Plastic gears ad steel gears are governed under the AGMA quality standard. However, there are clear advantages that plastic gears have over their steel counterparts. These advantages make them particularly appealing in this day and age where manufacturing speed and evolving technologies further demand such plastic parts.
In this piece, we’ll be going through the reasons why plastic gears are often used in multiple industries and in what aspects they are more advantageous than steel ones. We will also be looking into questions like “how does injection molding work?” and how it allows the production of plastic gears to be so efficient.
Advantages of Plastic Gears
Plastic gears are one of the biggest commodities in the world right now. They are present in so many products, used in so many industries, and come in so many shapes and sizes. The sheer number of plastic gears that are being manufactured every year is staggering. And it is all increasing every time.
When the current pandemic heat, the plastic injection industry saw a surge in demand for parts used for building medical equipment. This was necessary because there was a shortage and manufacturers saw to respond by focusing more on that particular aspect of their business.
Even before that, however, plastic gear production has always been on the rise. This is due to several clear advantages that are offered by plastic gears, namely:
- Lower cost - Thanks to the more substantial availability of raw materials, plastic gears cost less than their metal counterparts, comparatively speaking. Aside from that, the cost of production and even logistics are also lower. As a result, manufacturers, customers, and suppliers collectively save up to 90% at some stages of production and delivery.
- Design freedom - There is considerably more freedom in designing plastic gears compared to metal gears by their very nature. They are more flexible, pliable, and can be molded into any shape as long as there is a corresponding mold. As a result, each and every plastic gear can be produced to extremely specific shapes at consistent rates.
- Accuracy - Precision is one of the biggest reasons why plastic gears are as popular as they are. They can be made at such a high degree of accuracy that flaws can be measured at microscopic levels. This allows them to perform at much higher tiers than their metal counterparts, which require considerably more investment to reach the same level of precision.
- Larger, stronger parts - Thanks to the flexible and lightweight nature of plastic gears, they can be made much bigger than their metal counterparts. Bigger, as in, wider and thicker. As a result, the gear becomes stronger and is able to bear more load. The stress that is created by the transitioning force is more evenly distributed instead of being focused on a narrow space.
- Corrosion-resistant - Plastic does not break down, it does not rust, and it does not decay. Compare this with metal, which can become rusty in due time and can be eaten by reactive substances like saltwater and acid. This allows plastic gears to last much longer and to have more extensive operation life than those that are made of metal.
- Lightweight - Plastic gears are typically lighter than metal, relatively speaking. As a result, there can be more of them placed in a particular point compared to metal gears that are of comparable dimensions.
- Good shock absorption - Plastic is a more flexible material than steel, which gives it significantly more shock absorption qualities. This is important, particularly for tasks that involve a lot of sudden bursts of the energy transition. Withstanding impact is not as big of a problem and are more resistant to issues like dents or misalignments.
- Reduced noise - Metal gears scrape, scratch, and screech whenever they are rotating. This can be a huge bother for those who are near when devices that contain such parts are turned on. In comparison, plastic gears are downright silent. They don’t come with the same level of auditory disturbance, that’s for sure. For many, this is one of the biggest reasons for using plastic gears, in the first place.
- Lubrication - Finally, many types of plastics that are used in producing plastic gears have self-lubricating qualities. This means that they do not need as much maintenance in that department as metal gears, which can dry up and rust. This is why thy are perfect for machines with more complex builds since they don’t need to be opened as often.
Those are the biggest benefits of using plastic gears. They are also what allows us, at Kore Industries,
Kore Industries Plastic Injection Molding Services
With all of the advantages that plastic gears offer, it is still worth noting that all of those only apply to gears of a certain quality. At Kore Industries, we always make sure that the gears that we produce are those that meet AGMA gear quality. This is on top of the high standards that we adhere to as a result of years of being in the business.