What is a Differential in Vehicles and What Does it do

The differential is an integral part of any four-wheeled vehicle its wheels receive power from the engine through a drive shaft and the main function of the differential is to allow these wheels to rotate at different speeds while receiving power from the engine. Obviously to make a turn the left wheel needs to travel more distance than the right wheel which means the left wheel needs to be at a higher speed, if these wheels are connected using a solid shaft as shown the wheels will need to slide to make that turn. That’s exactly where the differential comes from, the ingenious mechanism in the differential allows the left and right wheels to spin at different speeds while transferring power to both wheels, step by step we will learn how a differential achieves this feat using its simplest configuration, transferring power from the engine. it is connected to the crown gear via a pinion gear the gear is connected to a spider gear located at the heart of the differential the spider gear is free to rotate in two different ways, one along the ring gear and two on its own axis the spider gear is meshed with the two side gears so the power from the engine is left from the pinion as shown and it flows to the right wheels now let’s consider different situations when the vehicle is moving straight the spider gear rotates with the ring gear but not on its own the spider gear will push both the side gears and rotate them at the same speed while the vehicle moves straight the spider side gear group will move as a single solid unit consider the situation when the vehicle turns to the right, the spider gear plays a role. The important role here is that the spider gear rotates on its own axis along with the rotation of the ring gear; The spider gear is forced to make this second rotation to meet the different speed demands of the right and left wheels, thus the spider gear has a unified structure.


Differential Combined Rotation :

The effect of combined rotation on the side gear is interesting, when properly engaged, the side gear should have the same peripheral speed as the spider gear, the peripheral speed on the left side of the spider gear as the spider gear spins and spins. the sum of the rotational speed but on the right side is the difference between the two the left side gear will have higher speed than the right side gear this is how the differential manages the left and right wheels to rotate left at different speeds turn the spider gear it will rotate in the opposite direction to carry the load one more spider gear is added Generally, four spider gear arrangements are used in heavy goods vehicles. In addition to allowing the wheels to rotate at different speeds, the differential has two more functions. The first of these alternative functions is to reduce the speed, which will result in an increase in torque in the pinion ring gear group, and the other function is to turn the direction of power flow by 90 degrees.

Limited Slip Differentials :

The differential is known as an open or standard differential and is capable of Spinning the wheels at different speeds has a significant disadvantage, but consider a situation where one wheel of a vehicle is on a surface with good traction and the other wheel is on a slippery road, in this case a standard differential will send the majority of the power to the wheels. To overcome this problem of slippery wheels meaning the vehicle will not be able to move, limited slip differentials have been introduced.


Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.