How Does a Crown and Pinion Gear Work?

A crown and pinion gear works by meeting at an angle that allows two shafts to rotate at different speeds. The crown and pinion gear system can also allow a mechanism to change the direction of a transmitted motion or change speeds. The crown and pinion gear format is also known as the rack and pinion gear, and it mechanically converts rotational motion into linear motion.

In a crown and pinion, the crown gear is a linear gear bar that the pinion gear, which is shaped in a circle, is connected to. The pinion gear goes through a rotational motion that moves the crown gear in a linear direction. An example of this movement can be seen in a crown railway in which the pinion gear is part of a railcar that engages the crown built between the rails and moves the train up a steep slope.

The crown and pinion gear system can often be found as part of a linear actuator in which the rotation of the gears is powered by motor or by hand. In this setup, the gear ratio reduces the amount of force required for movement. The system can also be found in the steering mechanism for wheeled vehicles.