What Is a Plastic Gear?

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Plastic gear is a type of industrial component used to transmit torque and rotations. The plastic polymer that makes up this component is typically a combination of nylon and polyacetal, although other blends of unique plastics are used for specific applications. They are often a replacement for metal gears and can be utilized in a wide range of equipment and machinery, including robotics. These gears are able to run without the need for lubrication, are very quiet in operation and provide excellent vibration absorption. They are also lightweight, chemical resistant and corrosion resistant.

The plastic that is used for these gears is a byproduct of petroleum manufacturing that manufacturers would otherwise discard as waste, which means they can be produced at an affordable price. This low cost and easy accessibility make them a viable alternative to metal gears in many applications. Additionally, since they are lighter than metal gears, they can reduce the load on the drive shaft and help to increase efficiency. This reduction in load can also help to increase the lifespan of the gears.

Plastics are a soft material compared to alloys, but this can be a good thing in terms of their ability to absorb shocks and vibrations. This property helps to keep the noise level down in factories and industries, making it a more pleasant workspace for workers. The low density of these plastics also means that they don’t resonate as much as harder materials like alloys, which makes them a very desirable material for use in industrial applications.

The gears can be made in a variety of ways, depending on the size and quantity that is required. CNC machining is often the preferred method for small volumes of gears, as this allows them to be produced quickly and accurately. For large quantities of gears, however, injection molding is usually the best option. This process can take weeks or even months to produce a mold, but it is worth the wait for the finished product.

Injection molded gears can be manufactured to high accuracy, with Total Composite Error commonly being held within a range of 0.075 – 0.125 mm. This can be improved further by the use of more expensive filled materials, better mold design and tooling as well as greater quality control.

The strength of a plastic gear can be greatly improved by the addition of a metallic hub that is either pressed into the gear or screw fastened in place. This will provide the necessary support for the fasteners and can prevent damage to the teeth during assembly and disassembly.

There are a number of other features that can be added to plastic gears, such as anti-friction coatings and heat stabilizers. These will help to improve the overall performance of the gear and allow it to handle higher speeds and loads. The noise generated by the meshing of these gears can be reduced as well. This can be done by reducing the meshing frequency and introducing a harmonic component that is modulated by the shaft rotational frequency.

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