mG miniGears Spa, Padova, Italy, a manufacturer of precision parts, drive components, gear kits and complex system solutions and a company of hGears Holding GmbH, has launched a research & development programme to investigate the use of Powder Metallurgy for the production of helical gears. The programme will aim to expand the advantages of PM technology to the most demanding automotive applications, where low Noise Vibration Harshness (NVH) properties are requested.
According to the company, PM helical gears are characterised by elements that must be produced with helical motion movement of the punches, and elements where this movement is not allowed (typically a splined central hole or weight-reducing slots in the gear body). The combination of these requirements means that a new approach must be taken to the design of compaction tooling for the gears’ production.
A first prototype has been produced by the company which reportedly meets these requirements. To increase its knowledge of the stress and strain level of the tool, the company utilised strain gauges on the critical elements. The information gathered by this method will be used for the next generation of the tool, where the helix angle of the gear teeth will be increased to the maximum value currently used in the industry.
The prototype helical gear was entered into the EPMA PM Component Awards 2018 and displayed in the Awards Showcase at the Euro PM2018 Congress & Exhibition in Bilbao, Spain, October 2018. The main outcome of this research programme is expected to be the production of a cheap, light, strong and geometrically complex gear. By drawing on its knowledge and technology for gear manufacturing, mG miniGears expects to be able to to meet the highest quality requirements with its helical gears.