Unique partnership to support the UK as a global leader in polymer gear research and development.

As part of the UK-wide Knowledge Transfer Partnership initiative Smart Manufacturing Technology has teamed up with the School of Engineering at University of Warwick to plan, develop and implement an advanced design and rating method for polymer gears. Supporting this unique partnership is the Technology Strategy Board who have granted £146,500 for the project.

Through SMT’s other activities there is an identifiable growth in the popularity of polymer gears in industry projects worldwide. A recent report predicts 10% year on year growth rate for plastic gears in China alone for the next five years. Polymer gears provide a considerable potential for low cost and energy efficient developments especially for the world’s emerging economies. Unfortunately rating standards such as British Standard 6168 have been developed for metal gear practice and none of these methods have been found to correlate well with polymer based gears especially with regards to their thermal behaviour.

Projects like this drive the development of polymer gears’ helping enhance their advantages whilst mitigating their limitations. The collaboration with the University of Warwick will help secure the UK’s position as a global leader in polymer gear design and research.

This partnership not only aims to facilitate conceptual ideas into commercial projects for the UK gear industry but also create links and career opportunities to the next generation of engineers.

The full details of the Knowledge Transfer Partnership are available at ktponline.org.uk