Researchers are developing a new transmission mechanism, with no touching parts, based on magnetic forces that prevent friction and wear, and make lubrication unnecessary. It can be applied in space travel and exploration, but has also been adapted for use in other areas such as the railroad and aircraft industries.
The magnetic gear reducer transforms speed from an input axle to another in an output axle (as in a bicycle chain mechanism or the gearbox of an automobile). But unlike a conventional gear reducer, the transmission is produced without contact between the pieces, thanks to the magnetism. In addition to the contactless transmission, the axles are likewise contactless.
For outer space, a cryogenic prototype has been developed that can work at a temperature of -210 °C and in a vacuum. The mechanism integrates levitating superconductor bearings that generate stable forces of repulsion into its structure. The second prototype can be used at room temperature. The magnetic reducer substitutes the gear teeth with permanent magnets that repel and attract each other. Its applications can be transferred to any field where conventional mechanical reducers are used.