Germany’s Igus, which develops and produces motion plastics, has announced that it begun manufacture of lubrication-free gears.
The company says to cater to demand for production of wear-resistant and durable gears in high volumes, it now offers production with injection moulding in addition to mechanical processing from bar stock and additive manufacturing (3D printing).
Polymer gears are becoming more and more popular because, compared to steel gears, they do not require even a drop of lubricating oil and are therefore maintenance-free. At the same time, polymer ensures quiet operation and considerable weight savings.
Highly wear-resistant gears made from 3D printing as well as mechanically machined gears made from iglidur bar stock have been offered by Igus for several years. For economical production of high volumes, the motion plastics specialist has now expanded its range to include injection-moulded gears.
"By using injection moulding, the user now has the option of obtaining his gear series from our wide-ranging material variety," explains Steffen Schack, Head of the new iglidur Gear Business Unit at Igus GmbH. "Straight from stock, we currently offer injection-moulded gears made of the materials xirodur B180 and iglidur F, each in three hub designs." xirodur B180 is a wear-resistant endurance runner and dampens vibrations. iglidur F also has a long service life and is suitable for applications with high temperatures. In addition, the black polymer is electrically conductive.
The Igus gears developed so far from the Iglidur high-performance polymers are claimed to have a significantly longer service life than gears made from standard plastics.
In the in-house 3,800 square metre Igus laboratory, the motion plastics specialist subjects its injection moulded, printed and machined gears made of Igus materials to rigorous testing. The test showed that injection-moulded gears made of the material xirodur B180, have a four times longer service life than gears made of POM.
Depending on the configuration and application scenario, Igus offers manufacturing in three different processes: for fast delivery of wear-resistant customised components within a few days, 3D printed gears made from the laser sintering material Iglidur I3 are the medium of choice. Mechanical machining from Iglidur bar stock, for example, is suitable for producing gears in large volumes. Injection moulding, on the other hand, offers the greatest iglidur material variety and above all a cost-effective batch production of special dimensions.