MPIF Design Excellence Awards 2005

Winners of the 2005 Powder Metallurgy Design Excellence Awards Competition, sponsored by the Metal Powder Industries Federation (MPIF).

Receiving grand prizes and awards of distinction, the winning parts are outstanding examples of powder metallurgy’s (PM) precision, performance, complexity, economy, and innovative design advantages.

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Grand Prize Awards

MPIF Design Excellence Awards 2005Ferrous category

The grand prize in the ferrous category was won by BorgWarner Powdered Metals, Inc., Livonia, Mich. for input and third-position outer races (Fig. 1) used in GM’s 4T65-E transmission which operates in various 2.5L to supercharged 3.8L engines.

The outer races are used in a patented BorgWarner pawl-clutch design transmission which replaces a sprag clutch. The parts are selectively densified on the surface of the pocket form to eliminate high wear encountered by the assembly in a free-wheel condition, and are heat treated to meet stringent strength and fatigue-life specifications while minimising part distortion. The inside diameter of both parts has six pocket forms that contain locking pawl and spring elements during operation.

The input position outer race has a unique wave form on its outer diameter. The third-position outer race’s skirt is split into four quarter-circle arcs the entire length of the skirt. The parts have a heat-treated UTS of 900 MPa, and 32 HRC minimum apparent hardness. PM provided a 20% cost savings over forged outer races. The parts are expected to be produced at a rate of 5,000 units daily for each race, or 1.375 million annually.


MPIF Design Excellence Awards 2005Stainless steel category

A complex 316 SS support cover (Fig. 2) used in a high-security military application (not disclosed) made by Webster-Hoff Corp., Glendale Heights, Il. won the grand prize in the stainless steel category. The 6.5 g/cm3 cover is made to a net shape, except for deburring. During compaction, two levels and the weight of the part are measured every hour for SPC. Most dimensions are controlled to 0.25mm. The flatness and slot width are held to 0.127mm.


MPIF Design Excellence Awards 2005Metal injection moulding (MIM) category

A highly complex copper electrical connector (Fig. 3) made by Advanced Materials Technologies Pte. Ltd., Singapore, and used in a plug and adaptor won the grand prize in the metal injection moulding (MIM) category. The 8.8 g/cm3 density part has an elongation of 45% and is made for Eubiq Pte. Ltd., also in Singapore at a cost saving of more than 20%.

The plug that contains the MIM copper connectors is a new product used in the electrical appliance industry. The plug can be engaged anywhere along the power track and is ergonomically designed to make direct contact with it. The electrical adaptor with the MIM copper connectors allows existing three-pin plugs to engage the power track.


MPIF Design Excellence Awards 2005Overseas category

A camshaft sprocket (Fig. 4) produced by Sinterstahl Füssen GmbH, Füssen, Germany, and used in a 4.0L V-6 engine developed by BorgWarner Engine Group Morse Tec Europe S.r.l., Milan, Italy, won the overseas grand prize. The net-shape part is made from an Fe-C-Mo-Cr composition to a density of 7.0 g/cm3, and UTS of 820 MPa.

It is said to be the first known application of a chromium-based sinter-hardened material for a camshaft drive. PM offered a cost savings of more than 10%.


MPIF Design Excellence Awards 2005Innovative functional assembly category

Burgess-Norton Mfg Co., Geneva, Il., won the innovative functional assembly grand prize for a free-wheel steering system axle assembly (Fig. 5) containing 16 multi- and single-level PM parts weighing a total of 2.7 kg.

Used in a snowblower, the assembly consists of a stamped steel frame, bronze and plastic bearings, and a wrought steel axle, and functions as an on-demand operator-controlled differential traction system.

PM provided a minimum cost savings of 50% over machined castings and wrought materials. The clutch pawl, which is sinter-hardened to allow oil impregnation, is produced to a net shape peripheral geometry that is not practical or economical with other manufacturing or material processes. All PM parts are close to net-shape and have a density range of 6.7–6.8 g/cm3. Annual volumes of 25,000 to 30,000 assemblies include the production of more than 400,000 PM parts.


