What are the different types of cam in cam and follower mechanisms?

The cam is the rotating part of the cam and follower mechanism. There are many different types of cam. Let’s learn about these types:

1. Disc or Plate Cam:

A disc cam is made up of two discs that are held together by a series of rollers. These rollers can be seen in the image above, and they allow for the cam to rotate freely. The discs themselves are held together by rubber or plastic seals, which help create a seal between the discs and keep them from moving apart too much under pressure from the crankshaft. These are primarily used in I.C. engines.

2. Cylindrical Cam:

A cylindrical cam is similar in appearance to a disc cam, but instead of two discs, it has one large disc with two smaller ones attached to it at various points around its circumference. This type is often used on overhead cams, where it allows for more leverage than would otherwise be possible without it.

3. Translating cam

The translating cam is used to move the output shaft in a direction parallel to the axis of rotation and in the same direction as the rotation of the output shaft. The translating cam is designed so that when it is rotated, two cams with different lengths rotate together at the same speed, enabling the output shaft to move in a direction parallel to its axis of rotation. The transversely mounted cam is a type of camshaft that is used in engines.  The advantages of the transversely mounted cams were that they could be placed directly above the crankshaft centerline, which meant that their mounting bolts did not have to be located at an angle to accommodate the width of that centerline. In addition, their use allowed for a greater number of cams per cylinder bank, thus increasing engine output without increasing displacement or requiring more power from each cylinder bank.

4. Radial cam

The radial cam is another type of rotating motion that uses gears to provide motion in one direction only. It differs from a linear gear system in that it does not rely on friction between two surfaces for movement but rather relies on the geometry of the gears themselves to provide rotational force. Unlike longitudinal-type cams that rotated on large bearings in front of a crankshaft, radial-type cams rotate within smaller bearings behind small pistons on a rotating crankshaft. This design has several advantages over other types of cams.

5. Wedge cam

A wedge cam is a type of hydraulic cylinder with a wedge in the centre, which is used to open and close the piston. A wedge cam can be used as a dead end or an open-loop type of valve.

The basic function of a wedge cam is to open and close a valve. The two lobes of the wedge are connected together by an internal spring. The pressure on one lobe pushes it out of the way and allows fluid to flow through the valve.

Wedge cams are available in both manual and automatic versions, depending on whether you want to control them manually or have them controlled automatically by another device such as a computer or programmable controller.