Winners of the EPMA’s 2010 Excellence in Powder Metallurgy Awards were announced at this year’s PM World Congress in Florence, Italy, October 10-14.
The winning entries once again highlighted the capabilities of powder metallurgy and demonstrated the continuing advancements in the PM industry.
The competition, which was open to all EPMA member companies, covered components, materials and process equipment. Awards were presented by the EPMA’s president, Mr Ingo Cremer, during the opening ceremony.
Process Equipment Category
This category included entries from Arburg GmbH, Dorst Technologies GmbH, Osterwalder AG, Promet and the State Research and Production Association of the Belarusian National Technical University.
Dorst Technologies – Electrical Servo Drive Press EP30
Each of the presses main axes incorporates an individual, independently operated servo drive (upper ram, lower ram, filler drive and core rod), as do all the platens of the die set. The low inertia of the drives permits a highly dynamic motion control for fast and precise movements.
The new press is available as a single or multi-platen version for pressing forces ranging from 150 to 1200 kN and demonstrates the opportunities that electrical drive technology represents.
Osterwalder AG, Switzerland, also received an award for a fully servo-electric powder-compacting press.
Using the ‘Direct Drive Technology’ for all drives eliminates the need for secondary drive elements such as gears and belts. This leads to improved reliability and high dynamic control due to the low inertia of the drives.
The press provides a compacting force of 160kN in withdrawal configuration and provides a number of advantages over hydraulic versions, such as reduced energy consumption, lower noise levels, reduced maintenance and improved accuracy.
With entries from Hoeganaes Corp, Höganäs AB, Pometon SpA and the State Research and Production Association of the Belarusian National Technical University, this category highlighted developments in materials technology.
Höganäs AB – Distaloy® AQ
The powder is designed to have excellent machinability and sizing properties in the sintered state, with high strength and hardness after heat treatment. Distaloy AQ includes around 1% (0.5% Ni and 0.5% Mo nominal composition) of alloying elements which help to make the powder less sensitive to market price fluctuations.
The development of Distaloy AQ was a good example of how customers’ needs were translated into solutions that benefit component manufacturers as well as OEMs and thus help to improve the competitiveness of PM versus competing manufacturing technologies.
Pometon SpA – Ecosint
A group of new high strength and cost effective PM steels has been generated by mixing selected combinations of alloying elements (e.g. Cr, Mo, Ni, Cu, Mn) in different and predetermined concentrations. The main purpose was to achieve an optimum balance between compressibility, hardenability and other sintered properties.
This material is the first to use all these elements together, adequately combining them and thus taking full advantage of the multiple interactions among its constituents. This allows high performance PM steels with minimum alloying content for sinter-hardening grades.
View more on the Ecosint powder on www.ipmd.net here
A total of 14 entries were received in the Component Category of the 2010 EPMA awards. From a wide range of components ranging from automotive applications to photographic accessories, the following two products were chosen to receive awards.
OBE Ohnmacht & Baumgaertner GmbH – MIM locking device for spectacles
Due to the high quantity needed per year, metal injection moulding (MIM) proved the most cost effective technology in order to keep the whole spring hinge component at a competitive price level.
The locking device is the most sensitive component of the spring hinge and the high abrasion during its function makes it necessary to use a hard and also non corrosive material. The component utilises the high precision available using the MIM process and weighs just 0.028g. Around 4 million parts per year are produced using 32 cavity moulds.
SHW Automotive – Aluminium Rotor and Sprocket
The rotor and sprocket are used in an automotive cam-phaser application and are the first known components being manufactured from aluminium powder in large scale production.
Compared to a standard sintered iron cam-phaser design, weight is reduced from 900 grams to 450 grams. In addition to fuel savings due to reduced weight, the rotating inertias are also reduced which improves the dynamic response behaviour of the cam-phaser, thus giving another benefit to engine performance and efficiency.
Stimulated by the continuous need for CO2/fuel savings following legislative regulations, growing usage of aluminium powder metal components in automotive applications is expected.
View past award winners from MPIF, JPMA and EPMA in our awards archive
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