A worm gear is similar to a screw having single or multiple start threads, which form the teeth of the worm. The worm drives the worm gear or worm wheel to enable transmission of motion. The axes of worm and worm gear are at right angles to each other.
Worms and worm wheels are not limited to cylindrical shapes. There is the hour-glass type which can increase the contact ratio, but production becomes more difficult. Due to the sliding contact of the gear surfaces, it is necessary to reduce friction.
For this reason, generally, hard material is used for the worm, and soft material is used for the worm wheel. Even though the efficiency is low due to the sliding contact, the rotation is smooth and quiet. When the lead angle of the worm is small, it creates a self-locking feature.