Intech Power-Core Thermoplastics Engineering Blog

Intech Gears Could Eliminate Noise From Your Segway Gearbox

Posted by Alexander Bartosch on Jan 30, 2014 8:56:00 AM

Does your segway make too much noise? Have you ever wondered where it is coming from? Segway drive gears in the segway gear box are all metal (figure 1)

Segway Helical gear Gearbox

The metal on metal movement, in this beautifully constructed helical drive gearbox, creates noise. This noise can become worse with time as the gears wear.  See the video below for an example of the noise we are talking about.

Intech has conceptualized a segway replacement gear box to dampen vibration and reduce the noise of the segway metal on metal wear. Our simple bolt on attachment benefits from our  PA12GC Power-Core Cast Nylon (polyamide) which doesn't absorb moisture and won't crack in subzero conditions. The self-lubricating material allows our gears to run quietly and oil free. Removing another annoyance from the maintenance of your segway and its gearbox.

Using plastics to design high load, high shock, and highly critical applications is our specialty here at intech and being engineers the segway was always a toy we've wanted to tinker with. Making plastic gears for an application of this type was not without challenges. The first of which is the tooth root stress, you see metal gears can be much thinner and carry far more load than any plastic. The second is power transmission, very few - if any plastics can evenly and continuously transmit the power needed to drive a segway in the way its meant to operate. Imagine a right gear box transmitting less efficiently than the left and the circles or compensation a rider would need to make. Luckily, Intech's Power-core PA12GC material and its unique gravity casting process allows it to chemically bond to a metal core allowing it to transmit power evenly and continuously while perserving the benefit of a self lubricating gearing.

The retrofit is not inexpensive but if noise or vibration are causing you problems a new intech gearbox might be the solution to give you the quite and smooth riding personal movement device you've always wanted.

 Contact an Engineer

 

Photocredit: http://segwaynz.files.wordpress.com/2012/08/gearbox.jpg

Tags: Power-Core gears, cast nylon 12, gear box, gear backlash, gear design, plastic gears, Power Train Design, Plastic gear box, plastic helical gears

Electrically insulated gear box for electrolytic metal deposition

Posted by Simon Barrell on Mar 28, 2011 11:53:00 AM

To increase the capacity of their metal deposition furnaces with typically one cathode and one anode, we were approached by a metal refining company to design an electrically insulated gearbox that would rotate a multitude of electrodes suspended in a electrolyte solution. The design called for three stationary and one rotating cathodes and three rotating anodes.  In the electrolytic process, exotic metal is transferred from the cathodes to the anodes and the rotating movement ensured an even deposition of the metallic particles.

The task was twofold, to rotate and electrically insulate in the gear box cathodes and anodes suspended in the electrolyte solution. Picture 1 shows the final solution. Intech engineers designed a planetary gear arrangement using Intech Power-Core™ gears with 316 stainless steel core, mating with a stainless steel sun gear. The drive gear was connected to one of the planetary gears. The electrodes are inserted through the extended, hollow gear hubs and clamped in place.

electrically insulated gear box lower plate

Picture 1) Intech Power-Core™ lower and upper plate (not shown) were used to anchor shafts with bearings and to electrically insulate them.

The electrical current is applied to the protruding electrical ends. To provide precise gear mashing and good gear life, precision SS bearings were pressed onto the hubs. While Power-Core gears have insulating properties, the electrical current could still escape through the hub/bearing/housing connection. To insulate the current, two Power-Core cover plates were precision machined to construct a housing for the gear box.  The Power-Core gear box was then mounted on the metal cover of the furnace, see Picture 2.

electrically insulated gear box

Picture 2) Power-CoreTM electrically insulated gear box is mounted on the metal cover of the furnace.

In an earlier design, Picture 3 below, with a central drive and anodes and cathodes rotating, ceramic bearings were used to insulate the gear carrying plate.  Using Power-Core plates and sealed SS bearings to anchor the gears in the gear box housing proved less costly and more reliable in the harsh conditions present in the electrolytic metal deposition environment.

