The requirements that industry places on plastic gear wheels have increased significantly during recent years. Lehmann&Voss&Co. has reacted to this trend and developed new materials for this application. These materials make it possible to produce gear wheels that are more resilient when compared to previous solutions, even at elevated temperatures.
Thanks to their technical and economic advantages, plastic gear wheels are currently displacing conventional metal designs in many industrial applications. In addition to their good processing characteristics and cost-effective large-series production, plastics offer benefits such as high noise insulation, low weight, functional integration and chemical resistance. Incorporating lubrication into the materials leads to an improvement in the tribological properties of plastic gear wheels and the transmission remains cleaner than when designs with external lubrication are used. This results in a noticeable reduction in maintenance expense.
Tailor-made for customer-specific solutions
An important key to this success can be found in high-performance compounds tailored to the specific requirements. Lehmann&Voss&Co. has already been supplying such materials with properties including elevated stability and temperature resistance for a considerable time. Now, the materials LUVOCOM® 1-8181 and 1-8520 based on PA 66 have been developed for gear wheels subject to higher loads. Here the strengths at room temperature and at 120 °C have been increased by approximately 100% compared with POM. In addition, these materials also exhibit a specially adjusted impact strength. The continuous operating temperature is 120 °C and 150 °C for short periods. “This combination of properties extends the operating range and complies with the increased demands. The new materials are more resilient and, following successful trials with customers, are already being used in the first series,” explained Thomas Collet, responsible for product management and marketing in the LUVOCOM business unit.
Temperature resistance for use in automobile construction.
Due in particular to the elevated thermal resistance, there are many fields of application, above all in the automotive sector. Thermally resistant plastic gear wheels are particularly in demand within the engine compartment. “Our client’s requirements are highly individual,” Collet pointed out. “We equip polymers in such a way as to create tailor-made products that include all of the properties demanded.” Sustainable solutions are devised in close cooperation with the client on site – from parts design via provisioning and from samples for prototypes through to processing.
More than 100 new materials every year
Five to ten new materials emerge each year for gear wheel applications alone. If all fields of application are considered together, the total exceeds 100. And all of this work benefits from more than 30 years of experience in high-performance compounds. Developments continue to be based on internal and external investigations and tests, including an extensive data collection from tribological investigations.
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