A cam is generally a disc or a cylinder mounted on a rotating shaft, and it gives a special motion to a follower, by direct contact. The cam profile is determined by the required follower motion and the design of the type of follower.
The motions of cams can be considered to some extent as alternatives to motions obtained from linkages, but they are generally easier to design, and the resulting actions can be accurately predicted. If, for example, a follower is required to remain stationary, then this is achieved by a concentric circular arc on the cam. For a specified velocity or acceleration, the displacement of the follower can easily be calculated, but these motions are very difficult to arrange precisely with linkages.
Specialist cam-manufacturers computerize design data and, for a given requirement, would provide a read-out with cam dimensions for each degree, minute, and second of camshaft rotation.
When used in high-speed machinery, cams may require to be balanced, and this becomes easier to perform if the cam is basically as small as possible. A well-designed cam system will involve not only consideration of velocity and acceleration but also the effects of out-of-balance forces, and vibrations. Suitable materials must be selected to withstand wear and the effect of surface stresses.
Probably the most widely used cam is the plate cam, with its contour around the circumference. The line of action of the follower is usually either vertical or parallel to the camshaft, and Fig. 24.1 shows several examples.
Examples are given later of a cylindrical or drum cam, where the cam groove is machined around the circumference, and also a face cam, where the cam groove is machined on a flat surface.
Was this article helpful?
Realize Your Dream of Becoming a Professional Pencil Drawing Artist. Learn The Art of Pencil Drawing From The Experts. A Complete Guide On The Qualities of A Pencil Drawing Artist.