What are the Variables to Consider with Plastic Gear Design?

While critics claim that plastic gears can never replace metal ones, with the rapid development of plastic gear design and polymer technology the lines between these two types of gears are getting more blurry by the day. Yes, plastic and metal are two different things. But they are both capable of doing the same things, such as the case for gears. While one can be more advantageous for certain applications, the other can also be better for different uses.

With all the things that a plastic gear is potentially capable of, in-depth analysis of certain variables are being done with each new design so they can be applied into processes successfully. And what are these variables?

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  • Right Plastic. There are a number of engineered nylon gear materials that you can choose from. But choosing the right one is important for the success of a plastic gear’s application. For example:
  • Nylon-6 is excellent in applications that requires high stress and impact resistance. Also, its minimal mold shrinkage lets it maintain its post-processing shape and dimensions. However, since Nylon-6 absorbs more water than most nylon grades, this leads to changes in shape and size, and also leads to loss of tensile strength.
  • Nylon-12 provides noise and impact dampening in high-torque transmission applications. It is also self-lubricating, which allows for quiet operation, long wear and low maintenance, plus it is non-corrosive like most plastic gears.
  • Gear Size. Appropriate size is crucial for a gear to function properly. And unlike metal gears, where sizing is evaluated by load data, plastic gears, which are more sensitive to processing factors, need to be calculated precisely for its size based on several considerations. The following are the properties that need to be considered to arrive at the appropriate gear size.
  • Plastic material: its ability to absorb moisture, requirements for swelling and backlash, impact strength at low temperatures, and wear resistance at high temperatures
  • Load data: the torque, rpm and transmission ratio
  • Drive geometry: the center distance and face width
  • Environment and operating conditions: the temperatures involved in the operations, shock loading, exposure to certain chemicals and water or humidity

With a number of variables to consider in the design and production of plastics gears, each application will be different from the next. Therefore, precise calculations and process consistency from plastic gear manufacturers should always be maintained.

It is certainly more advantageous to use plastic gears that have no need for lubrication and generally require less maintenance. However, designing them to be successful in their applications require expert knowledge and skills. And taking into consideration the above variables, which is the job of your plastic injection moulding supplier, will result in more effective and efficient plastic gears designs.

This is how Kore Industries design and produce high quality plastic gears that are quite reputable with our customers. And if you want to experience the quality that our gears offer, do send us a message. We will be glad to answer your concerns at no obligation on your part. Click the Contact Us button below.

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