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Ikona and Magna Advanced Technologies Partner for Gear Tooth Profile

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Ikona Gear International and Magna Advanced Technologies have jointly introduced a patented gear technology that utilizes a newly designe...
January 6, 2005—Ikona Gear International and Magna Advanced Technologies have jointly introduced a patented gear technology that utilizes a newly designed, patented tooth profile for use in planetary systems.

Together , Dr. John R. Colbourne, author of Geometry of Involute Gears, and Laith Nosh, president of Ikona Gear, developeded an non-involute system that can be made smaller and lighter than conventional planetary gears. In applications with ratios from 8:1 to 5,000:1, the Ikona gear has fewer moving parts and the highest single-stage reduction ratio with zero backlash, says Nosh.

"Ikona’s design is a technological breakthrough--it’s a revolution," says Colbourne.

Pinion teeth have convex profiles that are derived mathematically from a path of contact shaped as in the Archimedean Spiral. The internal gear teeth are conjugate to the pinion teeth. The Ikona gear pair has high contact ratio, no tip interference and minimal backlash," Colbourne says.

Magna Advanced Technologies is working to develop the commercial applications for the Ikona gear. Since April 2003, Magna has been conducting extensive prototyping and testing in its Canadian and Austrian facilities. Magna pinpointed five automotive markets most suitable for the Ikona gear: steering systems, braking systems, closure systems, seating systems, and microactuators.

Servo gearing seemed to be a fit for the Ikona gear system because this profile is currently the only form that is completely conjugate with many teeth in contact, sharing the load. These groups employ the orbital gear method to achieve their ratios and stiffness, but often struggle with load sharing and conjugating issues.

Aside from servo gearing, the Ikona gear is suitable for 85 industries. Its most recent utilization is in conjunction with AirCast Inc, who is marketing the Mayo Clinic Armbrace with the plastic Ikona Gear in the elbow joint.

The Ikona Gear was the only technology that could enable the arm brace to be mechanically operated to provide patients a self-exercise option in post-operative care situations," says Barrie Freeke, chief engineer at Ikona. "The elbow gear provides a three-fold torque increase over the original AirCast.."

The use of plastic gearing can lead to a reduction in noise, vibration and harshness in the final product, thereby authorizing plastic applications that were previously thought impossible.