How a Differential works ?

How a Differential works ?

Differential is an integral part of all four wheelers. Wheels receive power from the engine via a drive shaft. The main function of the differential
is to allow these wheels to turn at different RPM, while receiving power from the engine. Consider these wheels which are negotiating a turn. differential working animation It is clear that the left wheel has
to travel more distance compared to the right wheel. This means the left wheel has to rotate
at a higher speed. If these wheels were connected using a solid shaft as shown, the wheels would have
to slip to accomplish the turn. This is exactly where a differential comes. The ingenious mechanism in a differential allows left and right wheels to turn at different rpm, while
transferring power to both the wheels. We will learn how differential achieves this
in a step by step manner, using its simplest configuration. Power from the engine is transferred
to the ring gear through a pinion gear. The ring gear is connected to a spider gear, which is at the heart of the differential. Spider gear is free to make 2 kinds of rotations, one along with the ring gear and second on its own axis. Spider gear is meshed with 2
side gears. So, power from the engine flows from the pinion to the left and right wheels
as shown. Now let’s consider different cases. The vehicle moves straight. In this case spider gear rotates along with the ring gear, but does not rotate on its own axis. Spider gear will push and make the side gears turn, and both will turn at the same speed. Or when the vehicle is moving straight, Spider- Side gear assembly will move as a single solid unit. Now consider the case when the vehicle is taking a right turn. The spider gear plays
a pivotal role here. Along with the rotation of the ring gear, it rotates on its own axis. So the spider gear is having a combined rotation. The effect of combined rotation, on the side gear is interesting. When properly meshed side gear has to have same peripheral velocity as that of the spider gear. When the spider gear is spinning as
well as rotating, peripheral velocity at the left side of spider gear is sum of spinning and rotational velocity. But at right side it is difference of the two. Or left side gear will have higher speed compared to the right side gear. This is the way the differential
manages to turn left and right wheels at different speeds. While taking a left turn, the spider gear will spin in the opposite direction. In order to carry load one more spider gear is usually added. 4 spider gear arrangement
is also used for heavy load vehicles. Apart from allowing wheels to rotate at different rpm, differential has got 2 more functions. First is speed reduction at pinion ring gear
assembly. This will result in torque multiplication. The other function is to turn the power flow
direction by 90 degree. The differential we have gone through so far is known as open or standard differential. It is capable of turning wheels at different
rpm, but it has got one major drawback. Consider a situation where one wheel of the vehicle is in a surface with good traction and other wheel on a slippery track. In this case a standard differential will send the majority of the power to the slippery wheel, so the vehicle won’t be able to move. To overcome this problem Limited Slip Differentials are introduced. We will learn more about them in a separate video. Thank you

About the Author: Michael Flood


  1. What's up with all the dropped articles? "When properly meshed, the side gear has to have the same velocity" it's like it was written by a Russian.

  2. Why will vehicle not move when one wheel is on smooth and other on rough road?
    I don't understand it please explain it to me
    Thank you

  3. Perfectly explained sir. Thank you for making such animation video for us to understand basic concept easily.

  4. Holly fuk that is one screwed-up spider assembly it's supposed to have for gears not to and where the fuck's the cage

  5. If a car with an open differential is moving in a straight path, and the sun gears (drive shaft) get 50% torque from the ring gear and transfers it to the wheels, what % of torque gets transferred to the spider gears?

  6. It seems when it is going forward that the slip gear simply pushes both tires equall but when one begins to slow down in a turn the slip gear is allowed to spin thus slowing down how much one tire spins in the turn.

  7. I don’t understand how the ring gear and spider gear are connected to the shaft it’s hollow in the middle and it doesn’t make contact with anything in the center of the ring

  8. nice inventing
    mechanical ABS still nobody
    remove valves because springs "up down" from same engine still nobody
    recycling tires still nobody where is there some UN prize to push scientists to be busy with
    re filtering oil again and again use still nobody

  9. What the fuck lots of energy wast lots of I it's direct many power is petroleum is save but but petroleum copanis also involve there for banifit they not improve gaire box is already consume most of power if engine is directly connected with back weel its power is save but

  10. The same amount power is always delivered to both wheels. The amount of power it takes to spin the tire with the least traction is the same amount that is applied to the other

  11. In this video you illustrate the function of spider gear but you did not say the reason for the spinning of this gear while taking a turn you reversed the condition and said that the rotation and spinning summing up but what caused the spinning of spider gear
    i recommed this link

  12. In this morden internet era nothing is secret thanks god I born in this it very useful for people of developing country

  13. I thought of a simple mechanism when I thought of differentials, now this has me thinking a bit about cars.

  14. Nice

    You can visit our YouTube Channel for 3D animated process animation videos. Process Animation shows inherent production processes and manufacturing methodologies which helps normal people understand the concept even better. Our creative designers transform the complex or mundane processes into superbly sculpted 3D models with vivid visualization and presence.

  15. There is also a video from 1937 on youtube that explains how a differential works. Imo it's the best explanation. Everybody can understand that. (search: How Differential Steering Works 1937)

  16. اختراع جميل جدا رغم بساطته لكن التعقيد في فهم الحركه . الصراحه عدت الفديو اكثر من مره ياله افتهمته . شكرا جزيلا عله الشرح المفصل اجمل قناة واتمنه الفديوهات كله تترجم ل اللغة العربيه .

  17. WAIT WAIT WAIT engineering explained said than when a wheel is slipping, the majority of the torque is NOT being sent to that spinning wheel, it is still receiving 50% of the torque!

  18. Very cool video. You give enough time to think about the working mechanism. But y have one more question. Why does the spider gear turn?

  19. Pleeaase tell your voice-over guys to tidy up the English translation and read the script with proper grammar. These are really high quality videos but are let down by the weird, unnatural-sounding narration. It feels like native English people reading scripts written by someone for whom English is a second language, and it’s a bit distracting.

    That’s said, I’m learning a lot from your brilliant videos, thank you!

  20. These videos are very informative and intuitively animated, which I and many people appreciate.

    One criticism that I think many other people would agree with is the use (or lack thereof) of articles such as "a," "an," and "the." The voice actor you hire to voice the video clearly has a very good grasp of English, and I think if you allowed him (or anybody else with good English skills) to proofread and edit your scripts, it would make the videos that much more easy to follow. As it is, it is very distracting when the speaker keeps saying things like "To accomplish this, differential does…" or "in order to transfer power, spider gear rotate left and right side seperately." "Spider gear" and "differential" are not people – they need articles, i.e. "a differential, the spider gear," etc.

    Fixing this would take these videos from good to 100%. 🙂

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