Gears have been used by mankind for many centuries. These are the mechanical devices that force objects to create a rotary motion. There are multiple applications that use a ring gear. Many ancient artifacts document the use of a ring gear configuration within gear drives for chariots, clocks, locomotives, and airplanes.
The first use of differential gears has been traced back to the early western Zhou dynasty in China. These gears were used as a differential torque gear to assist in moving chariots. This gear assemble forces the wheels of a chariot to move as one unit.
Some of the earliest known gears were made from wood. These early ring gears were used in the area of text mills and grind mills. In the Middle Ages many gears were designed from stone. The ring gear technology quickly evolved into electric motors and steam engines during the industrial revolution.
The automobile is a mechanical engineering marvel. Each component is designed to work in unison based on gears, electronics, and basic mechanics. The automobile uses a gear drive that connects to the drive train of a vehicle which causes the wheels move. This gear drive is connected to the transmission, which is connected to the motor, causing the wheels to turn as the motor is accelerated.
Ring gears are available in many different sizes. The gear ratio is the number that represents the size of the ring gear as compared to another gear drive. This ratio determines how many rotations it will spin before the wheels will turn. Lower gear ratios cause the wheels to spin more often than higher gear ratios.
In an automobile, the ring gear can also affect the overall fuel economy. Most performance cars have lower gear ratios, which increases the acceleration of the car. This added performance comes at the cost of gas mileage.
Most large trucks require a lower ring gear ratio for increased towing force. This force is best described as the torque capacity of the vehicle. The gear ratio directly affects the torque capacity as it creates more movement and power at a lower RPM.
A ring gear can be best described with a gear on a bicycle. The wheels of a bike spin easiest with smaller gears but they require more rotations to move forward. As the gear is adjusted into a larger, lower gear ratio it becomes difficult to turn the wheel, but more acceleration is produced with fewer rotations.