Canadian Plastics

TPE Chosen for Precision Gears in Consumer Electronics

DSM's Arnitel, a versatile thermoplastic copolyester elastomer (TPE), has been seeing more use in applications that need precision with the added advantage of dampening. Many consumer electronic companies, including Philips, Kyocera, Sony and JVC,...

July 1, 2004   Canadian Plastics



DSM’s Arnitel, a versatile thermoplastic copolyester elastomer (TPE), has been seeing more use in applications that need precision with the added advantage of dampening. Many consumer electronic companies, including Philips, Kyocera, Sony and JVC, are using Arnitel for precision gears in consumer electronics such as DVD players, digital cameras and mobile phone camera modules.

Philips Electronics uses Arnitel for gears in DVD players and CD players. The movement of the tray in DVD players and CD players is actuated by a low speed motor. Due to the relatively high weight to be moved and the extreme precision needed, a train of gears is used to provide the high torque requirements. Some of these gears are manufactured in Arnitel to dampen noise generation and transmission, and they provide the high torque required due to their high strength.

Additionally, substantial cost savings are realized through an extended tool life, by providing the right grade for the tool as it nears the end of its lifetime. This results in the same molding quality as from a new tool and no deterioration of properties, despite a higher use of regrind content. Moldings remain flash free, reducing reject rates by more than 20% compared to the previously used material.

Kyocera chose Arnitel as the material for noise reduction gears in digital cameras for the autofocus system. Due to increasing trends in reducing the time to focus, high-speed motors are used to connect to the gear train, sometimes consisting of 8 gears, some of which are made from Arnitel. The high speed necessitates gear teeth with very high strength and high precision since a slight mismatch of the gear in meshing with the other gears can jeopardize the autofocus mechanism. Arnitel proved to be the best material solution for this application.

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