PowderMet 2013: High-density technology for future PM growth

September 4, 2013

In the Special Interest Program on “Technologies for PM Growth” at PowderMet 2013, held in Chicago, June 24-27, 2013, a presentation by Rajesh Parameswaran (PMG Indiana Corporation, USA), on behalf of his co-authors, Salvator Nigarura and Michael Bird, provided the company’s view on the potential for higher performance applications to be unlocked by the use of higher density process options, with particular reference to automatic transmission clutch race and manual transmission gear applications. Dr David Whittaker reports on this presentation for ipmd.net.

Conventional press and sinter

The presentation began with a review of the capabilities of conventional press/sinter PM processing in relation to applications, density levels and mechanical properties. Mechanical properties were shown to clearly depend on density; trend lines for contact fatigue and bending fatigue for conventional PM materials could be used to predict mechanical properties for fully dense wrought steel. This review culminated in the conclusion that the maximum achievable contact fatigue strength (a property key to the target higher performance applications) is around 1400 MPa at typical press densities of 7.3 g/cm3 (Fig. 1).


Fig. 1 Contact fatigue strength of sintered steels [1] (Courtesy MPIF) 

Comparison of this value with the contact fatigue requirements of a range of applications (one-way clutch races, light and heavy duty cam lobes) lead to the conclusion that conventionally processed PM materials cannot satisfy the requirements for torque convertor outer race cams (Fig. 2).


Fig. 2 Contact stress requirements for a range of cam applications [1] (Courtesy MPIF) 

An emphasis on surface densification

A need for densification was therefore defined and, based on the recognition that the stress fields in the targeted applications are highly localised in the surface layers of the component, the emphasis was on surface densification methods, in particular the company’s proprietary DensiForm® technology. Fig. 3 shows schematically the effect of DensiForm® technology on bending fatigue and contact fatigue strength, as compared with bulk densification PM technologies and in the context of wrought steel performance levels.


Fig. 3 Effects of various technologies in enhancing properties [1] (Courtesy MPIF)

Growth opportunities

Growth opportunities were highlighted in components such as:

  • Torque convertor races for automatic transmissions
  • Lower speed gears for manual transmissions.

Torque converter races in particular call for:

  • Contact stress >2500 MPa
  • Maximum tensile stress >700 MPa
  • Von Mises >1800 MPa.

Fig. 4 Roller one-way clutch race [1] (Courtesy MPIF) 

In the example cited of an outer race for a torque convertor roller one-way clutch (Fig. 4), rollers lock-up against cam and race under torque with high stress (hoop and contact) at full torque (Fig. 5).

Surface densification can be effective with this type of application as maximum principal stress and normal contact stress fall by 54% and 77% respectively over the first 1 mm from the surface. In relation to the “core” strength requirements, it was concluded that higher core density is a key to success with highly loaded applications.


Fig. 5 Stress distribution in roller one-way clutch race [1] (Courtesy MPIF)

Turning to manual transmission gear applications, the example was considered of a 2nd speed helical gear (Fig. 6). The nature of the stress field for this type of component requires high strength near the surface and moderate strength in the core. It was concluded that the key to success here is surface densification with moderate core density.


Fig. 6 2nd speed manual transmission gear [1] (Courtesy MPIF)

The influence of DensiForm® on bending fatigue strength is summarised in Fig. 7 in comparison with PM materials with a range of bulk densities, including fully dense Powder Forged material, and with wrought steel. In the case-hardened condition, DensiForm® delivers a bending fatigue strength somewhat lower than Powder Forging or a wrought steel route, but, at >1000 MPa, the level achieved is substantially higher than the maximum bending stress experienced by the 2nd speed gear.


Fig. 7 Competitive position of DensiForm® in enhancing bending fatigue strength [1] (Courtesy MPIF)

For higher speed manual transmission gears, it was again concluded that surface densification with a higher core density may be the key to attacking this market.



[1] R Parameswaran, S Nigaruga, M Bird, High-Density Technology for Future Powder Metal Growth Opportunities, as presented at PowderMet2013, MPIF, USA


Dr David Whittaker is a consultant to the Powder Metallurgy and associated industries. Contact +44 1902 338498 email: [email protected]  

Dr David Whittaker is a consultant to the Powder Metallurgy and associated industries. Contact +44 1902 338498 email: [email protected]  – See more at: http://www.pm-review.com/articles/001587.html#sthash.dUVoZODj.dpuf
Dr David Whittaker is a consultant to the Powder Metallurgy and associated industries. Contact +44 1902 338498 email: [email protected]  – See more at: http://www.pm-review.com/articles/001587.html#sthash.dUVoZODj.dpuf



PowderMet2013 was organised by the Metal Powder Industries Federation. For more information please visit the MPIF website: www.mpif.org 



News | Articles | Market reviews | Search directory | Subscribe to e-newsletter

September 4, 2013

In the latest issue of PM Review…

Download PDF

Extensive Powder Metallurgy industry news coverage, and the following exclusive deep-dive articles and reports:

  • Phoenix Sintered Metals: A story of transformation, growth and community from America’s PM heartland
  • World PM2024 Yokohama: The stage is set for the PM industry to find a path to sustainable growth
  • The state of Europe’s hard magnets industry and the challenge of optimising the mass production of Nd2Fe14B permanent magnets

The latest news from the world of metal powders, delivered to your inbox

Don't miss any new issue of PM Review, and get the latest industry news. Sign up to our weekly newsletter.

Sign up

Join our community

Discover our magazine archive…

The free-to-access PM Review magazine archive offers unparalleled insight into the world of Powder Metallurgy from a commercial and technological perspective through:

  • Reports on visits to leading PM part manufacturers, metal powder manufacturers and industry suppliers
  • Articles on technology and application trends
  • Information on materials developments
  • Reviews of key technical presentations from the international conference circuit
  • International industry news

All past issues are available to download as free PDFs or view in your browser.


Browse the archive


Looking for PM production equipment, metal powders, R&D support and more?

Discover suppliers of these and more in our
advertisers’ index and buyer’s guide, available in the back of PM Review magazine.

  • Powders & materials
  • Powder process, classification & analysis
  • PM products
  • Atomisers & powder production technology
  • Compaction presses, tooling & ancillaries
  • Sintering equipment & ancillaries
  • Post-processing
  • Consulting & toll sintering
View online
Share via
Copy link