I am using Lego in the classroom to introduce students to geared machines.
As part of this I am asking them to design a winch, using a small 1.5V DC motor and a collection of the common Lego gears, i.e. the 8, 16, 24 and 40-tooth spur gears, and the special worm gear.
Based on rough back-of-the-envelope calculations, I will require about 5 N.cm of torque at the winch drum.
Do I have to worry about breaking any gears due to excessive torque?
Do I have to worry about gears slipping (skipping teeth) due to high torque?
Has anyone performed experimental (destructive) tests to quantify the maximum torque these gears can withstand? Order of magnitude is OK - will the gears break at 1 N.cm, 10 N.cm, 100 N.cm, ... ?