DSM Engineering Materials

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Optimizing gear performance in small appliances

12 May 2020
  • Bill Senge Market Development Manager

Household appliances are driving the demand for plastic gears. Autonomous vacuum cleaners are just one example that use plastic drive gear wheels, and are projected to see a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of almost 18% by 2024. Other appliances include blenders, juicers and food processors. 

As manufacturers increasingly replace metal gears with plastic ones, they are realizing the benefits of shorter and more cost-effective production cycles, as well as producing end products that are more durable, and that have better noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) characteristics.

Many small appliances, including miniature food processers and mobile printers, require very small or thin plastic gears that fit into compact designs. If a small or thin-molded gear breaks due to the mechanical load, torque, or stress at high temperature, the consumer will need to engage in time-consuming repairs that can detract from the manufacturer’s brand image.

The gear’s teeth are particularly susceptible to failure due to high wear over time, and their breakage can prevent the gear from functioning at all. As a result, gear manufacturers need to select materials that will reduce the likelihood of part breakage or failure due to fatigue.

 

Optimal material solutions choice 

Stanyl® is a market-leading polyamide (nylon) 46 developed for both low and high temperature applications. It offers superior tribological properties, up to 50% more wear resistance than other high temperature nylons like polyphthalamide (PPA), and performs equally well in dry and lubricated conditions. With the highest amide density of all polyamides, it demonstrates rapid crystallization levels up to 70%.

Due to its high crystallinity and large number of hydrogen bonds, Stanyl demonstrates best-in-class wear and friction performance, and superior mechanical properties—even above its glass transition temperature. It also offers high flow behavior in injection molding processing, above that of most polyamides. Additionally, successful molding of Stanyl can be achieved without the special molds, heating, steels, and auxiliary equipment usually required for other high-temperature nylon polymers.

Stanyl’s inherent high strength, durability, and resistance to wear and friction make it the optimal material choice for manufacturing gears and other parts small appliance parts with limited space and longer operational lifetimes. Compared to competitive materials like polyoxymethylene (POM)—commonly known as acetal—Stanyl demonstrates enhanced static strength and resistance to fatigue, wear resistance at 50°C, and creep at 90°C.

Stanyl uses 30% less material for plastic gears than competitive PPAs, without compromising performance. It also demonstrates superior lifetime durability for low temperature gear applications, with torque resistance levels that outperform competitive PPAs.

 

Pictured above, Stanyl PA46 enables gear manufacturers to mold 7 mm plastic gears, using 30% less material than 10 mm gears made from competing PPAs—without losing any strength or durability.

Helping customers design gears 

DSM goes beyond industry standards to help customers understand how their gear designs will perform in real-life applications. Our state-of-the-art gear testers are able to measure how precise operational loads, friction, temperatures, and rotational speeds will impact the long-term performance of different spur, helical, or worm gear drives. Testing simulates various sliding and rolling combinations to better predict how the gear will respond to real-life conditions.

Our extensive portfolio of Stanyl grades are designed to accommodate the requirements of different applications. By helping gear manufacturers identify the optimal Stanyl grade for their needs, we’re able to reduce the need for part re-testing and re-molding after production has started.

As the demand for plastic gears continues to grow, gear manufacturers need to meet the compact space requirements for small appliances, while ensuring parts don’t wear out prematurely. DSM’s Stanyl offers the strength, durability, and fatigue resistance plastic gear manufacturers need to deliver the life-long high performance end consumers expect.

To learn more about Stanyl, or to request test samples, contact us or visit plasticsfinder.com for additional information, including technical data sheets. 

Whitepaper
The durable, space saving solution for small appliance gears

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Webinar: The best plastics gear material
Learn how to add durability in gear application at temperatures up to 120 °C and at high torques where more common materials such as POM and PA66 are not able to meet the gear lifetime requirements.

view webinar

 

Gears material selection tool
By entering torque, gear pitch diameter, number of teeth, gear width and/or root stress, this tool will recommended the best suitable material for your gear.

Explore tool

 

Video: Engineering a greater gear
In this video, learn about the various gear test methods we use to better simulate actual conditions.

View Video

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