HOUSTON – General Transmissions (GT) launched its line of continuously variable transmissions (CVTs) for the lawn care market several years ago, offering consumers a gearless and maintenance-free drive system. The belt-driven GT RS 800 and GT RT 400 CVTs are now an integral part of the industry, equipping about 30% of all new moderately priced, consumer-grade lawn tractors sold in the U.S. annually.
GT wraps the internal components of its CVTs inside a solid glass composite transmission case, not unlike the composite-made automotive transmission pan that’s standard equipment on a much acclaimed high-powered, German-made automobile. The common word for such material is “plastic.”
“We have noticed some commentary on various Internet forums in which consumers call into question our decision to use a composite material, often labelled generically as ’plastic,’ rather than the more traditional aluminum, for our CVT housings,” says Wouter Barendrecht, chief executive officer of Houston-based General Transmissions. “In fact, the composite material we use offers the same mechanical features as aluminum, such as stability, durability, rust-proof, and resistance to temperature extremes, while also being lighter-weight and more efficient to manufacture.”
A new white paper from General Transmissions addresses concerns over the durability of the glass-composite CVT transmission housings. “The materials we use are all rigorously tested by our product development staff, to ensure that they will meet customer expectations,” says Barendrecht. “But rather than make the case just for our products, we identify numerous examples of how plastics, in the broad sense of the term, are used in a wide variety of high-performance industrial products, such as automobiles, bullet-proof police gear — and even NASA spacecraft.”
The GT white paper, "Hard Case: Composite-Based Transmission Case," provides numerous examples of how plastics material science shapes our world today — from the ground (lawn tractors) to the heavens (spacecraft). Read the white paper here: http://tinyurl.com/GT-Hard-Case.
General Transmissions is a family business, founded in 1991 and the world’s largest manufacturer of transmissions for the outdoor power equipment market — with more than 20 million transmissions sold to date.