Undergraduate Research & Mentoring Program

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Gearing -- Performance -- Evaluation, Torque -- Measurement, Magnetic gearing -- Technological innovations


Power transmission is traditionally achieved with a mechanical gear. These gears require maintenance, cause vibration, and have no overload protection. Magnetic gears (MGs) offer an innovative solution to these drawbacks as they do not require regular maintenance, have no need for lubrication, create very little acoustic noise, have built in overload protection and as a result of these advantages, have a longer lifetime of operation. The flux focusing axial magnetic gear (FFAMG) was assembled for future testing of power transmission, conversion, and generation applications.

Gears are used to transmit power by converting low speed-high torque rotary motion into high speed-low torque rotary motion, or conversely, converting high speed-low torque rotary motion into low speed-high torque rotary motion, through a gear ratio. On a traditional mechanical gear this ratio is the ratio of teeth on the load gear to the teeth on the drive gear. The innovative FFAMG uses a ratio of magnetic poles on the driver gear to load gear to accomplish the power transmission that a traditional mechanical gear would achieve.

As a result of this research the FFAMG was assembled successfully, magnetic flux density measurements were collected and compared with simulations. Finally, looking to the future, procedures for testing the efficiency and investigating the overload conditions of the FFAMG for continuing research were developed.


The FFAMG is currently (6/2017) on display in the laboratory for electro-mechanical energy conversion in the basement of the engineering building. All questions pertinent to this research should be directed to Dr. Jonathan Bird.

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