Draw the neat sketch of epicyclic gear train and explain how it works.
In an epicyclic gear train, the axes of the shafts, over which the gears are mounted, may move relative to a fixed axis. A simple epicyclic gear train is shown in Fig. where a gear A and the arm C have a common axis at 1 about which they can rotate. The gear B meshes with gear A and has its axis on the arm at O2, about which the gear B can rotate. If the arm is fixed, the gear train is simple and gear A can drive gear B or viceversa, but if gear A is fixed and the arm is rotated about the axis of gear A (i.e. O1), then the gear B is forced to rotate upon and around gear A. Such a motion is called epicyclic and the gear trains arranged in such a manner that one or more of their members moves upon and around another member are known as epicyclic gear trains (epi - means upon and cyclic means around). The epicyclic gear trains may be simple or compound.
The epicyclic gear trains are useful for transmitting high velocity ratios with gears of moderate size in a comparatively lesser space. The epicyclic gear trains are used in the back gear of lathe, differential gears of the automobiles, hoists, pulley blocks, wrist watches etc.