What are the Different Types of Plastic Gears and Their Most Common Applications?

Different types of plastic gears are becoming the gear of choice by engineers and manufacturers for a number of applications. These specialized components are typically found and used in machinery. And whether they are to be used for specific processes or the end products themselves, they are proving to be better than their metal counterparts.

What makes plastic gears the top choice for today’s applications is their superiority in weight and noise dampening, as well as their durability compared to that of metal gears. With these characteristics, plastic gears are slowly taking the place of metal gears in many different industries.

And at Kore Industries, plastic gears are an important part of our value proposition. Our plastic gears have been in use by different fields for more than a decade now. And among those that we specialize in is the production of injection molded precision plastic gears.

Types of Plastic Gears and their Applications

Kore Industries produce plastic gears through an injection moulding process. When a plastic gear is developed with us, a mould with the specific gear geometry is shaped into a cavity and the injection process is started. Molten plastic is injected into the mould and then cooled. What is produced afterwards is the solid gear component that can already be utilized its specific applications.

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With this process, a variety of plastic gear types can be produced. The different types of gears can be classified according to their shape, shaft position and more.

  • Here, we have some of the most common types of gears and their uses. Some of them are based on the position and shape of their teeth. Specifically, they are called parallel axis and nonparallel axis gears.

Parallel Axis Gears

  1. Helical cylindrical gears. Helical gears involve the use of a parallel shaft with a cylindrical form and angled gear profile. The teeth of these gears perform meshing function better than other gears. They are specifically designed to transmit high loads and are typically used in high-speed situations. Because the teeth of helical gears share the load, the arrangement produces smoother and more silent operations.
  2. Double helical gears. This variation of helical gears has two helical faces placed next to each other, with a gap separating them. By combining the left and right helix, an opposite and equal thrust is produced, thereby eliminating thrust loads. Using double helical gears increases tooth overlap causing an even smoother operation. With the efficiency in high capacity power transmission that this type of gear has, they are most suitable for use in high-load applications.
  3. Spur cylindrical gears. Spur gears, which are the simplest and most common type of gears, have teeth that are parallel to the shaft axis. Unlike helical gears, which are capable of load sharing between teeth, thus transmitting torque more smoothly, spur gears operate with a single line of contact between teeth. They are typically used in operations requiring small and medium speeds, such as printers, battery operated clocks and watches, and some household appliances, like washing machines.

Nonparallel Axis Gears

  1. Bevel gears. Bevel gears feature a cone form and are most commonly used to transmit power between two intersecting shafts at a 90 degree angle. They are generally more costly and transmit lesser torque as compared to a parallel shaft arrangement. Under this type of gear are more specific types that are designed for their own uses. These include spiral and straight bevel gears, miter gears and crown gears.
  2. Screw gears or crossed helical gears. Performing a wedge or screw movement, screw gears causes a high degree of slip on the tooth flanks, which make them unsuitable for large power transmissions. They are used in low load carrying motion transmission between non intersecting shafts and can go either in the same direction or in the opposite.
  3. Worm wheels or gears. Worm gears transmit torque on right angles on non-intersecting shafts. Using a worm screw as a conductor, it drives the crown by turning. This type of gear is good for high shock load applications because of the thrust load it produces. However, they are very low in terms of efficiency, and are, thus, used in lower horsepower applications. Some of these applications are in the automotive latches and even in consumer applications.

Aside from these classifications, there are also a number of gears which are produced for special applications.

Gears for Special Applications

  1. Internal gears. Much like spur gears, internal gears differ in terms of the position of their teeth. Instead of being outside, their teeth are inside a wheel or rimmed ring. Then, it uses a pinion to drive the inner gears and maintain the direction of the angular velocity. They are often used in applications involving planetary gear drives and gear couplings found in power tailgate units.
  2. Rack and pinion. With the rack and pinion, the rotational motion that is usually associated with gears is converted into a linear motion to generate movement. These are same shape and same sized teeth that are cut along a flat surface at an equal distance apart from each other. These gears are usually a part of a simpler linear actuator such as stair lifts and steering mechanisms.

Plastic gears come in different shapes, sizes and forms. And these characteristics, combined with several important factors such as gear module, number of teeth, face width and torque requirements, are where the purposes, applications and uses of different types of gears depend on.

Kore Industries have been producing plastic gears since 2008. And some of our most common productions specifically cater to the automotive and electronics industry, as well as to the medical field where they are used in medical products.

If you have a plastic gear in mind for specific uses, feel free to contact us for a no obligation discussion. Simply click the Contact Us button below.

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