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Radius the Cylinder (Necro Exempt)


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32 replies to this topic

#1 Star_folder

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 11:05 AM

Lots of people suggest rounding the cylinder corners, or radiusing the edges of the cylinder. Why do they suggest this, what good does it do? Well, let's start off with a little SCIENCE!!!



Here you can see a model of the gearbox shell and how it's shaped around the cylinder. The darker red the color, the more pressure and force that's on the metal. You can see on the left picture, how the cylinder edges aren't radiused, there's lots of orange, and even a little red. The red means that it's a breaking point. Now, when you look at the right picture, you see that the cylinder's edges have been radiused, and everything is a much nicer color, less stress, and less likely to break.

The corners there, on a stock gearbox, are pressure points. All that pressure slams into the front, and those points take a lot of it. By rounding them out, you are making those "points" larger, so all that pressure is spread over a larger area. This is similar to why AoE is good. Larger contact pressure, less likely to break. Now, obviously, there is a limit to how large they need to be, you don't want paper thin walls.

So, that's where I'll help out a little more, MORE PICTURES!!!



This picture here, is a stock Classic Army M16 X-Series gearbox shell. Just like any other version 2 gearbox shell you'll find in a stock gun. Note how the edges of the cylinder hole are not rounded, they're corners, corners are bad.



I use this dremel tool to remove material from the gearbox shells. I believe it's a steel cutting Tungsten Carbide Cutter, piece 9901 for those of you with a dremel. For those of you without, a rat tail file will work, it just takes a lot longer.

Now, you are going to want to get a little creative with how you take out the material. You don't want to damage other parts of the gearbox, and you don't want to damage your dremel either. Here is how I remove material:




You basically, only want to remove enough material, to get rid of the corners that are there. Once they are 100% gone, then stop, you don't need to take any more away from the gearbox. Anything extra will only lead to problems.

And then, once you're done with that:



You have a properly radiused cylinder.

A few notes before I wrap this up.

Be sure to remove the metal shavings from the gearbox, you don't want that getting around, it'll cause problems.

Remember to always use eye protection, metal shards + eyes, no fun there either. I also find that sometimes gloves, or doing this in an easy to clean up area is a good idea as well. Metal shards can act as splinters, and those won't decay like wooden ones will. Be careful. Take your time and take it slowly.


-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


For archive's sake, here is the old post:

So, It's a boring day at work, and I've got the time to type this up. I've been suggesting to several people to try and round the edges of your cylinder port on the gearbox to increase the integrity of the gearbox shell. Most of the time I get the "how do I do that" Well, I can't show you how to do it, but I can show you the differences of what happens with your gearbox with and without the mod.


This is the gearbox of an Ares Tavor. It's shaped differently, but it is still a gearbox, and still goes under the same forces that normal gearboxes go under. You can see around the cylinder, everything comes to a point, closing in around the cylinder. Well, this causes a pressure point, and therefore a point for the gearbox to crack. This is also the cause of the infamous V2 Gearbox crack.


Well, this is a program called solid works. This is a simple example of a gearbox with the cylinder removed. The outside is simply a block of metal, the inside is cut out in the same shape of a cylinder. It has been overly simplified so you can see what happens.

I have put it under a stress test, with the force being on the far inside wall of the cylinder. The object is being held in place by the back outside wall, the one with the green arrows. Blue is good, it means the area has been unaffected by the force, and isn't experiencing much, if any stress.

As the colors shift from blue to red, you get more and more stress. You see how at the front corners of the gearbox, they are very red. Those are the pressure points. Those are where the cracks start, and gearboxes break.

The fix is to round the corners. What it does is spread out that force from one point, to a much larger point, because of the rounding.


This for example, is a gearbox that has rounded corners. The ones in the back aren't necessary, but the ones in the front are very good. It spreads out that force of the piston hitting the cylinder head.


In this image, I have rounded out the front of the cylinder head area as shown in the above gearbox. See how blue everything is now, that means it isn't experiencing near as much stress as it was when those corners where still corners. Those red marks are still there, but they are much, much smaller, not to mention how little stress the rest of the gearbox is in. This is the reason why this is such a good mod for high powered set ups, and for V2 gearboxes, for those of you who are paranoid about them breaking.

