The Taiwan Powder Metallurgy Association (TPMA) has announced winners of its “Innovation Awards” during the association’s annual conference in August 2013.
The first innovation prize was awarded to China Steel Co. for its new Si-Al sputtering target. To resolve the problems of grain coarsening, composition segregation, and low density in cast and spray formed Si-Al targets, gas atomised Si-Al powder was consolidated using HIP below the eutectic temperature of Si-Al. Fully dense targets with minimized segregation and fine grains have been produced, as shown in Fig. 1, for the use of IGZO (Indium-Gallium-Zinc-Oxide) flat panels.
The second innovation winner was Taiwan Porite for its development of a set of PM parts, cover plate and hub clutch, used in the transmission gear box of a 6-speed front wheel drive automobile (Fig. 2). The cover plate was made of Sint-D39, pressed to 7.0 g/cm3 with a 500-ton CNC press. The hub clutch was made of the same material and green density and was pressed using a 750 ton press. This gear set replaces machined wrought counterparts with a cost saving of $16/set. The annual production quantity is around 160,000 sets.
The third innovation winner was MIM parts producer Taiwan Powder Technologies (TPT) for its new High Performance High Density PM (HPM) process. Using fine ferrous powders and a pre-treatment process, conventional press and sinter process is applied to the powder to produce PM parts with MIM properties. The Fe-Ni-Cr-Mo products presented have a sintered density of 7.6g/cm3, tensile strength of 1,800 MPa, hardness of 50HRC, elongation of 5%, and impact energy of 60J. Age hardened 17-4PH HPM parts with a density of 7.6g/cm3 were also presented, which are rarely seen in the PM industry. Structural parts used in hand tools and gear sets have been in production at TPT since early 2013, as shown in Fig. 3. These parts had been produced using the MIM process and now replaced by HPM due to the cost saving of about 35% and better dimensional control due to less shrinkage during sintering.