Many devices around the world make use of plastic gears in their design. Plastic gears are cheaper than metal alternatives and offer high durability and chemical resistance. However, multiple types of plastics can work as gears, so here’s a look at some of the best plastic materials out there.
The Different Nylons
Nylon is a strong plastic and one of the most common materials in plastic gears. Its strength and durability make it well suited to molding and ideal for crafting precise gears. However, it’s not as resistant to water absorption, which can warp its shape over time.
Polyamide is a great alternative to nylon, as it integrates fiberglass for reinforcement. It’s very strong and doesn’t have the same issue with humidity as nylon. However, polyamide plastics are not as malleable as nylon, which makes them difficult to use for precise gears.
Acetal Based Plastics
Acetal plastics are the third most common option manufacturers use to make gears. These plastics are great because they retain their shape well and don’t absorb water. However, they need a lot of lubrication to prevent wear and damage from use.
Choosing the Right Plastic
It isn’t easy to pick the right plastic material for your gears because they each have different properties that can benefit your designs. The best thing you can do is work together with a prototype maker to test each material in your product and find the best match. The manufacturer will know what materials will match your product and can even help you with maintenance tasks, like how often you should inspect plastic gears.
Choosing between these materials to create your plastic gears will help you match the requirements your products and devices need to meet. Switching to one of these plastic gears can save you a lot of money and reduce resource consumption and turnover time. That’s why it’s so important to go through this process.