A speed reducing gearbox was designed to provide a required 85rpm output speed to a Sludge dewatering belt press, responsible for maximising the amount of water recovered, increasing overall system efficiency.
The gearbox & belt press are housed within an un-insulated tin shed located adjacent to an airport and ocean, where the operating environment can be considered harsh as a result of the increased atmospheric moisture, jet fuel and sea salt present in the air. The application of dewatering the sludge from the treatment plant, contributes to the moisture in the operational environment, where average shed temperature can range between 45 to 50°C.
A 2 stage gear box design was determined to be ideal to minimise the design, fabrication and maintenance complexity of the gearbox, and deliver the lowest possible design cost. Spur gears were selected to provide a balance between simplicity of design, efficiency, low cost, and remove the need for thrust bearings in the shaft support.
A custom made excel spreadsheet was used to calculated al later required loads and torques, to allow faster design revisions as the design progressed.To facilitate ease of assembly/disassembly, the split surface for the housing was located at the mid-level of the input and output bearing housings, with an IP65 protection rating to suit the operation environment.
The design was developed together with 3 other design engineers who helped contribute towards and verify the various calculations performed for each design element. Aside from essential design responsibilities, my duties also included project planning, calculations and CAD/Inventor modelling.