MPIF announces the gerotor as a Powder Metallurgy Industry Landmark

ApplicationsNews
June 26, 2024

June 26, 2024

The gerotor has been announced as a recipient of the MPIF’s Powder Metallurgy Industry Landmark Award. From left, a steel gerotor and a hubbed steam treated gerotor (Courtesy Nichols Portland)
The gerotor has been announced as a recipient of the MPIF’s Powder Metallurgy Industry Landmark Award. From left, a steel gerotor and a hubbed steam treated gerotor (Courtesy Nichols Portland)

The Metal Powder Industries Federation’s (MPIF’s) Powder Metallurgy Industry Landmark Award aims to recognise PM products, production processes, equipment machines, or materials that have either made a significant impact in PM usage or represent a significant innovation.

At this year’s PowderMet conference and exhibition, the MPIF announced that the part recognised for the award is the gerotor.

The gerotor style pump is a robust and reliable positive displacement pumping system that is a well-established application. The gerotor design has stood the test of time in applications that have been in use for over one hundred years. While the pump consists of just two moving components — the inner and outer gerotors — the design is extremely complex and highly engineered.

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The gerotor, a contraction of the words generated rotor, dates to the late 19th century. Myron Hill, considered the father of the gerotor, published Kinematics of Gerotors in 1927 after years of study and experimentation. He went on to collaborate with William H. Nichols, a skilled toolmaker and founder of the WH Nichols Company to develop machinery to manufacture precise gerotor sets. The first commercial application was for oil burner pumps in the 1930s.

By the early 1940s, the General Electric Aviation division approached the Nichols Company to develop a multi-element gerotor pump for GE’s first jet engine, introducing the gerotor technology to the aircraft industry and beginning a long history of success in aircraft engine lubrication and scavenge applications.

Until the early 1970s, only small volumes of machined steel gerotors were common. However, in 1971, the WH Nichols Company received a US patent describing an internal gear set that provided the foundation for the low-speed, high-torque motor market, reportedly changing the gerotor style pump landscape.

The pump application — such as type of fluid, amount of fluid, location in application, space constraints in application, and noise level — can dictate the gerotor profile and shape. Drive design is completely customisable. Unique material compositions to withstand harsh working environments, such as high wear conditions or special fluid requirements, are common. The high volume, net-shape capabilities of the conventional press & sinter PM manufactured gerotors expanded the use of positive displacement pumps, including its first automotive application for Ford Motor Company in 1981.

Today, there are numerous global manufacturers producing millions of gerotors annually utilising the conventional press & sinter PM process for a multitude of industries.

www.mpif.org

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Want to read more about Nichols Portland and the development of gerotors? Read PM Review’s exclusive article:

Nichols Portland: The world’s first manufacturer of gerotors continues to innovate

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ApplicationsNews
June 26, 2024

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