Study of the Correlation Between Theoretical and Actual Gear Fatigue Test Data on a Polyamide


Fatigue tests have been run on actual molded gears in order to provide design data, using fully lubricated, plastic on plastic spur gears in a temperature controlled experiment. The purpose of the testing is to see if there is a good correlation between fatigue data, generated in a lab on test bars, versus the actual fatigue performance in a gear.

In order to do this, the theories of gear calculations to get root stresses also had to be examined. Advanced FEA showed that there are corrections needed to account for high loading or high temperatures in plastic gears. The chemistry of various nylons used in gears is explained. A high crystalline nylon has been found which is an excellent material for gears in demanding applications and can withstand high torques and operating temperatures. The material has very good wear properties and excellent retention of mechanical properties (strength, stiffness, and fatigue) especially at elevated temperatures. Several commercial gear applications are currently utilizing these properties. These will be shown to demonstrate the benefits and manufacturability of this material.
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