Performance of Magnetic-Superconductor Non-Contact Harmonic Drive for Cryogenic Space Applications

PEREZ-DIAZ, Jose, DIEZ-JIMENEZ, Efren, VALIENTE-BLANCO, Ignacio, CRISTACHE, Cristian, ALVAREZ-VALENZUELA, Marco-Antonio, SANCHEZ-GARCIA-CASARRUBIOS, Juan, FERDEGHINI, Carlo, CANEPA, Fabio, HORNIG, Wolfgang, CARBONE, Giuseppe, PLECHACEK, Jan, AMORIM, António, FREDERICO, Tiago, GORDO, Paulo, ABREU, Jorge, SANZ, Violeta, RUIZ-NAVAS, Elisa-Maria and MARTINEZ-ROJAS, Juan-Antonio (2015). Performance of Magnetic-Superconductor Non-Contact Harmonic Drive for Cryogenic Space Applications. Machines, 3 (3), 138-156.

Carbone performance of magnetic.pdf
Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (911kB) | Preview
Official URL:
Link to published version::


Harmonic drives are profusely used in aerospace mainly because of their compactness and large reduction ratio. However, their use in cryogenic environments is still a challenge. Lubrication and fatigue are non-trivial issues under these conditions. The objective of the Magnetic-Superconductor Cryogenic Non-contact Harmonic Drive (MAGDRIVE) project, funded by the EU Space FP7, is to design, build, and test a new concept of MAGDRIVE. Non-contact interactions among magnets, soft magnetic materials, and superconductors are efficiently used to provide a high reduction ratio gear that smoothly and naturally operates at cryogenic environments. The limiting elements of conventional harmonic drives (teeth, flexspline, and ball bearings) are substituted by contactless mechanical components (magnetic gear and superconducting magnetic bearings). The absence of contact between moving parts prevents wear, lubricants are no longer required, and the operational lifetime is greatly increased. This is the first mechanical reducer in mechanical engineering history without any contact between moving parts. In this paper, the test results of a −1:20 inverse reduction ratio MAGDRIVE prototype are reported. In these tests, successful operation at 40 K and 10−3 Pa was demonstrated for more than 1.5 million input cycles. A maximum torque of 3 N·m and an efficiency of 80% were demonstrated. The maximum tested input speed was 3000 rpm, six times the previous existing record for harmonic drives at cryogenic temperatures

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Materials and Engineering Research Institute > Centre for Automation and Robotics Research > Sheaf Solutions
Identification Number:
Page Range: 138-156
Depositing User: Helen Garner
Date Deposited: 22 Dec 2016 13:51
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 16:16

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics