What is the Difference Between Continuous Overloading and Shock Loading?

Continuous overloading is running your equipment while constantly (or near constantly) exceeding the load limit of any individual component. Equipment operating under continuous overload is subjected to an increased rate of wear. For example, if a conveyor system pulls more weight than one of its components is rated for, it will cause that part to fail prematurely. 

In Speed Reducers, overloading may lead to the following, which could shorten the life of the reducer:

  • Gear tooth overload
  • Inadequate lubrication film
  • Overheating

Shock loading is a sudden, SUBSTANTIAL increase in load. Recurrent shock loads will have a pounding or hammering effect on the machinery. Avoiding shock loads can be challenging. Shock loading your equipment also causes damage to various components. For example –  In Speed Reducers, recurrent shock loading can cause chips, dents, fractures, and other catastrophic failures in gear teeth.

A graph showing reducer capacity as a straight line. A second line runs above this line and is titled Continuous Overloading. A third line runs below the capacity line. However, it occasionally spikes well above the capacity line. It is illustrating Shock Loading.

Continuous overloading and shock loading can both cause damage to your speed reducer or surrounding components. Here are some ways to avoid unscheduled shutdowns and expensive repairs:

  • Use the proper service factor for reducer selection.
  • Design an application in a way that ensures consistently spaced loads and regular offloads.
  • Select parts with sufficient load capacities for your application.

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