Planetary gear train
Zimmerman, John R. Department of Mechanical Engineering, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania.
Anglin, Donald L. Consultant, Automotive and Technical Writing, Charlottesville, Virginia.
Last reviewed:January 2020
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An assembly of meshed gears consisting of a central or sun gear, a coaxial internal or ring gear, and one or more intermediate pinions supported on a revolving carrier. Sometimes the term planetary gear train is used broadly as a synonym for epicyclic gear train, or narrowly to indicate that the ring gear is the fixed member. In a simple planetary gear train the pinions mesh simultaneously with the two coaxial gears (see illustration). With the central gear fixed, a pinion rotates about it as a planet rotates about its sun, and the gears are named accordingly: the central gear is the sun, and the pinions are the planets.
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