Using the core technology of Sumitomo Electric Fine Polymer, Inc., designed to improve material properties through electron beam irradiation, Teralink™ S is produced for use in engineering plastic parts with increased fatigue strength.
- Start of sales: June 2014
What is Teralink™ S?
Teralink™ S is an engineering plastic used to construct components for industrial machines, gears for motor-assisted bicycles, and other items. Injection-molded*1 parts irradiated by electron beams form cross-linked*2 polymer chains for improved wear resistance and fatigue strength. Our customers have remarked that the use of Teralink™ S with increased fatigue strength to construct gears to replace original metal gears has helped them achieve cost and weight reductions.
What are the features of Teralink™ S?
This product features excellent wear resistance and high fatigue strength. Nylon 66, POM*3 and Teralink™ are widely used as a material for plastic gears. The results of durability tests for gears made of these materials are shown below. In contrast to nylon 66 and POM, Teralink™ S neither develops tooth wear nor decreases in weight even under a triple or higher tooth surface load, which is an indicator of fatigue strength. These features imply that to achieve the same level of strength, Teralink™ S gears can be smaller and provide more space savings than those made of other materials. Thus, our customers in the industrial machinery field place high expectations on Teralink™ S.
Sumitomo Electric Fine Polymer, Inc.
What motivated you to develop Teralink™ S?
To begin with, it is a well-known fact that the irradiation and cross-linking process improves the heat resistance of plastics. Indeed, we began to manufacture and sell Teralink™ not for gear applications, but for heat-resistant parts. Meanwhile, one of our customers asked us if it would be possible to use Teralink™ in gears. Then we constructed a sample. It was the beginning of the development of Teralink™ S.
After examining it, the customer rated the sample very highly.
When we built the sample, we had no idea why Teralink™ S was suitable for gears. We measured it to obtain every physical property such as in a plastics engineering catalog. However, the reason for the material’s effectiveness in gears was still unclear. We almost gave up, believing that the sample’s effectiveness was just a coincidence. Nevertheless, we asked ourselves another question, which was: What were the important properties of gears? When we measured the material’s fatigue strength by subjecting it to the repeated application of a weak force, we realized the substantial effects of the process. We built another gear and tested its durability. The test proved that the irradiation and cross-linking process made gears tough, enabling them to endure the application of a three times higher force. Thus we decided to manufacture and sell the product under the name Teralink™ S.