The Future of Sintered Metal in Automobiles
Most of the sintered-steel applications in today’s automobiles have resulted from substitution in design for other methods of fabrication. The possibilities for expansion of its use are very great when the peculiar ability of compacting and sintering high precision shapes is recognized and understood.
Entirely new types of engines become feasible. Desirable refinements of existing types of engines, previously impossible, such as rotary valves, become possible. Improved performance camshafts can be produced at lower cost by eliminating machining and grinding. Crankshafts can also be produced. Connecting rods are possible with better properties than some in production today.
Many transmission parts are now in production but many more are feasible and an even larger amount when new transmission concepts are realized. The many gears incorporated can be produced with improved performance due to higher lubricant film strength created by a semi-porous surface. Such a surface will also produce improved hypoid ring gears and differential gears.
Wheel hubs, brake drums, axle and wheel nuts, and roller and ball bearing races are examples of chassis parts that have advantages. Accessory possibilities include electric motor rotors and stators and new types of air conditioning compressors.
Body and trim applications include body sheet and bumper stock because more ductile, non oriented grain sheet can be produced that is much lower in inclusion content. Handles, knobs, and decorative metal parts can be made with hand-engraved quality and detail. The value and versatility of powder metallurgy is emphasized and shows how much can be done when imagination and understanding is applied to its use.
KeywordsPowder Metallurgy Iron Powder Ring Gear Sintered Metal Rotary Valve
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