This can be done with a dremel, or just a round file that you may or may not have lying around the house. It's not very hard, just don't take off too much material.

Edited by Star_folder, 12 November 2012 - 07:26 PM.

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#2 namloot

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 11:30 AM

Very good idea to help prevent stress cracks.
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#3 airborne101

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 01:32 PM

How does the stress change if you only fillet the corners and not cut a channel around the entire inside of the shell?
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#4 Automobilie

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Posted 06 June 2011 - 02:18 PM

What does it look like when you stress the model green again? That's seems like a pretty radical change at the back for something done at the front.

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#5 Star_folder

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Posted 07 June 2011 - 09:04 PM

QUOTE (airborne101 @ Jun 6 2011, 02:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
How does the stress change if you only fillet the corners and not cut a channel around the entire inside of the shell?

Yeah, I'll do this when I get a chance. I didn't in the first place because I'm lazy, and it was easier to "round" out the hole circle.

QUOTE (Automobilie @ Jun 6 2011, 03:18 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
What does it look like when you stress the model green again? That's seems like a pretty radical change at the back for something done at the front.

What do you mean when I stress the green model again?

I was surprised as well at the amount of change it resulted in from rounding out those corners. I may or may not start doing this. I've got a gun pushing 600+fps with just sorbo installed and it is holding strong. So something like this maybe should be saved for extreme set ups.

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
*edit*

So I ran the math, took some time and got your picture. I tried to do the best I could as far as the rounding would go and what a normal person would do. I also trimmed down the shape, making it more similar to how a gearbox is shaped around the cylinder, instead of being a big block of metal like it was in the first pictures. The one on the left is without rounded edges, the one on the right is with rounded edges.

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#6 airborne101

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 11:21 AM

Still quite impressive results.
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#7 soccer77

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 11:32 AM

So basically, you round out the front of the gearbox around 8 times, or rather, at the corner of each bar segment or so, inside and out...

I will have to try this with a dremel the next time I open the gearbox seeing as I am running a Guarder PSG-1 SP150 in a V2.5 GP gearbox. Though its hot this summer so that coupled with a polycarb piston head and cylinder head will hopefully reduce some shock.
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#8 AKAKman

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 11:38 AM

I'd highly suggest using a file for this, dremels and drill bits can take off a lot more metal than you want in a quick amount of time. A small file for metal and wood thats rounded is more controlled and exact in my opinon.

Starfolder, again, this is a great topic.....this will really help answer people's questions :) Very Impressive.
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#9 soccer77

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 12:15 PM

QUOTE (AKAKman @ Jun 8 2011, 11:38 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'd highly suggest using a file for this, dremels and drill bits can take off a lot more metal than you want in a quick amount of time. A small file for metal and wood thats rounded is more controlled and exact in my opinon.

Starfolder, again, this is a great topic.....this will really help answer people's questions :) Very Impressive.


Hmm, good point.

Will try a rounded file then.

Thanks.
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#10 paparker21

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Posted 08 June 2011 - 07:42 PM

I'm curious, what material properties did you give that shell? Keep in mind our gearboxes are generally a fairly low quality pot metal - we shouldnt be using the properties of 4140 or 1020 mild even for these simulations. It's also important to try and employ the proper loads.

I'm very hesitant to think that the fillets will resolve the stress map the way your initial simulations are indicating. I'd like to see the mesh you're using for the model (you know as well as I do that this becomes VERY important around the corners). I also question where/how you're holding the model from. I'm thinking it may be better if you constrain your bottom 2 runs to have a 0 displacement instead of that rear face - it better replicates the gearbox; theres going to be some flex in the upper portion of the gearbox whereas the lower bit is whats really being constrained by the pistol grip section.

Now that I've done the nay-saying, I do fully agree that those corners should have fillets regardless of the modelling - it's simple engineering that sharp corners are stress concentrators and fillets significantly alleviate that.

