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Plastic Gears

Plastic gear first emerged into large-scale use in the 1950s and soon became economical
and functional alternatives to metal gears. Plastic gears are made of inexpensive commodity
plastics for use in low power drives in products like clocks, motorized toys and lawn

Plastic gears have greater consistency and are easily molded to various shapes. They are less expensive
and are lighter in weight. Plastic gear is chemical and corrosion resistant and has quieter and smoother
operation. They deflect to compensate for inaccuracies by absorbing tiny impacts of small tooth errors and
gear misalignment. They offer more efficient drive geometry. Plastic gear ratios are feasible to allow for
wider gears that transfer more power in single stage, thereby increasing load capacity.

The dimension and properties of plastic gears change with temperature, moisture absorption and chemical
exposure. The plastic material can withstand high tangential force with acceptable tooth deflection. They
have high strength to withstand shock loads during sudden stops and overloads. They are creep resistant
and maintain contact ratio, tip clearance and overall gear geometry.

The most common plastic materials used for making gears are acetal, polybutylene terepthalate (PBT),
nylon, polyphenylene sulfide (PPS), and liquid crystal polymer (LCP). Acetal is the most important of all
plastics. It offers long term dimensional stability and excellent lubricity. It is often used in gears for office
equipment, irrigation equipment, autos, appliances, clocks and meters. PBT produces extremely smooth
surfaces in molding and is often used in housing. Nylon offers toughness and wears well against other
plastics. They are often used in worm gears and housings. PPS offers high stiffness, dimensional stability
and extended fatigue life. LPC works well in small, precision gears under light loads, such as watch gears.

Plastic gears have some disadvantages also. They have reduced ability to operate at higher temperatures
and can be effected negatively by many chemicals.

They are often used in water meters, showerheads, water sprinklers and other applications where
water could erode metals.

Steel Gears
Steels are divided into carbon steel and alloy steel. Carbon steel offers low cost and can be
hardened. A major disadvantage is the lack of resistance to corrosion.

Alloy steel is elements like stainless steel, and elements other than carbon. They offer high
strength and a wide range of heat treatment properties. They provide highest strength and durability.
Stainless steel may be stainless steel (austenitic) that is non-magnetic and has good corrosion resistance;
they may be of stainless steel (martensitic) that can be easily hardened by heat, is magnetic and have
reasonable corrosion resistance. Stainless steel (aust) can be used where low power ratings are there and
the other stainless steel is used where low to medium power ratings is there. Alloy steels are used in
industrial field.

While making gears many times few minerals are added to steel. These minerals are nickel, chromium,
vanadium, manganese, molybdenum, and chrome-nickel.

Nickel - Increases hardness and strength.

Chromium - Increases hardness and strength but the loss of ductility is greater. It refines the grain and
imparts a greater depth of hardness. It has high degree of wear resistance.

Manganese - It gives greater strength and a high degree of toughness than chromium.
Vanadium - The hardness penetration is greatest. The loss of ductility is also more than any other alloys.

Molybdenum - Increases strength without affecting the ductility.

Chrome - Nickel Steels - The combination of the two alloying elements chromium and nickel adds
the beneficial qualities of both.

Cast Iron Gears

The gears made of cast iron have low cost of manufacture, are easy to machine with high damping.
Cast iron has good machining characteristics like dry cutting, better dimensional stability, longer
cutter life, and superb surface finish.

Cast iron gears are made by heating a blanket of cast iron and having a tooth forming part to such a
temperature that it is compatible to the blanket. The teeth forming part is then pressed by projecting teeth of
the rolling machine. The teeth forming part becomes hot. The blanket is then cooled and a teeth part is
generated in the teeth forming part of the blanket. Hot rolling with low plastic deformation resistance
prevents lowering of strength and improves gear accuracy.

Cast iron has good strength and has the ability to obtain hardness. This hardness can be provided by the
use of alloys, heat treatment and surface hardening conditions. Mostly ductile iron is cast iron and because
they have large volume of carbon in the matrix, they can easily provide suitable hardness to the gears.

Gears made of cast iron have some weaknesses also. The casting is subjected to internal weakness from
inclusions or blowholes that cannot be detected except by ultra sonic inspection. The mechanical properties
of cast iron are generally low which can only be overcome by producing gears with sufficiently large faces or
diameters to obtain the strength needed to handle the required the torque loads.

This material is widely used for commercial gears. Cast iron gears are widely used in grinding mills,
sugarcane crushers, refining machine, filter press, power mills, and ice cream freezers.

Brass Gears
Driven by a storm from their usual area of work, a crew of Greek sponge divers found
themselves off the Aegean Island of Antikythera. There, in 200 feet of water, they discovered
the remains of a shipwreck from classical times. In 1958, a young British historian of
science, studied this device and came to some startling conclusions: the Anikythera device,
was an astronomical computer originally enclosed in a wooden box and looking like an old
fashioned table clock. The device had a series of precision brass gears that rotated the

The metal has low cost, non-corrosive property and is easy to machine. Brass has good
strength and hardness. Brasses have good electrical conductivity. Their high conductivity with good
corrosion resistance makes them ideal for the manufacture of electrical equipment. Condenser and heat
exchanger tubing also make use of the good thermal conductivity of brass. Brass is widely used for low cost
commercial quality gears. Brass gears are also used in locomotives, clocks and in all thermal industries.
Brass gears are often used in clocks where they work well without any lubricant. Oil causes dust to adhere
to the gears and this causes gear-tooth wears. An advantage of brass gear is that constant meshing work
hardens their teeth.

Aluminum Gears
The metal is lightweight, non-corrosive and easy to machine. The metal is malleable and has
non-magnetic characteristics. Because it's malleable, it can be molded to any shape.
Aluminum gears can be of various shapes. It offers spark proof starting of the engine and
offers high strength. Aluminum gear offer smoother running, longer life and silent operation.
They are designed to resist wear for long lasting durability and maximum performance.
Aluminum gear is protected with a coating of anodize.

Aluminum is widely used for light duty instrument gears. Aluminum gears are also used in
aircraft industry but it has a drawback if an off airport landing has to be made on a rough