Main electrical properties of Intech Power-Core

  • Volume resistivity at 10e10 to 10e14 (ohm.cm)
  • Dielectric strength at 16-17kV/mm
  • Dielectric constant of 4.0 (air dry), 50Hz)

 

ceramic bearings gear box

Picture 3) In an earlier design ceramic bearings were used to insulate the gear carrying plate

Tags: Power-Core gears, electrically insulated, gear box, gear life, metal deposition, stainless steel core, stainless steel bearings

Composite Worm Gears Extend Wear Life in Tough Applications

Posted by Simon Barrell on Jan 7, 2010 2:23:00 PM

Intech engineers are frequently asked for help to determine worm gear size, design parameters and to make wear-life projections using our proprietary gear calculations. As a result of these calculations, Intech Power-Core™ composite worm gears are chosen to replace industry-standard bronze gears in demanding operations to increase transmission efficiency with quieter, longer-wearing performance.

Intech Power-Core Worm Gears


Intech Power-Core Worm Gears


Power-Core material does not require special grade oil or frequent oil changes and the composite material does not generate abrasive particles which become suspended in the oil as a contaminant that contributes to wear. The tough, self-lubricating properties of the composite gear material enable Intech Power-Core worm drives to consistently outlast conventional bronze worm gears.

We completed a 1,000 hour test that compared gear performance between the Intech Power-Core gear and a case-hardened ground steel worm gear, and the results confirmed the capacity of Power-Core material to absorb shock load and vibrations. Test data showed an average noise reduction of 6 dB, with up to an 8% increase in gear transmission efficiency and no wear was detected on the 6.5 PD Power-Core worm gear.

In applications such as conveyors for glass washing or light load semi-conductor manufacturing machinery, the Intech Power-Core worm gears run with only light grease lubrication, or completely dry. Even in high torque applications that result in friction, the self-lubricating Power-Core worm gear can run for extended periods without lubrication.

The mating worm shaft can be made of conventional materials utilizing standard manufacturing methods. The low-maintenance Power-Core composite worm gears use readily available machine oil to lubricate the gear box, instead of more expensive specialized synthetic oil that is usually recommended for bronze worm gears.

Tags: Power-Core, wear life, composite material, gear box, shock load, vibration, self-lubricating gears, bronze gear, Gear Calculation, gear life calculation

Medical Latex Dipping Device for Easy Cleaning with Proprietary Gear Design

Posted by Simon Barrell on Oct 28, 2009 11:30:00 AM

Power-Core™ gears have been used to upgrade the design of a latex dipping gear cassette assembly in a unique arrangement that replaces standard gears in order to meet critical performance and cleaning challenges.

The original gear box design resembled a tightly fitting cassette made with standard off-the-shelf gears. Unfortunately, as the latex material was being processed, the gears reacted with the latex material and expanded in size until the ceased turning. Cleaning required a complete disassembly of the cassette, followed by awkward and time-consuming hand scrubbing of individual components to yield less-than-satisfactory results.

In addition to requiring an easier cleaning process, the medical device manufacturer wanted longer wear-life and improved performance from the gears. Frequent cleaning and premature gear failure caused by gear swelling resulted in wear stress that resulted in system downtime and replacement on average every few months.

As part of a failure analysis, Intech provided an engineering design review that included a custom gear life calculation. Our engineering team recommended a system design modification to address performance uptime, improve wear life, and to create a user-friendly non-hazardous cleaning process.

open sandwich design allows easy cleaningThe gear box modification design features custom Intech Power-Core™ gears with a larger pitch diameter, wider face width, and an integral stainless steel shaft that extends on each side of the gear and rotates directly within the load bearing cover plates. The open sandwich design, which can be seen in this image, allows for easy cleaning.

Compared to the previously used injection molded gears which vary in size due to internal stresses and moisture absorption, the precision machined Intech Power-Core™ gears provide consistent, smooth-running operation at reduced torque. Uniform Power-Core material will not distort or change size, so individual gears can be interchanged easily without matching pre-existing gears for a uniform fit, whereas injection molded gears had to be matched to other gears in order to function.

Intech Power-Core™ gears are machined from an inert, stress-free non-hygroscopic material with integral stainless steel shaft that offers outstanding performance where corrosion, abrasion, noise, lubrication, vibration, shock, and moisture create hostile operating environments.

Tags: Power-Core gears, wear life, gear box, vibration, gear life calculation, gear design, non-hygroscopic