Powder Metal Parts Cut Costs

DN Staff

May 20, 2011

3 Min Read
Powder Metal Parts Cut Costs

GKN Sinter Metals of Auburn Hills, MI won a grand prize in an annual powdermetal design competition for a carrier and one-way rocker clutch assembly madefor Ford Motor.

Designed for powder metal (PM), the assembly uses fewer componentscompared to alternate designs and manufacturing methods, reducing the mass ofthe assembly, improving fuel efficiency without sacrificing performance.

Used in the new Ford Super Duty TorqShift six-speed automatictransmission, the hybrid assembly contains five powder steel parts weighing atotal of 17 lb. The sinter-brazed subassembly consists of four multi-level PMparts, of which three parts (cage, spider, and carrier plate) are made to adensity of 6.8 g/cm3.

The rocker plate is sinter-hardened during the sinter- brazing phaseand has a density of 7.0 g/cm3. The assembly also has adoubled-pressed and double-sintered cam plate made to 7.3 g/cm3density with an ultimate tensile strength of 170,000 psi and a mean temperedhardness exceeding 40 HRC.

To form the parts and maintain precision tolerances, special toolingwas developed and used with unconventional press motions. Ford subjected theassembly to ultimate torsional torque loading at a minimum of 8,000 ft-lb andfatigue testing at a minimum of 299,000 cycles at 1,730 ft-lb.

"The application provided an estimated 20 percent cost savings over competitiveprocesses," according to a statement from the MPIF.

GKN Sinter Metals won another grand prize in the automotive chassis categoryfor a differential bearing adjuster made for American Axle & Manufacturingand used in the GMT 900 rear differential on GM Tahoe and Yukon models.

Other winners are:

A porous bronze filter made by Capstan California, Carson, CA. forChase Filters and Components received the grand prize in the aerospace/militarycategory.

  • Parmatech Corp., Petaluma, CA, earned the grand prize in the handtools/recreation category for a 420 stainless-steel, metal injection molded (MIM)hunting arrowhead made for Optek Precision Tooling Ltd.

  • A PMcopper-steel outer hubexit spindle used in electronic door locks won the grand prize in thehardware/appliances category. Made by ASCO Sintering Co., Commerce, CA, forIngersoll Rand Security Technologies (Schlage), the part connects a standardlock and an exit device.

  • FloMet of Deland, FL earned the grand prize in the medical/dentalcategory for a housing cup and lid used in an audio device with magneticshielding capabilities.

Awards of Distinction

  • Cloyes Gear & Products Inc., Paris, AR - intake sprocket gear andan exhaust gear used in a coupling assembly.

  • Megamet Solid Metals Inc., Earth City, MO - a rear sight used onsporting and military rifles.

  • Indo-US MIM Tec (P) Ltd., Bangalore, India - a 17-4PH stainless steelhammer.

  • Webster-Hoff Corp., Glendale Heights, IL - a PM sinter-hardened steelcam and bushing used in a manual paper hole punching machine.

  • Lovejoy Sintered Solutions, Downers Grove, IL - a PM diffusion-alloyedsteel rotor.

  • Burgess-Norton Mfg. Co., Geneva, I- a PM steel crimp retainer operatingin a valve assembly.

  • Kinetics Climax, Wilsonville, OR - a 17-PH stainless steel distalchannel retainer formed via the MIM process.

  • Capstan California - a bronze filter plate.

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