Alternative Material for Gearbox Housing

Request Number N075353
Need details

IncWell's partner seeks to identify potential replacement materials for use as an alternative to die cast aluminum housings for gearboxes.



Automotive gearbox housings are constrained by a variety of parameters: weight, cost, performance and noise. At present, die cast aluminum is the material of choice, providing an acceptable balance of these competing concerns – for example:

  • Improved noise, vibration & harshness (NVH) behavior is usually reached by increasing stiffness and/or mass
  • High thermal conductivity plastic (when compared to aluminum) suffers from degree of filler material and usually counteracts mechanical properties and moldability/castability
  • High heat transfer (lubricant-plastic-air) and improved NVH has to be met by proper design of housing (e.g. ribs, fins) which is still easy/cheap to manufacture

IncWell’s partner seeks inventors and manufacturers with new and novel materials that can provide an alternative solution to aluminum in terms of weight reduction, cost savings, improved NVH behavior and function integration.


The desired solution must be able to satisfy automotive requirements to gear box housings, namely: energy transmission, cooling, inclusion of inner components, protection the gearing from dirt/water and storage of lubricant (if present)



Key Success Criteria


  • Outer dimensions of the housing approximately: 350mm x 280mm x 220mm


  • High mechanical strength to withstand typical loads and environmental conditions in automotive sector
  • High overall heat transfer by design possibilities and/or material properties and/or novel material mix
  • Lightweight approach but still good NVH behavior
  • Allow load deformations and thermal expansion
  • Resistant against: UV-radiation, salt, oil, coolant, fuel (gasoline, diesel, E85 etc.), impacts (e.g. due to little stones on the road)
  • Withstand temperature range of -40°C to 200°C
  • Rejected heat approx. 1kW permanent power dissipation (if convective cooling Tair~40°C, vmean~10m/s)


  • Applicable to serial production
  • Cost neutral to aluminum housing
  • Production related multipart approach possible, subsequent disassembly is not required
  • Minimum TRL 7


Possible Approaches

Potential solutions include, but are not limited to:

  • Multimaterial Mix: e.g. cheap base plastic material for protection with (local) reinforcements for energy transmission and (local) inserts for heat transfer and (local) noise damping elements INCLUDING PRODUCTION PROCESS. 
  • Coating of cheap base plastic material to increase mechanical strength and thermal heat transfer from oil to air (via housing)  


Approaches not of interest

IncWell's partner is not seeking new high performance plastics with thermal conductivity <= 20W/mK.


Preferred Collaboration types
  • To Be Negotiated
Items to be submitted

When responding to this request, please be sure to provide a non-confidential description of the simulation technology you propose along with information regarding your alignment with the Key Success Criteria as well as your desired business relationship with IncWell's partner.


Point of Contact
Jonathan Jakischa
Area of Interest
  • Manufacturing & Fabrication
  • Molding
  • Original Equipment Manufacturers
  • Tool & Die
  • Materials Processing
  • Non-Metallics
  • Plastics
  • Polymers
Due Date
December 29, 2017
This page does not have file attachments.
This page does not have file attachments.