Awards of Distinction

MPIF Design Excellence Awards 2005Ferrous category

A three-level steel range sleeve made by Keystone Powdered Metal Co., St. Marys, PA, and, used in a transfer case differential (Fig. 6) in a Magna Powertrain NPG 226 transfer case, won an award in the ferrous category. The 0.9 kg part made for Magna Drivetrain of America, Inc., East Syracuse, New York, is a new application for PM which provided cost savings of more than 30%.

The differential is a link between the transmission and the wheels, transferring power to the rear wheels when in two-wheel-drive mode, and into all four wheels when in four-wheel drive. The part is formed by warm compaction to a density of 7.2 g/cm3. All three splines are net formed along with the pointed teeth. Properties include a UTS of 1240 MPa and a typical 40 HRC hardness.

MPIF Design Excellence Awards 2005A second award in the ferrous category was won by GKN Sinter Metals, Emporium, PA, for a PM differential cap (Fig. 7) using GKN’s patented Z-Loc® technology, which improves subassembly alignment between the differential cap and the case. The cap is made from a proprietary machinable material for the Chrysler Group with two caps together weighing 0.9 kg used in each differential gear assembly in the rear axle.

This is said to be the first PM differential cap used in a high-volume automotive application with annual production expected to exceed 1.8 million parts. The part is assembled with a cast iron housing and simultaneously bi-metal machined with an inside diameter bore and threading. The part is made to a density of 6.7 g/cm3 in the arch., and has a UTS of 483 MPa, an elongation of 3%, a fatigue endurance limit of 180 MPa, and a 75 HRB apparent hardness.


MPIF Design Excellence Awards 2005Stainless steel category

Asco Sintering Company, Commerce, Calif., received the award in the stainless steel category for a safety cam made for Buck Knives (Fig. 8). The cam operates in several knife models using Buck’s new ASAP one-handed quick-release system for opening the knife blade. The 410 stainless steel part is made to a density of 6.5 g/cm3, and has a UTS of 724 MPa.


MPIF Design Excellence Awards 2005Metal injection moulding (MIM) category

FloMet LLC, DeLand, Florida, and its customer SDS Ormco, Orange, Calif., won an award in the injection moulded (MIM) category for a Damon 3 Molar Buccal Tube, self-ligating orthodontic appliance system (Fig. 9) used in orthodontic braces.

The system consists of 32 MIM brackets and two MIM slides made from 17-4PH stainless steel, which are heat treated and have an UTS of 1275 MPa, 7% elongation, and a 38–42 HRC hardness range. When in full production, this application is expected to total more than 12 million parts annually. The Damon system is said to shorten adjustment time by dentists.

MPIF Design Excellence Awards 2005MIMflow Technologies LLC, Euclid, OH, won the second award of distinction in the injection moulding (MIM) category for a manifold supplied to The Star Dental division of DentalEZ Corporation, Lancaster, PA.

The 17-4PH stainless steel manifold (Fig. 10) is used in a hand-held fiber-optic swivel dental system that delivers air, water, and fibre-optic light simultaneously into a patient’s mouth. The complex part has seven cores and is made to a density of 6.7 g/cm3.

The part has 19 callouts of critical dimensions allowing a tolerance of ±0.076mm or less. The part is drilled in the green state.


MPIF Design Excellence Awards 2005Innovative functional assembly category

A kinematic optical mount (Fig. 11) which holds a mirror lens that directs and deflects a laser beam with two 100 pitch-thread adjustments won an award in the innovative functional assembly category.

The mount is made by Precision Powdered Metal Parts, Inc., Pomona, Calif. from 316L stainless steel pressed and sintered to 6.4 g/cm3. The patented PM assembly replaced a machined aluminum part.

MPIF Design Excellence Awards 2005Also in this category Engineered Sinterings and Plastics, Inc. (ESP), Watertown, Connecticut, won an award for a lower arm assembly (Fig. 12) containing 4 PM steel parts and 2 stainless steel 316L PM parts used in a proprietary application in the publishing and copying industry.

The assembly consists of six complex PM parts; plastic, laser cut, steel plate, and screw machined parts; and standard purchased components. It is an outstanding example of a family of parts representing different manufacturing processes and PM provided outstanding cost savings.

More information:

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