As we all know, China is an ancient country with thousands of years of civilization history, and it is no exception for gear transmission technology. The invention of compass is a powerful proof. But in the past hundred years, the development of gear transmission technology in China lags far behind the developed countries in the West. Since the birth of new China, China’s gear transmission technology has made great progress, and its development is more obvious since the reform and opening up. Some distinctive technologies, such as hard tooth involute gear drive technology, enveloping worm drive technology, circular arc gear drive technology, are close to or reach the world’s advanced level. But generally speaking, there is still a considerable gap between China’s gear transmission technology and the developed countries in the world.
This paper briefly reviews the long history of China’s gear transmission, traces back to the rapid development of China’safter the founding of new China, discusses the current situation of China’s gear technology, and puts forward suggestions for the future development of China’s gear transmission technology.
In the 1960s, a model of ancient Chinese guide car was exhibited in the Washington Museum. According to archaeological evidence, this kind of guide car appeared in 1000 BC, that is to say, China’s gear transmission has a history of 3000 years. But later, the pace of development was extremely slow. Only after the founding of the people’s Republic of China, China’s gear transmission technology has made great progress. Gears and ears of wheat are the two elements of the national emblem, and become the symbol of industry and agriculture, which shows the universality and importance of gears. From the founding of new China to now, the author thinks that the development of China’s gear transmission can be divided into four stages.
In the first stage, from the late 1940s to the 1960s, China began to have its own gear industry, in which there were about 160 gear manufacturers (workshops). In 1956, the (Beijing) Research Institute of mechanical science was established, with a gear transmission research office, which is the earliest gear technology research and development institution in China.
The second stage is the 1970s. At that time, there were about 200 gear manufacturers involved in gear technology research, including Zhengzhou Machinery Research Institute, Xi’an Heavy Machinery Research Institute, Chengdu Tool Research Institute, etc. At the same time, there are about 10 institutions of higher learning engaged in gear transmission technology research.
The third stage is the 1980s. At that time, the main gear manufacturers developed to more than 500, more than 10 research institutes, and the number of institutions of higher learning engaged in gear transmission technology research rose to more than 30. The research of gear transmission technology has made great progress in China. At the same time, international exchanges are more frequent. In 1988, the International Academic Conference on gear transmission was held in Zhengzhou, China. 368 representatives from 18 countries attended the conference, including 105 overseas gear experts and scholars. In addition, Zhengzhou Machinery Research Institute of the Ministry of machinery completed the undpo project – China Gear Technology Development Center (1986-1990). Unid invested $900000 in the project, and the center also sent 21 engineers to study in industrial developed countries.
The fourth stage is from the 1980s to the beginning of the 21st century. During this period, China’s gear transmission technology has become mature. There are more than 600 majorenterprises, with an output value of 3.1 billion US dollars. During this period, there were 10 research institutes engaged in gear transmission technology and more than 20 institutions of higher learning.