The term “Cam and Follower Mechanism” refers to a common type of mechanism used in mechanical engineering that consists of a higher pair of links. These two additional links can be utilized for either occasional or regular link repositioning. Engineers also rely on cam and follower devices to guarantee an error rate of 0. When it comes to internal combustion engines, the cam and follower mechanism is the norm for valve operation. The mechanism comprises three parts: the driven member, also known as a follower, the frame that holds the cam and the follower, and the frame itself.
What is Cam?
A cam is a revolving part of the machine that makes direct contact with the follower, causing the latter to oscillate or reciprocate. This component’s primary function is to transfer rotational motion to a linear one. A cam can be used as a primary tooth in a steam hammer, allowing an engineer to inject the tool with concentrated bursts of power.
Types of Cam
Below is a list of some of the different kinds of cams out there:
Disk or Plate Cam
Disk (or plate) cams cannot convey a regular motion to the follower because of their irregular shape.
A groove characterizes the cylindrical cam cut into its cylindrical surface, with the follower moving along that surface in a direction perpendicular to the cylinder’s axis.
A translating cam consists of a plate with a series of grooves or contours and a follower that oscillates in the face of the plate.
The wedge cam has a flat, angled profile to impart a precise motion on the follower.
The grooved contour of a spiral cam can be either half a circle or a spiral, and both the cam and the follower rotate around the cam’s axis as it moves in a reciprocating motion.
Its primary function is to return a shaft, under pressure from a roller, to a predetermined position, therefore fixing the cam in place.
What is a follower?
A follower is a machine part that rotates or oscillates in response to the motion of a cam without being connected to the cam itself. When a cam rotates on its axis, the follower rotates vertically concerning the cam’s axis. It changes the cam’s rotating action into a reciprocating or oscillating one.
Types of Followers
The following are examples of the numerous types of followers that existed:
The area of contact between the cam and this follower is pointed. It’s the simplest type of follower, but its sharp edge means it’s seldom used for quick applications.
Due to its smooth contact with the surface, this type of follower is typically employed in high-speed operations.
This follower style has the appearance of a smooth surface with an erratic cam. Since this cam’s follower can withstand higher lateral thrust, it is helpful in applications where space is at a premium.
This particular follower has a cam and a curved but standard follower. This is an adaptation of a conventional follower with a flat face.
The axis of rotation in this style of the cam follower is located at the hub of the camshaft. There is a general uniformity of motion among the followers.
The movement of the follower’s axis, which is not colinear with the movement of the cam’s axis, is characteristic of this type of follower.
The smooth operation of a tiny machine part is made possible by a cam follower mechanism; hence it plays a crucial function. The mechanism of the cam and follower is also incorporated into the development of central locks and ordinary lock systems. Mechanical engineering relies heavily on cam and follower devices. Before grasping the concept of cam and follower, the user should be familiar with the idea of links and pairs.