What is powdered metallurgy?
Powder Metallurgy, or PM, is a process for forming metal parts by heating compacted metal powders to just below their melting points.
How does powdered metallurgy work?
Step 1: Blending – Powder metal is mixed with a lubricant
Step 2: Pressing – Mixture is pressed into a “green part”
Step 3: Sintering – “Green part” is thermally treated to remove lubricant & strengthen part (see image at right)
Step 4: Finishing (if required) – Strengthened part may be machined and/or steam treated
Why is powder metal used?
Cost - Powder metal is cost effective, eliminating most machining operations and scrap loss.
Versatility - Powder metal supports a wide variety of alloys, can be heat treated for increased strength, and produces excellent surface finishes.
Complex Designs - Powder metal enables the production of complex parts that would otherwise be near impossible to produce with other metalworking processes.
What type of power transmission parts can be made with powdered metal?
High strength materials extend the benefits of powder metal technology to numerous power transmission components including: coupling hubs, torque converter hubs, clutch hubs, flange hubs, clutch plates, bevel and pinion gears, pump gears, pump bodies, oil pump rotors, slide, gears, gerotors, parking brake gears, brake components, turbocharger components, pulleys, carriers, counterweights, sprockets, cam sprockets, solenoid components, axle nuts, differential cases, ABS sensor rings, U-Joint components, geometrically contoured bearings, magnetic sensors, A/C clutch hubs, flange hubs, sprockets, oil pump gears, EGR bases, exhaust flanges, clutch plates, carriers, helical & pinion gears, and levers.
For more information on powder metal, please visit the Metal Powders Industry Federation website (MPIF is a trade association) website and/or the Wikipedia page for powder metallurgy.