The MAGDRIVE project, granted by the Space program of the EU-FP7, is developing a gear able to produce reduction ratios from 1 to several hundreds by means of magnetic teeth. The teeth, unlike the conventional gears, do not touch one to other. This makes that this gear does not need any kind of lubrication.
In case that the maximum torque is passed over the axle simply clutches, but nothing breaks down. Therefore, it has an intrinsic antijamming characteristic. It is also reversible: it can reduce but also multiply the velocity. It can also go clockwise or anticlockwise. Ratio, maximum torque, stiffness and damping can be customized. Even more it can also be customized to be direct or inverted (inverting the sense of the rotation). A low noise level is also a remarkable feature of this kind of device.
These characteristics make this technology very attractive for a number of different fields like aerospace, automation, automotive and others.
Two different prototypes have been developed: the first one is a “room-temperature prototype” for working temperature from −40°C to 100°C, while the second one is a “cryogenic prototype” that can work at temperature as low as 70 K.
The results of the tests for the first prototype are shown in this work.