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News

Getting into gear with self-lubricated plastics

GE Advanced Materials : 27 July, 2004  (New Product)
A new gear package from GE helps simplify materials selection, design specification for gears and other moving parts subject to friction and wear.
GE Advanced Materials has consolidated select grades of its self-lubricated Lubricomp, Lubriloy and Fulton compounds with Ultem resin gear grades to create a new, specialised gear package of materials. The new package also features a robust Internet-based teaching module and a full range of design specifications to facilitate the materials selection process.

Appropriate for both new and experienced gear designers in sectors as diverse as consumer electronics, automotive, power tools, appliance, document handling, and industrial, the LNP gear package is the first of its kind to be offered by a plastics compound supplier.

The new gear package is immediately accessible via an Internet-based, on-demand eSeminar with audio and visual input. The seminar is accessible 24/7, free of charge and is currently available in three languages.

Once online, gear designers can link to information on GE's broad family of LNP thermoplastic compounds and support services at LNP Portfolio Overview. Other links Online Design and Engineering Tools provide users with the information to help create effective results rapidly with minimal effort. A GE design team, trained in the demanding requirements of gearing, is also available to provide advice on materials and troubleshooting support.

GEs new gear package is designed to meet specific critical-to-quality criteria, such as low wear, low noise, tolerance, durability, operating temperature, chemical resistance, agency requirements, and more, explains Kazuya Iwamoto, industry manager, Components, GE Advanced Materials.

Our gear team can also draw on 50 years of plastic-wear data in gearing applications and is not limited just to the materials we offer through our new gear package, said David Ngiam, product manager, Lubricomp Composites, GE Advanced Materials. We can access any technology that in the GE family, which represents one of the broadest portfolios of materials in the global plastics and compounding industries.

Plastics have gradually replaced metals in a wide variety of gear applications, gaining respect in the design community as a major alternative to traditional materials by offering unique performance benefits metals cant provide. Three major trends currently are pushing plastic-gear performance toward higher-performing, harder-working families of materials and opening new possibilities for the unique polymer solutions that GE Advanced Materials can provide. These include:

Noise Reduction: Noise in gear applications can generally be reduced by using noise-dampening grades of plastics. Specifying lubricated grades that can hold tight tolerances can eliminate noise caused by poor gear alignment. Acoustic noise from vibration can often be addressed by using lubricated, tight-tolerance compounds and resins

Process Cost-Out: Eliminating grease and using durable, lubricated resins reduces maintenance costs and ensures cleaner operations. Eliminating metal firewall covers by specifying flame-retardant materials can reduce parts and assembly costs, as well as component size and weight. Reducing materials usage by specifying stronger, reinforced materials capable of performing in thinner wall sections can also cut costs, weight, and stack tolerances; and

Design Flexibility: Plastics and plastic compounds can increase design flexibility vs. traditional materials. When used in compact, high-performance designs, they can allow for weight and space savings while ensuring durability. The thermal management properties that plastics and plastic compounds can provide can help extend the operating range of the device. These products can also address various eco-label concerns, making it easier to specify a material globally for greater sourcing and manufacturing flexibility.

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