Side note: I wish my work had some 3d modelling software at my plant; I'm stuck with autocad LT. lol
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#11 Liopleurodon

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 11:27 AM

How can rounding the edges prevent the gearbox from cracking? I always thought the stress was put on the two tabs which hold the cylinder head, and from those two tabs to the rest of the gearbox shell. In the simulations you made you always put the pressure in the cylinder port, which is - I presume - not the case in a GB. The pressure in the cylinder port is I think very small. (I actually think that the only pressure can be caused by the friction between the piston head and the cylinder, and therefore pushing the cylinder a bit down, but again, that's nearly nihil.)
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#12 airborne101

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 11:36 AM

While most of the stress is probably put on the tabs that hold the cylinder head, those tabs are attached to the section of the gearbox near the cylinder port where it is rather thin. That stress is transmitted to throughout that area of the gearbox. Sharp corners are already known to be high stress points, so much of the stress if felt there, therefore filleting the cylinder port will reduce the overall stress on the shell.
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#13 Star_folder

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 11:43 AM

QUOTE (paparker21 @ Jun 8 2011, 08:42 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm curious, what material properties did you give that shell? Keep in mind our gearboxes are generally a fairly low quality pot metal - we shouldnt be using the properties of 4140 or 1020 mild even for these simulations. It's also important to try and employ the proper loads.

I'm very hesitant to think that the fillets will resolve the stress map the way your initial simulations are indicating. I'd like to see the mesh you're using for the model (you know as well as I do that this becomes VERY important around the corners). I also question where/how you're holding the model from. I'm thinking it may be better if you constrain your bottom 2 runs to have a 0 displacement instead of that rear face - it better replicates the gearbox; theres going to be some flex in the upper portion of the gearbox whereas the lower bit is whats really being constrained by the pistol grip section.

Now that I've done the nay-saying, I do fully agree that those corners should have fillets regardless of the modelling - it's simple engineering that sharp corners are stress concentrators and fillets significantly alleviate that.

Side note: I wish my work had some 3d modelling software at my plant; I'm stuck with autocad LT. lol

That 3rd part is why I did this, it was simply an example. I believe the material was a low grade aluminum, I don't remember the exact number, I wasn't looking for anything special, I was just making this for the example, that's why I don't have any numbers.

As far as where I anchored it, this is where it is solid on the gearbox, the pistol grip has almost no effect on the cylinder area. Again, I didn't do this to be exact, only to who the effects of rounding the edges.
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#14 Amorton94

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 12:19 PM

Some guns have this done stock. I took the gearbox out of a jg g3 and was surprised to find it already done.
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#15 Karr

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 03:37 PM

This is also what automotive glass repair people do to cracks in windows. They scope in and find the tip of the crack and basically drill a little hole so its a nice round end as opposed to a sharp end. Most times this stops a crack completely, then they fill the spot with a clear epoxy. This is just applying the similar principal to high stress corners opposed to an actual crack. cool stuff :)
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#16 Heath

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 11:52 PM

Remember when doing this mod, my modifying things with files and sandpaper. you can always subtract but you can't always add.
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#17 cypher235

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Posted 01 July 2011 - 02:24 AM

QUOTE (AKAKman @ Jun 8 2011, 11:38 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'd highly suggest using a file for this, dremels and drill bits can take off a lot more metal than you want in a quick amount of time. A small file for metal and wood thats rounded is more controlled and exact in my opinon.

Starfolder, again, this is a great topic.....this will really help answer people's questions :) Very Impressive.



I second using a file for this. A small rounded one works very well for this mod. It was actually a lot easier to remove material from the gb shell with a file then I thought it would be. A dremel would have taken off way too much material too quickly.
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#18 major9

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Posted 01 July 2011 - 07:17 PM

rat-tail files have always worked extremely well for this mod.
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#19 fcma172

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Posted 02 July 2011 - 09:38 PM

I'm not sure if this was mentioned or not, but some stock gearboxes come with this modification already done.

I pulled the gearbox out of my G&G Femme Fatale today to do a Cylinder swap and I saw it had rounded corners in the front already. Check out the pictures below.



Do we know what manufacturers already do this to their gearboxes stock? G&G Does at least, even on their combat machines.
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#20 paparker21

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Posted 03 July 2011 - 01:24 AM

QUOTE (fcma172 @ Jul 2 2011, 09:38 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm not sure if this was mentioned or not, but some stock gearboxes come with this modification already done.

