The plastic gear wheel reinforced with carbon fiber fabric.
The plastic gear wheel reinforced with carbon fiber fabric.

The Center for Advanced Die Engineering and Technology at Gifu University and Central Fine Tool Co Ltd have reportedly developed a plastic gear wheel reinforced with carbon fiber fabric.

They plan to commercialize the gear wheel, which could replace metal gear wheels in automotive applications.  

The researchers suggest that it could reduce vehicle weight and production cost and increase product life. In general, because of the contact pressure applied to a tooth surface, a tensile stress is applied to the bottom of the tooth. The additional carbon fibers can help reduce this tensile stress and extend product life.

They add that with the method employed for the newly-developed gear wheel, it becomes possible to use CFRPs for parts to be mass-produced such as auto parts.

The university has applied for patents for the carbon fiber fabric, mold to form a resin part as a single piece and gear wheel. They have already completed the gear wheel as a sample but are still examining the manufacturing cost and strength of the product, with the aim of commercializing it by March 2017.

This story is reprinted from material from here, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.