MPIF Design Awards showcase Powder Metallurgy industries

ApplicationsNews
June 18, 2024

June 18, 2024

The winners of the 2024 Powder Metallurgy Design Excellence Awards competition, sponsored by the Metal Powder Industries Federation (MPIF), have just been announced at PowderMet2024. Ten Grand Prizes and seventeen Awards of Distinction were presented in this year’s competition. Entries were divided into three categories: Conventional Press and Sinter PM; Metal Injection Molding and Metal Additive Manufacturing.

The winners once again demonstrate outstanding examples of the PM industry’s diversity and ability to meet critical requirements. From electric vehicles to medical implants, parts fabricators have demonstrated PM’s versatility and unique ability to challenge competing technologies.

The following are prizes presented in the Conventional Press and Sinter PM category:

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GRAND PRIZE AWARDS

Automotive – Transmission

A Grand Prize in the Automotive – Transmission Category for Conventional PM components has been awarded to AMES Group Sintering S.A. for a hub used in the clutch of a transfer case of a four-wheel-drive car. The customer qualified the parts by applying four bench tests—a static strength test, a pulse fatigue test, a dynamic fatigue test, and a balancing rotary test. The PM route was selected rather than a machined forging due to its ability to combine complex part shape, high accuracy of some characteristics without machining, low material waste, and a competitive cost. A 25% reduction in material waste was achieved compared with machining the part from a forging.

Hardware/Appliance

A Grand Prize in the Hardware/Appliances Category for Conventional PM components has been awarded to FMS Corporation and their customer Dynamis Solutions, for support bushings that serve as clamping washers in a concentrated solar-power generation application. The parts solve a problem encountered during cleaning and maintenance of the heliostats. The original connection used a fastener and a common lock washer to secure the azimuth drive to the pylon and the hole elongated in service. Heliostats, equipped with large mirrors, are arranged in a circle around a central receiver tower and focus solar rays to heat a synthetic oil that is used to generate steam to power a turbine and generate electricity. The PM component facilitates an improved connection between the azimuth drive of a heliostat and a fixed steel support pylon in the ground.

AWARDS OF DISTINCTION

Automotive – Engine

In the Automotive—Engine Category for Conventional PM components, an Award of Distinction has been given to APG Sintered Metals, Ridgway, a Division of Nichols Portland Inc., for a stainless-steel diesel exhaust fluid injector flange used in a mid-size pick-up truck. Diesel emission fluid (DEF) injectors have become a vital technology in diesel engine after-treatment systems as they reduce the amount of NOx gas exiting the tailpipe.

An Award of Distinction has also been given, in the Automotive—Engine Category for Conventional PM components, to AAM – Subiaco Manufacturing Facility for a camshaft position sensor exciter wheel used in full-size pick-up trucks and sport-utility vehicles. The exciter wheel mounts on the camshaft and provides target corners for the cam sensor to input data to the engine control module to determine the camshaft position and velocity. The PM process has better material utilization compared with stamping and the parts are acceptable for recycling as they do not contain copper.

Automotive – Chassis

An Award of Distinction has been given, in the Automotive—Chassis Category for Conventional PM components, to Metalpo Industria e Com Ltda for a truck steering column tilt adjustment component for their customer Knorr Bremse. The part is compacted using a single upper and two lower punches and a core rod. It is required to slide into a stamped guide and a carbonitrided PM part was unable to meet the dimensional tolerances needed by the customer.

Lawn & Garden/Off-Highway

In the Lawn & Garden/Off-Highway Category for Conventional PM components, an Award of Distinction has been given to Capstan Atlantic and their customer Ardisam Inc. for a multi-component gear assembly used in Ardisam’s Earthquake brand – Pioneer Rear Tine Tiller. A special heat-treatment cycle was developed to maintain hardness but also maximize ultimate tensile strength and impact energy. Tight tolerance machining and machining of the teeth without burrs required development of special machining cycles and insert materials.

Hand Tools/Recreation

In the Hand Tools/Recreation Category for Conventional PM components, an Award of Distinction has been given to Capstan for a stainless-steel drive gear used in a throttle system with a stack-up of three stainless-steel PM gears. Multi-level tooling was used to create the five separate levels of the part and intricate powder transfer and motions were required to displace material for the “slot” surface due to the thin cross-section. The compaction process achieved about 60% of the final shape of the part and secondary CNC lathe turning and milling operations were used to achieve the bore depths, hub diameter, groove, and tapped hole.

Industrial Motors/Controls & Hydraulics

An Award of Distinction, in the Industrial Motors/Controls & Hydraulics Category for Conventional PM components, has been given to Phoenix Sintered Metals LLC for a piston brake spring-return assembly for their customer Muncie Power Products, Inc. The piston engages the clutch-pack under pressure and the taper feature acts as a brake when disengaged. This was the first use of this unique design power-take-off system. The ability to form the tone-ring feature on the inner hub of the piston was a feature not available on the prior part design that was machined from bar stock.

Medical/Dental

In the Medical/Dental Category for Conventional PM components, an Award of Distinction has been given to Metco Industries for a heavy-duty hospital bed rail latch-lock assembly. Two PM parts are included in this nine-part assembly. The latch-lock lever is made in a single level tool that utilizes a special feature to maintain the density of the ramp, which is a critical wear zone. After sintering the parts are milled, heat treated, and plated. Maintaining flatness and minimizing warpage is a challenge with the given wall thickness. The infiltrated parts are resin impregnated prior to zinc plating and this provides a sterile surface unlikely to absorb contaminants in a hospital environment.

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ApplicationsNews
June 18, 2024

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