Transmission Oil Pump Gear Prototype Made of Torlon PAI
Allegheny Performance Plastics teamed up with Getec Getriebe Technik GmbH and Solvay to explore the possibility of replacing a traditionally metal helical pump gear in a transmission with a Torlon PAI gear. The gear drives an oil pump used to circulate oil for lubrication and cooling of the transmission. At idle and low engine speeds (800-2000 rpm), this gear is the biggest contributor to system noise.
The benefits of Torlon PAI include the economies of injection-molding and lower noise, vibration and harshness (NVH), which are expected to further drive the replacement of many traditional metal parts with thermoplastic components. Traditionally, thermoplastic parts have been considered for metal replacement on non-critical components. However, during the last decade components manufactured from high performance thermoplastics have replaced bearings and other components in demanding automotive transmission applications. The Torlon PAI oil pump gear represents a thermoplastic replacement of yet another crucial component and places thermoplastic parts within the critical function of the transmission.
At this early stage, the Torlon PAI gear was designed to be a drop-in replacement. In other words, the plastic part has the exact same dimensions as the metal gear that it is replacing. Getec completed a full NVH test at their testing facility, and the plastic part performed 3 dB lower than the metal gear at the critical idling and low engine rpms. This represents a significant reduction in noise.
Source: Allegheny Performance Plastics