Design of Injection Molded Plastic Gears

This project aims at the development of a guideline for the suitable design of plastic gears, considering function, material and technology, using a physical and experimentally validated approach.

Plastic gears show several advantages compared to metallic gears such as lower weight, dry run capability or the potential for cost-effective mass production. However, disadvantages such as lower mechanical and thermal properties and less precision need to be compensated by constructive means. Present design methods, however, have a very limited applicability since several plastic specific properties such as viscoelasticity or damage mechanisms are neglected. Besides a comprehensive material characterization, current works focus on a detailed analysis of fiber orientation of injection molded plastic gears. Using computer tomography, several segments with different fiber orientations and also different degrees of orientation can be distinguished. These parameters are transferred to a multiphysics simulation model developed by the Institute of Machine Elements, Gears, and Transmissions at the Technische Universität Kaiserslautern. The data required for the validation of the simulation is obtained from a cylinder-on-ring test.

Field of competence

Industry sectors

Project status

  • Archived



Stefan Schmidt

Scientific Staff Mechanical Characterization & Modeling

Telephone: +49 631 2017 274

Room: 58/240


Andreas Gebhard

Manager Tribology

Telephone: +49 631 2017 342

Room: 58/433


The project “Design of Injection Molded Plastic Gears” is funded by the Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Energy on the basis of a decision by the German Bundestag (funding reference 20379N).