A gear can be defined as a rotating machine having cut teeth or cogs, which mesh with another toothed part to transmit rotational tooth. Geared devices are used to change the speed, torque and direction of a power source. The mechanical force helps to change the direction of torque. The teeth of the two meshing gears have similar shape, which allows the machine to work efficiently. There are various materials that are used to manufacture gears. Common materials used to manufacture gears are nonferrous alloys, steel, cast irons, powder metallurgy, and plastics.
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Plastic gear is used in applications where cost of the raw material is considered. Steel is largely used to manufacture gears; however, plastic can easily replace steel. Plastic gears have many unique properties such as dirt tolerance, low-speed meshing, and ability to be manufactured with materials that need low or additional lubrication. Gear manufacturers use plastics to manufacture consumer items such as copy machines, consumer audio equipment, servo motors, and printers. Plastic gear also helps reduce repair costs, when used in manufacturing heavy and expensive machines. Even in severe jamming of mechanism between electrical machines, plastic teeth can be removed easily, allowing the drive mechanism to spin freely.
Based on application, the global plastic gear market can be classified into food production machines, consumer electronics, chemical and medical equipment, and automobiles. Previously, plastic gears were used in applications having lower transmissions such as electrical assemblies, clocks, and lawn sprinklers. Plastic gear manufacturers have invested in research & development which has helped in the expansion of the plastic gear market. Advances in molding and development in high-performance resins and long fiber compounds have led to the expansion of plastic gears in several consumer electronic appliances. The automobile is the most growing market for plastic gears. The OEMs have pressurized automobile manufacturers to use plastic instead of metal which helps in maintaining weight and low production cost. Globally, 50% of plastic is used by car manufacturers. Plastic injection parts are three times lighter than metal parts. Addition to plastic components can be manufactured easily using single molds and they do not need secondary finishing. Use of plastics in injection moldings also help designer to manufacture a variety of shapes such as internal gearing, cluster gearing, and worms that are difficult to manufacture using metal. Plastic gears are used to transmit motion and power.
In terms of geography, the global plastic gear market can be classified into Asia Pacific, Europe, North America, Latin America, and Middle East & Africa. North America and Europe are major regions for the plastic gear market, led by the expansion of the automobile industry. Plastic gear companies in Asia Pacific and Latin America are investing in research & development due to its unique gearing properties, which have led to demand for plastic gear in Asia-Pacific and Latin America market.
Major players operating in the global plastic gear market are Designatronics Inc, Kohara Gear Industry Co. Ltd., Gizmoszone, AmTech International, Technobots Ltd, Littlestar Plastics, and Nex Robotics, Omni Gear & Machine Corporation, Commercial Gear & Sprocket Company, Inc., The Adams Company, Akron Gear & Engineering, Inc, Rubicon Gear. These companies hold a significant share of the market. Therefore, the plastic gear market experiences intense competition.
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