Reducing friction


I was wondering of ways many teams reduce friction in their flywheel gearing other than WD-40 (vex legal). Also are there ways to reduce friction in a motor.

Thanks in advance.

graphite powder, or white lithium grease(marine grade) works extremely well, plus it sticks to the gears so it won’t fall on the field even while its spinning at 2100+ rpms

WD-40 is really a degreaser and once it dries up it actually does worse things for you. Works short term really well but not so much in the long term.

Lithium grease is very good at staying where you need it to lubricate the gears. You can pick up tubes of it a your hardware store readily. Get a short stiff brush to help put it on without glopping it. Plop some on a paper towel or piece of paper and use it like a paint palette.

And please wash your hands when done and don’t ingest it (rub eyes, mouth, etc).

make sure your axles go through only one pair of bearing blocks (and hopefully don’t go much further), our team’s flywheel’s axle went through two pairs because it “looked” better, but we took off the extra pair of bearing blocks and cut our axle a bit and it runs faster now

I think you meant 2 bearing blocks. The 3rd will never be perfectly aligned and just adds excess friction. Little amounts of friction in the flywheel axle itself will add up quickly as it speeds up to throwing velocity.

Make sure it’s supported at both ends and has bearing blocks.

Don’t let the metal collars ride on the metal surface of a beam, use a flat delrin washer. Make sure that the axle’s are true.

If you are stacking bearing blocks, sand the bottoms flat to get rid of the alignment pins.

If you are using stacked blocks to get more support for an axle: Stack them with a spacer on the screw. Then two bearing blocks give the same stability as three. 1/2" standoffs will also work.

Don’t over-tighten the blocks they will warp.

Do a light polish of the axle with fine grade steel wool.

I prefer graphite. Grease is sticky and will pick up carpet fibers, hair, dust, etc.

yes sorry, I meant one PAIR of bearing blocks

Is white lithium grease vex legal?


is there ways to decrease friction in motors?

You can add a thin grease to the motors and maybe replace some of the more worn down gears. On my flywheel, I doubled up the main bearings for the wheel and added white lithium before inserting the axle. I then ran the axle back and forth to spread the grease. Then further I used small amounts PTFE (Teflon) grease on the gears in places where they contact and ran the flywheel for a few minutes before the grease set. This made my flywheel very low friction and the grease is barely noticeable. Becareful with PTFE though, it is very runny. Otherwise, I’ve spent maybe 12 hours all year on lining up the gearboxes for my single flywheel and it has ~3 degrees or less of warp in the axle while through the two gearboxes.