Welded vs. Bolted Ring Gears

Welded vs. Bolted Ring Gears

There is often a lively debate early in a program when we are discussing the pros and cons of laser welded ring gears vs. bolted ring gears. Just about every company that makes gears has both styles to some extent.


There is no right answer for every application. Mass savings with welding often dominates the conversation, but let’s take a high level look at some of the other pros and cons to consider if you find yourself if this conversation.



There are clearly more check boxes in favor of the bolted assembly. However, if someone if offering up 1kg or more in mass savings for a welded assembly, depending on the vehicle, welding very well may be a worthwhile venture. Looking at the comparison, it becomes obvious why companies typically employ both methods. For high performance, lightweight vehicles, laser welding becomes very attractive. For larger, heavy duty type applications where mass does not have as high of a premium, bolting wins the contest. The upside to welding is that after you make the investment, you will always have both technologies available to suit any application that comes your way.

About Author

Norm Parker

Norm Parker is currently the global senior specialist - roller bearings at FCA US LLC. With his bachelor and master degrees in mechanical engineering from Oakland University (Rochester, Michigan), Parker has developed a keen interest in the academic, commercial and engineering aspects of the bearing industry. Prior to joining FCA, he rose through the ranks of traditional bearing companies and served as bearing technical specialist for the driveline division at General Motors. He is a regular contributor to Power Transmission Engineering Magazine, appearing often in the publication’s popular Ask the Expert feature, as well as authoring a number of bearings-oriented feature articles and The Bearing Blog. The views expressed in this blog are Parker's personal views and they do not represent the views or opinions of FCA in any way.

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