In 2011 Swedish iron powder producer Höganäs AB and SwePart Transmission replaced the 4th set of gears in Ramona Karlsson’s rally car with Powder Metallurgy gears. After proving that Powder Metallurgy gears could match the performance of the original steel gears, the next step was to replace the remaining gears to create a complete PM transmission solution.
In 2012 the Ramona Rally team races in a new car, a Mitsubishi EVO X, with a new transmission housing manufactured by Australian company Pfitzner Performance Gearboxes (PPG) and containing PM gears which have been manufactured using Hot Isostatic Pressing (HIP).
During a recent rally competition in Karlskrona, Sweden, the Ramona Rally team had another opportunity to test drive the sintered gears, and once again reported good results.
“It went very well and we got further proof that the sintered gears work really well. As this was a rather challenging racing track, it was a perfect opportunity for us to verify the performance ahead of the WRC competition in New Zealand in June,” stated Ramona.
Since a rally car’s gear box typically is replaced 2-3 times during a World Rally Championship (WRC) season, Höganäs has now developed five complete gear boxes together with SwePart Transmission.
On August 24-26, 2012, the German town of Trier will host a WRC competition. For this race Höganäs will arrange a special event including the opportunity to experience live rally and to watch Ramona and PM gears in action.
No HIP with Hipaloy®
Ramona has also been involved in the testing of gears manufactured from Höganäs’ Hipaloy® material. By analyzing reports on gear shifting under full throttle, the intention has been to investigate how a PM gear that had not been HIPed performs in racing conditions in comparison to a steel gear.
A Mitsubishi EVO8 with performance similar to a typical rally car has been used for the test and the goal is to run 1,000 km. Up until now the car has been driven for more than 600 km with good results and no gear damages have been found after inspection.
To watch Ramona and her co-driver Miriam in action, visit the official website: www.ramonarallying.com
Höganäs also reported that the Smartcar with its gearbox containing PM gears had reached 100,000 km with no problems.
Posted by: Paul Whittaker, Editor ipmd.net, [email protected]