A contactless transmission with magnets has been created, which works at room temperature.
As part of the MAGDRIVE project, Spanish engineers from UC3M University created a magnetic transmission that works with virtually no friction or wear on parts. The gearbox they created is designed to solve the problem of wear of classic transmissions due to friction and the constant need for lubrication. The aim of the development was to provide spacecraft with nodes that did not wear out for a long time, due to the need for spacecraft to work for long periods of time. However, such a device can also be used in automobiles, on railways, and in aviation.
Two prototypes were manufactured to demonstrate the devices. The first is designed to work in space at extremely low temperatures, it uses superconducting magnets and operates at a temperature of about -210 degrees. Such magnets also contribute to damping vibrations. The second prototype works at room temperature. In the design of the gearbox, the teeth of the pinion gears are replaced by permanent magnets that attract and repel, forcing the mechanism to work like a regular gear.
In an interview with GizmagEfren Diez Jimenez, a researcher in the engineering department of UC3M, said: “The life of such a device can greatly exceed the life of classic gear reducers, while it can operate at extremely low temperatures. Even with severe overloads, the device operates normally. If the axis is suddenly blocked, the parts will simply slide relative to each other and nothing will break. The range of use of the mechanism is wide - from robotic arms and motors for positioning antennas, where precise precision of movements is required and lubrication is undesirable, to vehicles in which the service life of mechanical parts is greatly reduced due to extreme temperatures or low pressure - for example, rovers ". A separate company was created to study the potential commercial use of the device.MAG SOAR .