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Ceramics and Their Role in Future Gear Design

October 02, 2019

It’s hard to find any machine component as ubiquitous as a gear motor. From pool tables, washing machines, ovens, etc. (we dedicated a whole blog to their everyday utility) these gears are commonly fashioned from metal alloys due to their ease of manufacture.

Materials science, however, is providing insight into alternative fabrication techniques…

Many eyes are now fixed on the use of ceramics when it comes to manufacturing a gear motor because of their promising mechanical properties.

Why Ceramic Gears?

The impetus for the search to an alternate material for gear manufacturing stems from smaller scale equipment requiring a material that showcases higher wear resistance – a criteria met by ceramics. Because of their wear resistant properties, ceramics make for a very alluring material to utilise as metal alloys are quite susceptible to the effects of galling.

As discussed earlier, due to the range of applications gears find themselves in it is crucial they exhibit a range of characteristics. In this regard, ceramics are making a name for themselves in the biotech and vacuum industries as they are reputably biocompatible, non-magnetic, and electrically insulative (Dittmer et al., 2017).

Challenges Surrounding Ceramics

One of the main points of contention surrounding the wide-scale implementation of ceramics in gears come from their low fracture toughness, typically <1 MPa.m1/2. A paltry figure compared to the >100 MPa.m1/2 seen in alloy steels.

Further compounding their scalability, the high melting points of ceramics make for a complicated process when being casted and shaped, ultimately proving to be uneconomical. Tying into their troublesome manufacture, production costs of ceramics only make economic sense when producing a high volume of small parts, this however is in stark juxtaposition to how they are commonly requested for production.

Bauer GMC – The Cutting Edge of Gear Motors

We are known for our continual dedication to the latest innovations surrounding all things gears. From their design, efficiency, quality, compactness, and reliability, you can be sure a Bauer built motor is made to last. All of our gears are assembled in Canada to meet all your torque and speed requirements. Reach out to a consultant to learn more.


Dittmer, R. et al. (2017) ‘Advanced CerMet ceramic composites for medical applications.’, Journal of the mechanical behavior of biomedical materials. Netherlands, 75, pp. 206–211. doi: 10.1016/j.jmbbm.2017.07.024.