“Just directly, NASA is responsible for pulling BMG into the world of gears and doing the initial validation. Their work gave other customers the confidence to approach us and try it for themselves. And while we will absolutely continue working in the space sector, we are also in the process of developing the first commercial Bulk Metallic Glass strainwave and planetary gearboxes to validate with industry leading partners here on Earth.”
– Dr Glenn Garrett (CTO)
HIGH PRECISION GEARS
STRAINWAVE GEAR FLEXSPLINES
Strain wave gears are a compact and zero backlash gearbox used in robotic arms and precision-motion mechanisms. They transmit torque through a geared thin-walled cup, hat, or band, called a flexspline. The flexspline has precise gear teeth and a flexible wall, a combination of qualities that drives the manufacturing costs of a strain wave gearbox. Because of their complexity, strain wave gears can account for a substantial portion of the cost of a six-degree-of-freedom (6DOF) robotic arm.
BMG INJECTION MOLDING
Bulk Metallic Glass has opened the doors to injection molding high strength alloys with extreme precision. By removing the high cost of machining, the end result is a net-shape flexspline in minutes, significantly reducing the cost, time and floor space needed to manufacture.
THE ADDITIVE APPROACH
Functionally graded materials (FGM) allow custom tailoring material properties along a component. Focusing specific properties such as high strength, thermal conductivity, corrosion resistance and wear resistance to specific areas where needed.
The case study below shows how a wire-fed DED process is used to produce a thin-walled cup blank with highly machinable steel which then functionally grades to high-strength steel in the teeth.
PLANETARY GEARBOXES / HIGH MODULE GEARS (ISO 3 PRECISION)
Amorphology has developed the first ever commercial operation for designing, injection mold manufacturing, and testing of BMG gearboxes, achieving an astounding ISO 3 precision through casting. Injection molding to these micron tolerances, removes expensive and labor-intensive machining process, reducing the time and cost to manufacture these parts.
- BMG Injection Molding
- The Additive Approach
Springs and Compliant Mechanisms – Compliant mechanisms rely on the elastic bending of thin members to generate motion. Springs, are elastic objects that store energy. Bulk metallic glasses (BMGs) are shown to have an optimal combination of mechanical properties and processing ability, making them ideal for complex, low-cost compliant mechanisms & springs.
Medical – Bulk Metallic Glasses have shown excellent biocompatability to the same level as 316L stainless steel and Ti6Al4V alloys commonly used in medical applications. In combination with the unique anti-galling properties and good wear resistance, BMG’s have many applications for the medical industry.
Robot/cobot end-effectors – Bulk Metallic Glass injection molding is ideal for high precision end-effectors used in medical robotics, precision grippers and other similar components, eliminating time consuming machining and post machining processing while maintaining a high strength and corrosion resistance.
Friction/wear/corrosion precision components – With almost zero shrinkage when cast, high-precision components are ideal for bulk metallic glass. In combination with high hardness, low elastic modulus and other material properties, components can perform very well in various friction and wear environments.
- Strainwave Gearbox Components
- Planetary Gearbox Components
- Other Gears
INSERTS, LATCHES, BRACKETS
- Low galvanic corrosion
- High bond strengths with flight epoxies
- High strength & high hardness
- Relatively Low Density
- Easy to manufacture using casting, injection molding and 3D printing
BMGs have many properties that make them attractive for inserts, fasteners, and expanders, including high strength, large elastic limit, low density, high hardness, low galvanic corrosion, and high bond strengths with flight epoxies. They are also relatively easy to manufacture with casting, injection molding and 3D printing