Some of the most innovative gears today are machined from advanced engineering plastics. Machined plastic gears have been growing in popularity because they help resolve many of the problems inherent to metal gearing systems. Gears have a set of well-known performance problems that repeatedly show up no matter the application. The most common problems are vibration, heat, weight, excessive noise, and corrosion. There is also a tendency for gears to be either over-lubricated, which causes grease contamination, or subject to wear, which can create contamination from metal particles. These issues result in gears that are either expensive to maintain or prone to premature failure. But these problems can be overcome by choosing machined plastic gears instead. Precision machined plastic gears generally improve torque transmission by 3% or better.
Some of the key benefits of plastic gears include:
The most common plastics used for machined plastic gears are acetal and nylon. Both these plastics come in multiple variations and brand names, with each one offering different enhanced mechanical properties based on their formulas. (For example, one type could have improved tensile strength while another has added lubrication.)
Typically, acetal is dimensionally stable, doesn’t absorb moisture and is resistant to most chemicals, but it does require continuous lubrication when subject to high loads. Nylon is typically self-lubricating, but it is less dimensionally stable than acetal as it does vary in shape in response to temperature and humidity. However, fiber reinforced nylon is perfect for applications that require higher compressive strength and rigidity. Nylon gears are often used in applications that handle more torque and power, such as conveyor systems, industrial automation, and packaging equipment.
At Reading Plastic, we’ve been providing precisely CNC machined plastic parts for almost four decades. Our machined plastic gears can be found in numerous applications, such as food processing, paper converting, packaging, medical and semiconductor machines, and more. If you’re looking to convert metal gears to plastic, call us today at 610-926-3245. Whether you need machined plastic gears to reduce vibration, hold tight tolerances, or lower maintenance costs, we can deliver the dependable, precise parts you need.