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A Swiss R&D group is conducting research in transmission systems and gears made from steel and plastic. Test benches, measuring machines & calculation software are available. The experiences range from experimental and numerical analysis, design and calculation to efficiency, vibration, lubrication and cooling tests and the support of the in-house manufacturing (conventional and additive). It offers testing/research/development and seeks partners for research/technology/industrial collaboration.
Plastic gears offer economic advantages, i.e design flexibility, reduced noise, ability to operate without lubrication and corrosion-resistance. Etc. In some cases they can be a better choice than metal gears.
The research group on gear technology of a Swiss university of applied sciences carries out research, product and process development in the area of transmission systems and gearwheels made from steel and plastic in order to test the limitations of plastic gears relative to metal gears and improve quality, process productivity, and sustainability.
It offers cutting-edge development tools and services including development, simulation, measurement, testing and manufacturing.
• Design of gearwheels, calculation and creation of software material files.
• Topology optimization for gears
• Structural stress analysis
• Structural optimization of the gear body
• Design of complete test rigs for gears and machine elements in general
• The institute is equipped with numerous production facilities for setting up test benches and machining gearwheels.
• Gear production with CNC Milling machines and additive manufacturing with metal powder.
• The research group offers finite element method (FEM) calculations for simulation and all services for measurement and validation:
• Measurement of gearwheels (double-flank composite testing, tooth width measurement, imaging measurement),
• Testing and analysis of damage types for metal and plastic gears.
• Metallurgical analyses
Validation and testing:
Run test bench (mainly metal gears):
• Variable torques of 15 to 550 Nm
• Speed range of 10 to 6000 rpm
• Center distance of 91.5 mm
• Efficiency measurement
• Option of internal gearwheel lubrication or internal gearwheel cooling
• Analysis of housing vibrations and structure-borne sound
Run test bench (mainly plastic gears):
• Variable torques of 2 to 25 Nm
• Speed range of 10 to 6000 rpm
• Center distance of 60 mm (VDI 2736 size 2)
• Temperature control unit to regulate the tooth root and tooth flank between -30 to 120°C
• Forces up to 15 kN
• Frequencies up to 100 Hz.
Partners are sought for technical and research cooperation. Potential partners may come from industry, research or academia. The research group is interested in projects in any stage of development, including fundamental and applied research and engineering services.
It is searching for cooperation with other research institutes which have knowledge / expertise in basic research in gear technology. In addition, it is open to cooperate with gear manufacturing companies which are looking for research partner to innovate their technologies, for instance via the participation of funded research programs (Eurostars, EU-Framework program) or via a technical cooperation agreement for joint development of a new product or delivering specific engineering expertise as described above.
The institute accommodates all research groups and facilities in one place which allows all the synergies of design, simulation, manufacturing and testing with features required by the customer, ensuring that the performance of gears stays the same if plastic is used. E.g.
• Combination of validating innovative additive manufactured gears on the test bench and by measuring (tactile and 3D scanning).
• Design and optimization of lightweight gears for the aircraft industry, where the research group develops, produces and tests the gears.
• Plastic gear test bench facilities for a controllable cooling of the running gears even below zero degrees.
• Facilities to generate software files of material characteristics for different temperatures levels.
• Metal gear test bench for customer-specific gearwheels with special lubrication conditions and innovative internal cooling opportunity.
Manufacturing and testing environment already established but as well under ongoing development for research issues
The specific area of activity of the partner:
Area of gear applications or material (e.g. plastic granulate producer or processors).
The tasks to be performed by the partner sought:
Potential partners may come from industry, research or academia interested in using test bench for calculation, design, optimization and validation.
Research cooperation agreement: the Swiss research group is searching for cooperation with other research institutes which have knowledge / expertise in basic research in gear technology. It is as well open to cooperate with gear manufacturing companies searching for research partner to innovate their technologies.
Technical cooperation agreement: the Swiss research group offers its engineering expertise and testing/simulation/manufacturing facilities to perform the development of new gear concepts or optimise the manufacturing process according to the partners’ requirements.