Planetary Gears

Planetary gears — also called epicyclic gears — are widely applied when space and weight are at a constraint but require a significant degree of speed reduction and torque. Standard planetary gears have three gear types: sun gear, planet gear, and ring gear. Depending on the application, their complexity often ranges from extremely simple to intricately complex.

At Allied Sinterings, we can produce and construct small planetary gear drives with a maximum diameter of 1.5 inches and diametral pitches of up to 120 that satisfy AGMA Class 8 standards. We also have compacting procedures ranging from 0.5 to 50 tons of force that our experts utilize to make gears of varying materials and strengths.

Planetary Gear Drive Materials

powdered metal small planetary gear drives infographic
Planetary gears are utilized in various industries, such as tractors, powered medical devices, shade systems, cordless home improvement tools, automotive applications and construction equipment, which require high torque to drive the Systems. They are also used in turbine engines, automated transmissions, electric screwdrivers, powered windows, locking systems, and powered seats.

Allied Sinterings can manufacture planetary gear drives from the following materials:

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is one of the most preferred materials in gear manufacturing due to its corrosion resistance, making it simple to clean and sterilize. As a result, these gears are extensively used in corrosive environments and in industries where durability and sanitation are crucial.

Nickel Steel

Due to the lower cooling temperature, using nickel as an alloying component reduces the critical points and generates less distortion. It also has a greater hardness penetration than standard carbon steels. Moreover, it is slow to oxidize and is naturally corrosion-resistant.

Copper Steel

Copper is suitable for gear-damaging applications involving water or other substances, such as corrosion-prone environments. It is also an excellent material for equipment where non-magnetic gears are required, as it can operate in magnetic and electromagnetic environments.

Brass Alloys

The copper base of brass alloys contributes significantly to their machinability and antibacterial properties. Therefore, gears made from brass alloys are typically utilized in applications with low to moderate loads, such as instrument drive systems.

Particularly, our small planetary gear drives are typically made of the following materials:

  • SS-304NI-30 Stainless Steel
  • SS-316NI-25 Stainless Steel
  • CZ-1000 90/10 Brass
  • FN-0208 Nickel Steel
  • FLN-4205 Loy Alloy Steel
  • FC-0208 Copper Steel
  • F-0008 Carbon Steel
  • FLC2-4808 Sintered Hardened

Planetary Gear Drive Finishing Options

At Allied Sinterings, we offer the following options for gear tooth surface finishing:


Machining can be used to finish gear drives or to refine the shape and surface finish of individual gear teeth, which are often referred to as ‘toth forms’. Because gearing is made net shape in our process, machining is rarely needed on tooth forms, but it can be useful in cases where very tight tolerances are required in critical functional areas.

Resin or Oil Impregnation

Resin impregnation seals pores in manufacturing processes like casting and sintering. The porosity is filled with polymer resin under vacuum and pressure, then cured to form a pressure-tight component.

Resin impregnation is to seal the components, this also aids in Plating and machining parts if those secondaries are needed.
Oil impregnation is done under vacuum. A variety of oils can be impregnated into the components and will give self-lubricating properties. Examples are self-lubricating bearings. Gears, Gears and Pinions where lubricity is required.

Another porosity filling process:
Copper infiltration is a process of attaching a copper substrate that will by capillary action fill the porosity of the components. This will give increased strength and seals the components.

Heat Treating

Heat treatment can modify a workpiece’s properties by applying controlled heat and cooling. One application is case hardening, which creates a hard outer layer by heating the surface and quickly cooling it. This improves wear resistance for gears and bearings. Heat treatment can also improve overall strength and durability by through-hardening the workpiece.

Tumbling – Finishing

Tumble finishing is a mass finishing process used to polish metal parts. It can also be applied to big batches of parts. Tumble finishing can deburr parts by tumbling them together with abrasive media, resulting in a more precise fit between parts. It’s a cost-effective and efficient finishing option for planetary gear drives and other applications.

Advantages of Powdered Metal Planetary Gear Drives

In producing planetary gear drives, powdered metal offers the following advantages:

  • Versatility that enables total customization to deliver the necessary material qualities
  • A near-net finish that frequently does not need extra machining (if additional machining is necessary, powdered metal parts are amenable to most conventionally machined component procedures)
  • Can be designed to specific reduction or torque values (customized)

While powdered metal production offers numerous advantages over conventional fabrication and machining techniques, there are limitations on the possible geometries.

At Allied Sinterings, we can instruct designers and engineers on designing according to powdered metal manufacturing rules at customer facilities. Moreover, our engineers may assist clients in switching their present gearing to powdered metal. We do offer in house and out of house design for powder metalergy seminars or lunch and learns

Allied Sinterings for Superior Planetary Gears

Allied Sinterings is ISO 9001- 2015 certified and can do all necessary inspections for your planetary gears’ dimensions! We also specialize in manufacturing components with specific and intricate details, so you can count on us to deliver your custom fabricating needs.

(2015 Planetary gear drive Grand prize winner ( on website under case studies)

Contact us today for more information about our small planetary gear drive manufacturing capability!


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Copper Infiltrated Materials
Custom Blending of Powders
Stainless Steel

  • SS-304NI-30 Stainless Steel
  • SS-316NI-25 Stainless Steel


  • CZ-1000 90/10 Brass

Straight Iron NI and CU Steels

  • FN-0208 Nickel Steel
  • FLN-4205 Loy Alloy Steel
  • FC-0208 Copper Steel
  • F-0008 Carbon Steel
  • FLC2-4808 Sintered Hardened

These materials can also be secondary heat treated.

Manufacturing Method

Powdered Metal Manufacturing

Press Tonnage

0.5 to 50 Tons

Outer Diameter

Up to 1.5″


AGMA Class 8 Gearing


Powder Metallurgy vs. Metal Injection Molding

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