
direction selected to move the quill head 22 toward the
end 54 oE the screw blank 48. As the quill head 22 is so
rotated, the cutter 26, which is rotating about its axis
of rotation 28~ contacts the screw blanlc 48, whicll is
also rotating about its central longitudinal axis 50, to
make the initial cut for the f:irst hourglass screw
thread. When the cutter 26 reaches a point intermediate
the ends 52, 54 of the screw blanlc 48j the axis of
rotation 28 of the cutter 26 intersects the central
longitudinal axis 50 of the screw blank 48. As the quill
head 22 continues its counterclockwise rotation, the axis
of rotation 28 of the cutter 26 again falls below the
central longitudinal axis 50 of the screw blank 48. Thus,
the cutter 26 traces a pass which is parabolic relat;ve
to the central longitudinal axis 50 oE the screw
blank 48. This parabolic path ma~ches the parabolic curve
of the parabolic midsection 56 of the screw blank ~8. The
parabolic~path traced by the cutter 26 also simulates the
path that one set of worm wheel rollers will take as they
roll through the worrn screw to be machined from the screw
blank 48.
After making the initial pass described above,
the quill head 22 is moved up the slide 20 so that the
cutter 26 will not contact the screw blank 48 as the
quill head 22 is rotated in a clockwise direction to
return it to its starting position (i.e., to a position
in which ~he cutter 26 is pointed in the general
direction oE the pillow block 44). The quill head 22 is
then moved down the slide 22 to a position in which tlle
cutter 26 will make a slight]y deeper cut in the screw
blank 48. As the cutter 26 passes back through the screw
blanlc 48, the cutter 26 retraces its initial parabolic
path. The number of passes required o the cutter 26
depends upon the desired depth of the Eirst hourglass
screw thread to be machined in the screw blank 48.

- 9 -
In order to generate a secvnd hourglass screw
thread for the other set of worm wheel rollers, the screw
blank 48 is removed from the bearings 58, 60 o~ e
pillow bloclcs 4~, 46 and, before being remounted in the
bearings 58, 60, turned end over end so that, upon
remounting, the end 52 is mounted in the bearing 60 and
the encl 54 is mounted in the bearing 58. The quill
head 22 i5 then returned to its starting position in the
manner described above. After setting the cutter 26 for
the desired depth of the initial cut and manually or
otherwise rotating the screw blank 4~ to a predetermined
angular position in which the first hourglass screw
thread will not be interfered with by the second
hourglass screw thread, the cutter 26 is rotated in a
counterclockwise direction to malce the initial cut Eor
the second hourglass screw threacl. As the cutter 26
passes througll the screw bLanl~ ~8, the cutter 26 traces a
path which is parabolic relative to the central
longitudinal axis 50 of the screw blank 48. This
parabolic path, which also matches the parbolic curve of
the parabolic midsection 56 oE the screw blanlc 48,
simulates the path that the other set of worm wheel
rollers will take as they roll through the worm screw to
be machined Erom the screw blanlc 48. Additional passes of
the cutter 26 are made as described above until the
second hourglass screw thread reaches the desired depth.
The two hourglass screw threads can also be
generatecl without reverse mounting the screw blank 48.
With reference to Fig. 1, the machine 10 can be provided
with anotller quill head 22' which is identical in
construction and operation to the quill head 22, except
that the quill head 22' is mounted on an opposite sicle oE
the screw blank 48 from the quill head 22. In operation,
the quill head 22' rotates simultaneously wi~h and at the
same rate as the quill head 22. During such rotation o~
the quill heads 22, 22', which can be accomplished ~y
suitably gearing the output shaft 34 o~ the worm gear
unit 30 to a corresponding drive sha~t for tlle (luill

--1,0--
head 22', the quill heads 22, 22' would preEerably rotate
in opposite ~irections (i.e., the quill head 22 woulcl
rotate in a counterclockwise direction as the quill
head 22' ro~ates in a clockwise clirection and vice
versa). In orcler to prevent the two hourglass screw
threads from interfering with each other, a cutter (not
shown) associated with the quill head 22' would trail the
cutter 26 by a distance determined by the value of the
lead angle of tl~e screw threads.
As indicated above, the Machine 10 is adapted
to permit the machining of worm screws for worm drive
systems having other ratios ancl worm wheels of various
sizes and roller orientations. Fur instance, the angl,e
(~ ) oE the cutter 26 can be variecl by chang;ng the angle
lS of the mounting bloclc ~8. If a change in ratio is
desired, the worm gear unit 30 can be removed an(l
replace~ with another conventional worm gear unit oE a
desired ratio. Also, the distance (d) between the central
longitudinal axis 50 of the screw blanl~ 48 and the
central longitudinal axis 42 of the output shaft 34 of
the worm `gear unit 30 can be varied by adjusting the
position of the plllow blocks 44, 46 relative to the
top 14 of the support table 12.
It will be understood that the embodiments
described herein are merely exemplary and that a person
skilled in the art may make many variations and
modifications without departing from the spirit and scope
of the invention. For instance, instead oE employing one
motor to drive the screw blank 48 and the quill head 22,
the screw blank 48 and the quill head 22 can be driven by
independent power sources which are synchronized so as to
achieve the desired ratio between the rates oE rotation
of the screw blank 48 and the quill head 22. Also, the
quill head 22 and the cutter 26 could be replaced with a
ho'bbing disk or a similar device. All such moclifications
and variations are intended to be included within the
scope oE the invention as deEined in the appended claims.

A single figure which represents the drawing illustrating the invention.

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Admin Status

Title Date
Forecasted Issue Date 1990-07-17
(22) Filed 1985-03-13
(45) Issued 1990-07-17
Lapsed 1993-01-19

Abandonment History

There is no abandonment history.

Payment History

Fee Type Anniversary Year Due Date Amount Paid Paid Date
Registration of Documents $0.00 1985-05-14
Filing $0.00 1989-04-17
Current owners on record shown in alphabetical order.
Current Owners on Record
BRACKETT, GEORGE E.
MAXAXAM CORPORATION
Past owners on record shown in alphabetical order.
Past Owners on Record
None
Past Owners that do not appear in the "Owners on Record" listing will appear in other documentation within the application.

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Drawings 1993-10-07 5 90
Claims 1993-10-07 3 105
Abstract 1993-10-07 1 13
Cover Page 1993-10-07 1 20
Description 1993-10-07 10 491
Representative Drawing 2001-04-30 1 21