The design of high-torque, high-reduction gear reducers often requires the use of multi-stage gearing, planetary gear systems, or both. Because these systems contain many independent parts, they often become bulky. When these systems will be used in downhole oilfield equipment, compactness can become a crucial factor. Moreover, downhole oilfield equipment generally requires that areas of the system be reserved to provide some fluid flow-path around the equipment. A unique gear reducer was designed to accommodate this need for compactness. The new reducer system consists of only four gears, two of which are built as a single part. All four gears are positioned roughly concentrically within a donut-like space, and the open center accommodates fluid flow. Unlike other gear reducer systems, this system employs not only a ratio (divisional) method, but also a unique subtraction method. Consequently, a reduction of more than 2000:1 is possible. With this radical design, conventional gear teeth cannot be used if good meshing is desired. Subsequently, a special gear tooth shape was designed to provide surface contact between the teeth. With this special shape, full contact of more than 30% of the teeth can be achieved, compared to one or two teeth in standard designs. Thus, the new system also improves load-transmitting capacity. In this paper, the design of the new gear reducer is discussed in detail. A specific application in which high-pressure, sand-laden slurry is pumped through the center of this gear reducer is also discussed.

This content is only available via PDF.
You do not currently have access to this content.