I pulled the gearbox out of my G&G Femme Fatale today to do a Cylinder swap and I saw it had rounded corners in the front already. Check out the pictures below.



Do we know what manufacturers already do this to their gearboxes stock? G&G Does at least, even on their combat machines.



This isn't an accurate statement. My brand new UMG does NOT have rounded out corners. They may only do it to their version 2s? That's cool that they do it at least on some of theirs though
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#21 Star_folder

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Posted 03 July 2011 - 09:58 AM

The gearbox I have shown in the OP is a stock G&G gearbox from an FN2000. It came with the corners already rounded out.
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#22 Stealthmaster14

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Posted 03 July 2011 - 06:03 PM

QUOTE (paparker21 @ Jul 3 2011, 01:24 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
This isn't an accurate statement. My brand new UMG does NOT have rounded out corners. They may only do it to their version 2s? That's cool that they do it at least on some of theirs though


There's really no reason for them to do this modification on a V3 gearbox.
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#23 paparker21

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Posted 03 July 2011 - 07:08 PM

QUOTE (Stealthmaster14 @ Jul 3 2011, 06:03 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
There's really no reason for them to do this modification on a V3 gearbox.


I've seen V3's with front end cracking, same as V2s. The fact that it makes a more robust product is reason enough; regardless of whether it's a very common failure or not.
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#24 Stealthmaster14

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Posted 03 July 2011 - 07:16 PM

QUOTE (paparker21 @ Jul 3 2011, 08:08 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I've seen V3's with front end cracking, same as V2s. The fact that it makes a more robust product is reason enough; regardless of whether it's a very common failure or not.


Unless the shell is defective or one is using a high-powered spring, it shouldn't crack. I'm just saying that's probably why your UMP didn't have the modification done.
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#25 Coin3

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 07:34 PM

Awesome guide first of all! I'm going to do this mod to all of my guns. ;)

Second, since the mod takes so much stress off the front of the gearbox, does this mean that a shell that can normally handle only a m140 would be able to handle springs m150 and above without cracking? The gun I'm talking about is a G&G M14 and it uses a proprietary gearbox shell, and there are no stronger shells available.

Edited by Coin3, 02 August 2011 - 07:34 PM.

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#26 major9

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 07:38 PM

QUOTE (Coin3 @ Aug 2 2011, 06:34 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Awesome guide first of all! I'm going to do this mod to all of my guns. ;)

Second, since the mod takes so much stress off the front of the gearbox, does this mean that a shell that can normally handle only a m140 would be able to handle springs m150 and above without cracking? The gun I'm talking about is a G&G M14 and it uses a proprietary gearbox shell, and there are no stronger shells available.

Shouldn't have a problem with that. I am running a stock G&G CM shell with an SP160, and it doesn't have a problem taking that sort of punishment.
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#27 Star_folder

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Posted 02 August 2011 - 08:56 PM

Yeah, this mod usually isn't necessary except for regular ol' v2 gearboxes, and very, very powerful springs. Especially with that M14 gearbox, which is a tank, you don't need to worry about it.
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#28 Star_folder

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 07:27 PM

Updated the OP. Added pictures of before, during, and after the mod, along with info about bits used, and why it's helpful for the gearbox.
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#29 Third age

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 09:30 PM

QUOTE (Star_folder @ Nov 12 2012, 07:27 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Updated the OP. Added pictures of before, during, and after the mod, along with info about bits used, and why it's helpful for the gearbox.


Thanks!!! Im getting my masada tomorrow and the new pictures really help a-thumbsup.gif I appreciate it!
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#30 Cardboard Box

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 09:35 PM

What's the diameter of the Dremel cutting attachment that you used?
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#31 Star_folder

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 10:13 PM

It's approximately 3mm, or 1/8th of an inch. I picked it up at a local Lowe's, so it shouldn't be too difficult to find.
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#32 ninzalong

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 11:18 PM

Can do this mod on v3 gearbox ?
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#33 airborne101

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 12:09 AM

Yes, you can do this to any gearbox that has a cylinder window, which is all of them. The benefits are the greatest on a V2 due to its failure prone design, but it can be applied to the V3 gearbox for similar results.
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