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The Materials Guide to Gear Motors

August 16, 2019

Take a look at the internal components found within any modern piece of machinery such as motors, and automation equipment – you’ll come to find that one of the components amongst the crowd are gears.

When you’re in the selection process for your gears, it is important to have a basic foundation of knowledge surrounding the materials they are made from.

For this article, we’ll have a closer inspection at the host of materials available on the market for your gear motors and the factors affecting your purchase.

The Fundamentals

When several metallic elements are combined they form what is known as an alloy; steel, one of the more popular alloys, is produced by combining varying ratios of iron and carbon, depending on the properties to be achieved. More popular than steel, is stainless steel – a chromium-nickel-iron alloy with lower amounts of carbon.

A strong reputation and foothold surrounds the use of stainless steel gear motor applications. This is due to several factors that, no matter what industry you are in, play a large role in your day-to-day operations. For example, stainless steel gear motors are known for their resistance to corrosion, mechanical strength, and minimised risk of fouling.

Tailor Your Material Selection to Your Work Environment

The environment in which your tasks will be conducted are at the crux to the selection of your gear motor material. A typical point of contention exists around the wear your gear will be undergoing; bronze worm gears are the material of choice in these circumstances due to their low coefficient of friction when compared to steel or aluminium.

In contrast, when required to maintain structural stability at strong workloads, a stainless steel gear motor is chosen due to their high strength, ease of fabrication, and ability to be heat-treated in order to reach adequate levels of tooth hardness and toughness.

In regards to hardness, this is a critical factor when it comes to gear design and material selection as it demonstrates a positive relationship with the size, weight and durability of the gear. Lighter weight, smaller dimensions, and increased surface durability (resistance to pitting and tooth failure) occur as hardness of the gear set increases, while still being able to provide comparable power. It should be noted that the process of hardening a gear occurs at the surface of the gear, leaving a more malleable core - done to prevent brittle fracture as hardness can cause materials to become more brittle.


The Right Material for You

Whatever your application, at Bauer GMC we offer a comprehensive array of gear materials and configurations, including our stainless steel gear motors – designed with configurable rotors in mind to meet the efficiency class you need without undermining their capacity to withstand high levels of shock and vibration.

Become familiar with our range of products and get in touch so that we can put you one step closer to the gear motor you need!