Compared to metal, the benefits of plastic gears include the ability to absorb vibration, run without lubrication and resist corrosion. For that reason, many manufacturers and inventors are turning to plastic gears for a range of purposes. If you are developing any machine with plastic gears, there are several things you should keep in mind as you select the plastic for your gears:
1. Temperature Stability
How hot is it going to be in the motor of your product? You need to ensure that you choose high performance plastic with the ability to stay stable in those hot temperatures. In particular, consider the continuous service temperature of your device. Ideally, the plastic should be able to withstand continuous exposure to those temps, even if the machine is left running longer than recommended.
2. Corrosion and Chemical Resistance
Although plastic gears don't need much lubrication compared to their metal counterparts and in many cases are able to work without any lubrication, you may still have oils, water or chemicals moving through your machine. To ensure everything works as anticipated, opt for plastics that resist damage from the chemicals you plan to use as well as to corrosion in general. The latter is particularly important for plastic gears in marine environments or ones that are exposed to the outside of the machinery.
3. Noise Dampening
Whether your machine is destined to be used in a kitchen, a factory, a home garage or almost any other environment, its users may prefer using it if it is relatively quiet. Gears produce a great deal of the noise of many motors, and to reduce that effect, look into high performance plastics that have noise dampening characteristics.
4. Impact Strength
What sort of forces are at work within your machine? Does using the machine require the operator to move around the machine, potentially jostling the components inside? As you consider the answers to these questions, they should guide you to the impact strength you need with your plastic gears.
5. Industry-Specific Attributes
Finally, before ordering the plastic for your gears, consider any special requirements of the industry to which you are selling your product? For example, if you are making a machine for the food industry, you may need food grade compliant plastics.
If you are ready to talk with a rep to learn more about custom high performance plastic gears, contact a plastics expert today.