Wear Mechanisms in Polyoxymethylene Spur Gears

Stuart Evans, Patrick Keogh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (SciVal)
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The interaction of a polymer-steel spur gear pair is naturally prone to cause wear of the softer polymer material. Experimental equipment was therefore designed and constructed to run a polymer-steel spur gear pair with sufficiently accurate instrumentation such that the load and speed could be measured under a range of operating conditions. Plastic deformation features on the polymer teeth surface were observed through scanning electron microscopy and these are considered to be the primary sources of polymer gear wear during service. The wear mechanism is discussed and models are presented to describe the process by which it is created. This is due to the sliding/rolling under conforming contact conditions that are intrinsic to the involute spur gear pair. An iterative model based on the nonlinear properties of the polymer is presented, which shows how the material is deformed permanently and progressively under each load cycle. A second model also shows how the wear deformation features are created. Worn gear teeth were inspected and the quantity of material worn correlates well with the predicted wear volume.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)356-365
Early online date3 Apr 2019
Publication statusPublished - 15 Jun 2019


  • Polymer gear wear
  • Wear mechanism
  • Polymer smear
  • Polymer chain model


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