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MPIF Announces Powder Metallurgy Industry Landmark Award

The Powder Metallurgy Industry Landmark Award recognizes PM products, production processes,
equipment systems, or materials that represent a well-established application that has made a significant
impact in PM usage, or the design represents a significant PM innovation.

The gerotor style pump is a robust and reliable positive displacement pumping system that has been a well-established application. The gerotor design has stood the test of time in applications that have been in use for over one hundred years. The pump consists of just two moving components, the inner and outer gerotors. The gerotor design is extremely complex and highly engineered, commonly used in various applications ranging from automotive to industrial pumps thanks to the most efficient process to manufacture the gerotors, conventional press & sinter PM.

The gerotor, a contraction of the words generated rotor, dates to the late 19th century. Myron Hill, considered the father of the gerotor, published Kinematics of Gerotors in 1927 after years of study and experimentation. However, it was not until the late 1920s that commercialization of the gerotor began.

William H. Nichols, a skilled toolmaker and founder of the W.H. Nichols Company, and Myron Hill collaborated to develop machinery to manufacture precise gerotor sets. The first commercial application was for oil burner pumps in the 1930s.

By the early 1940s, the General Electric Aviation division approached the Nichols Company to develop a multi-element gerotor pump for GE’s first jet engine, introducing the gerotor technology to the aircraft industry and beginning a long history of success in aircraft engine lubrication and scavenge applications.

  Until the early 1970s, only small volumes of machined steel gerotors were common. However, in 1971, the W.H. Nichols Company received a U.S. patent describing an internal gear set that provided the foundation for the low-speed, high-torque motor market, changing the gerotor style pump landscape forever.

The pump application, such as type of fluid, amount of fluid, location in application, space constraints in application, and noise level, can dictate the gerotor profile and shape. Drive design is completely customizable. Unique material compositions to withstand harsh working environments, such as high wear conditions or special fluid requirements, are common. The high volume, net-shape capabilities of the conventional press & sinter PM manufactured gerotors, expanded the use of positive displacement pumps, including its first automotive application for Ford Motor Company in 1981.

Today, there are scores of global manufacturers producing millions of gerotors annually utilizing the conventional press & sinter PM process for a multitude of industries.

The Metal Powder Industries Federation has recognized award-winning gerotor designs through its Design Excellence Awards Competition, solidifying the gerotors’ distinction as a “Powder Metallurgy Industry Landmark.”

Watch the video

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Editor's Note: For further details contact Dora Schember at MPIF dschember@mpif.org / 609‐452‐7700.

About the Metal Powder Industries Federation
Metal Powder Industries Federation is the North American trade association formed by the powder metallurgy industry to advance the interests of the metal powder producing and consuming industries and provides a single point of reference for all MPIF member companies.

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