Undergraduate Research & Mentoring Program

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 5-23-2018


Magnetic induction -- Measurement, Gearing -- Performance -- Evaluation, Gearing -- Technological innovations, Three-dimensional printing


Power transmission is traditionally achieved with a mechanical gear. Mechanical gears require maintenance, cause vibration, and have no overload protection. Magnetic gears 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. This research focused upon the design, assembly and demonstration of the magnetic gear concept. The research used a solid works design, 3D printed ABS plastic housing, and use of neodymium magnets and ferromagnetic iron segments.

This 3D printed magnetic gear is composed of three main components; low speed rotor with seven pole pairs, the flux-modulating rotor with eleven iron segments, and the high-speed rotor with four pole pairs. The components are mounted on a shared axle and allow the ability to operate in three different gear ratios. To accomplish a desired gear ratio, hold one of the three components stationary while rotating another component, resulting in the third component rotating. This design serves the important purpose of demonstrating the concept of these gears to those inside the research community as well as those in outside fields, with the hope of increasing innovation.

These magnetic gears could be used to transmit power in environments under extremely high torque applications. It is the hope of the authors of this research that future researchers will focus on ocean power generation applications. The advantage of these magnetic gears is their ability to continue functioning even after an overload torque situation, common in ocean applications. Once the overload torque is removed, after a storm is over, the magnetic flux that links the rotors will allow the gear to operate as designed resulting in the continued transmission of power.

Persistent Identifier