Linear gear is a gear that exhibits linear motion when it meshes with the different types of circular gears. It is a rectangular strip with teeth of different shapes on it. For example, rack and pinion is a type of linear gear actuator, wherein circular motion is converted into linear motion, where rack acts as a linear gear and pinions act as a circular gear.
The steering mechanism has to be highly reliable and accurate. This has led to a rise in production of linear gears. Increase in concerns about safety and security has resulted in the addition of rack and pinion mechanism with the hydraulic steering system to back up the malfunction of the hydraulic system. This is one of the key factors driving the linear gear market. Linear gears are also used in special purpose vehicles, which are used in intercollegiate events such as organized by SAE (Society of Automotive Engineers) and go-karting as well
Based on the shape of teeth on the rack, the automotive linear gear market can be classified into rack with straight teeth, helical teeth, and roller pinion. Straight teeth have the tooth axis parallel to the axis of rotation. Straight teeth gears are generally Helical teeth gears provide continuous engagement along the tooth length and are often quieter and more efficient than straight tooth gears. Helical tooth gears resemble spur gears in the plane of rotation, but include teeth that are twisted along a helical path in axial direction. Roller pinion drives use bearing supported rollers that mesh with the teeth of that rack in order to provide minimal to no backlash.
Based on application, the automotive linear gear market can be segregated into linear gears for steering mechanism, drive transmission, and measuring scales. Rack and pinion arrangement is majorly used in steering mechanism to convert the rotary motion of the steering wheel into linear motion of the tie rod. Under the steering mechanism, the tie rod has the linear gear, which meshes with the pinion mounted at the end of the steering wheel bar. A linear gear in the form of a belt can be used to transmit the motion between two gears. This would result in higher efficiency and no slippage. Linear gear is also used in measuring scales, wherein it turns the dial with the help of rack and pinion arrangement.
Based on material, the automotive linear gear market can be divided into metallic and non-metallic. The metallic material is used in the manufacture of harder gears. Metals such as cast iron, low carbon steel, medium carbon, high carbon steel, and alloy steel are used for manufacturing of automotive linear gear. Non-metallic linear gears are used at places where some flexibility is required. This includes belt transmission (belt with teeth). Generally, the material used is synthetic resins, plastics, etc.
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Based on vehicle type, the automotive linear gear market can be split into passenger vehicles and commercial vehicles. Passenger vehicles include hatchbacks, sedans, and multi-utility vehicles. Commercial vehicles are further categorized into light commercial vehicles and heavy commercial vehicles. Light commercial vehicles include small carriers, health care vehicles, and three wheelers. Heavy commercial vehicles include heavy duty trucks, buses, agricultural vehicles, and off-road vehicles.
Based on geography automotive linear gear market can be segmented in Asia Pacific, North America, South America, Europe and Rest of the World. In Asia Pacific & North America is likely to expand significantly in the near future due to the high production of automotives in these regions. The U.K. is a significant producer of automotive linear gear in Europe.
Key global manufacturers of linear gear are Pailton Engineering Limited, Pearl Engineers, Andantex USA Inc., AmTech International, Stock Drive Products/Sterling Instruments, Nordex Inc., Neugart USA Corp., and Atlanta Drive Systems Inc.
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