Category Archives: Magnetic Gears

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MAG SOAR presents the new generation of magnetic gears in ESA

The technical director of MAG SOAR, Dr. Ignacio Valiente, presented Optimagdrive project final results in 2017 Mechanisms Final Presentation Days workshop. The project main objective was to demonstrate the potential capacity of magnetic gearboxes.

Magnetic gears have proven to be a better solution than conventional gears in applications where the extreme temperature or the maximum precision required implies serious problems for conventional mechanical gearing. For instance, robotics or space actuators.

The prototypes developed by MAG SOAR have been specially optimized for space requirements. Therefore, the minimum weight and the maximum reduction ratio have been considered the main priorities. Although the technology is recently making significant advances, up to now, the state of art still reflects some important limitations such as poor density torques and reduction ratios, magnetic contamination and overheating due to Foucault currents, undesired oscillations caused by high ripple torques… “We had the challenge of demonstrating a better performance in terms of torque with a very much higher reduction ratio”, explained Dr. Valiente.

As there were different points to validate, three different prototypes were developed in parallel to demonstrate some critical points in each one. The first and smallest one, with a diameter of 34mm, demonstrated a very high reduction ratio at one single stage with very low ripple torque. The second one fulfilled an optimal efficiency at high temperatures and significantly low magnetic pollution. Finally, the third prototype demonstrated a reduction ratio as high as 1:75.

In a nutshell, MAG SOAR has laid the foundations for a new coming generation of magnetic gears specially optimized for obtaining a maximum precision, efficiency and speed control at reduced weight. Dimensions, accuracy and torque parameters can be customized to meet different operational requirements.

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Z-DAMPER nominated to the Clean Sky Best Project from Partners Award

CLEAN SKY is right now the largest European research H2020 funded program developing innovative, cutting-edge technology aimed at reducing C02, gas emission and noise level produced by aircraft.  This nomination confirms the big potential of Z-DAMPER for the control of vibrations at high temperatures and low frequencies.

Z-Damper is a magneto mechanism that matches mechanical impedances and provides a multiplier effect damping vibrations of both low and high frequency ranges more effectively.

Z-Damper optimum performance at extreme environments made this magneto-mechanism the perfect vibration killer to be used in one of Clean Sky major projects: the new counter-rotating open-rotor (CROR) developed by Airbus. CROR fuselage-mounted turbofans need a level of isolation of vibrations in a high-temperature environment that current damping technologies are not able to reach.

MAG SOAR SL, in cooperation with Universidad de Alcalá, developed and tested two prototypes following Airbus requirements. "Z-Damper has demonstrated a unique damping performance, even in extreme temperature environments. We have insight the birth of a new vibration isolation technology which applications are only starting to be foreseen", stated Dr. Valiente, technical director of MAG SOAR and scientific responsible of the project.
































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New world record in magnetic gear reduction: OPTIMAGDRIVE

Optimagdrive has currently achieved the highest reduction ratio ever reached by a magnetic drive. The tests have demonstrated a reduction ratio of 75. Besides, MAG SOAR engineers have managed to reduce the system weight maintaining high torque levels. This achievement confirms that this passive magnetic technology is ready to replace traditional mechanical gears in applications where the lack of contact and the consistent absence of lubricant requirements could be critical like aerospace, energy or food industry.magnetic gears

Optimagdrive project begun two years ago, under contract of ESA. Since then, two different prototypes have been specifically developed in order to fulfil space industry requirements. For this reason, one of the main priorities has been to accomplish the maximum reduction ratio without increasing the system weight. ESA engineers have recently visited MAG SOAR facilities in order to witness the full operation of this major step forward for magnetic gear technology.


Magnetic gears can advantageously replace conventional reduction drives to provide speed and torque multiplication by using magnetic attraction instead of physical contact between the movable members. Up to now, complex assemblies, high weight and poor torque has slowed down this magnetic technology spread. Optimagdrive project has simplified the designs and increased the density torque up to 10 times more than the current state of art. This represent a landmark as well as a major opportunity for this contactless mechanism to expand not only in space industry, but also in applications that can specially benefit from the large number of advantages:

  • No lubrication

Magnetic gears eliminate lubrication requirements and consequently minimize maintenance expenses. Additionally, the end of lubrication would also break the temperature barrier allowing mechanisms to operate in extreme temperature (currently tested from -200˚C to 350˚C).

This advantages are especially worthwhile in applications with high maintenance costs or those working in extreme environments such as satellites or other aerospace devices.

  • No wear

Along with fatigue and corrosion, wear is one of the three major factors limiting the life and performance of a mechanical component and an engineering system.

The lack of friction not only removes wear as well as fatigue from the system. This has a direct repercussion on lifetime, which can be key to the maintenance of mechanisms that can´t be easily replaced.

  • No debris

The material detached from worn surface in conventional gearboxes can´t be easily eliminated so it may be an important cause of contamination. This is an especially serious problem in devices which can´t be constantly maintained.

Optimagdrive produces no debris, what makes it the perfect choice for applications in which a clean environment is mandatory.