A gear rack is a mechanical component that forms part of a linear actuator, which transfers rotational movement into linear movement.
Gear racks work in conjunction with pinions (circular gears) to create vertical and horizontal movement, for example, in lifting equipment. Both the gear rack and the pinion have teeth cut into them. Applying rotational movement to the pinion causes its teeth to interact with the teeth on the straight gear rack, creating linear movement.
What are gear racks used for?
Gear racks are important for applications where shaft rotation is done by hand or a motor. They are also used to control valves in pipeline transport.
Apart from usage in lifting mechanisms, gear racks can help directional change. They provide rigidness coupled with responsiveness for increased control, which is ideal for steering systems.
Their main advantages are their simple design, significant load carrying capacity and unlimited length design capabilities.
Types of gear racks
Conveying systems use fixed racks, where the rack and pinion are joined with straight or helical teeth and the rack remains stationary.
Extrusion systems make use of moving racks, which rotate around the gear, supported by roller mechanisms.