The winners in the 2022 Powder Metallurgy Design Excellence Awards competition, sponsored by the Metal Powder Industries Federation (MPIF), were announced during the International Conference on Powder Metallurgy and Particulate Materials (PowderMet2022), held in Portland, Oregon, USA, from June 12–15, 2022.
This year’s winners are said to showcase outstanding examples of PM’s unique ability to challenge competing technologies, stated the MPIF. From lightweighting to complex geometries, Powder Metallurgy provides component designers with the ability to utilise advanced engineering methods that add up to part-to-part uniformity for improved product quality, shape and material flexibility, application versatility, and more.
In the design competition, a total of nine Grand Prizes and eighteen Awards of Distinction were presented across the manufacturing categories of conventional Powder Metallurgy (PM), Metal Injection Moulding (MIM) and metal Additive Manufacturing.
Here, we highlight the Powder Metallurgy winners.
Automotive – Engine category PM
A Grand Prize in the Automotive – Engine category for conventional PM components was awarded to GKN Sinter Metals and its customer Pierburg, for an aluminium metal-matrix- composite outer gerotor for an Italian luxury sports car dry sump pump. It is reputedly the first aluminium gerotor used in a dual-material aluminium-steel pump gear for a production vehicle application.
The inner profile of the gerotor for this high-performance application was critical for it to function in conjunction with a steel inner rotor with a different thermal expansion coefficient. The part provides a 50% reduction in rotating mass, which becomes even more significant with six gerotors per gang pump assembly.
MIM and metal AM
Further Grand Prize winners included parts made by MIM from Kyerim Metal Co., Ltd; ARC Group Worldwide and INDO-MIM Pvt Ltd, along with components produced by metal AM from Divergent Technologies, Inc, and 3DEO Inc.
Awards of Distinction
Automotive – Engine category PM
In the Automotive – Engine category for conventional PM components, an Award of Distinction was given to Nichols Portland LLC, a division of Nichols Portland Inc., for an eccentric ring used in a variable displacement oil pump. The sinter-hardened parts provide enhanced performance compared with prior generation designs that used steam-treated as-sintered parts.
In the same category, an Award of Distinction was also presented to DSB Technologies, LLC, formerly SSI Sintered Specialties LLC, and its customer Purem by Eberspaecher, for a 309L stainless steel sensor boss that is welded to an automotive exhaust system and holds a sensor for monitoring engine performance.
Automotive – Transmission category PM
In the Automotive – Transmission category for conventional PM components, an Award of Distinction was given to Burgess-Norton Mfg. Co., for drive & driven sprockets, a pressure plate, and a sector gear, made for BorgWarner, and used in an automotive transfer case. The sprockets are warm-die compacted from FL-4405 with admixed nickel.
Automotive – Chassis category PM
In the Automotive – Chassis category for conventional PM components, an Award of Distinction was presented to Metalpo Ind. Com Ltda and its customer Haldex do Brasil Ind e com Ltda, for a rack used in a braking system for trucks. The rack is made from diffusion-alloyed FD-0405, warm-die compacted and case hardened to achieve good wear properties.
Lawn & Garden/Off-Highway PM
In the Lawn & Garden/Off-Highway conventional PM components category, an Award of Distinction was given to Alpha Precision Group, a division of Nichols Portland Inc., for a camshaft assembly used in a family of engines ranging from 19–27 hp for consumer lawn and garden machines. The assembly comprises six PM components (a cam gear, four cam lobes, and a thrust washer). All five parts are assembled to the precision ground shaft by means of highly automated, specialised assembly cells.
This category also included a winning entry from FMS Corporation and their customer TEAM Industries for a spider dampener insert, part of a torque spider sub-assembly for ATV transmissions. The part was originally designed as a metal casting that required secondary machining, but was re-designed for PM in order to eliminate the need for extensive machining operations.
Hand Tools/Recreation PM
In the Hand Tools/Recreation category for conventional PM components, an Award of Distinction was given to Porite Taiwan Co., Ltd., for a ring gear, used in the gearbox of a cordless drill. It is divided into two parts due to the multi-section appearance. The two PM parts are machined, pressed for alignment, followed by a plastic injection overmould operation.
Industrial Motors/Controls & Hydraulics PM
In the Industrial Motors/Controls & Hydraulics category for conventional PM components, an Award of Distinction was presented to Nichols Portland LLC, a division of Nichols Portland Inc., for a pump head sub-assembly for fluid delivery. The assembly comprises six PM parts, an inlet plate, eccentric ring, inner and outer gerotors, a spline coupling, and an outlet plate.
MIM and metal AM
Further Awards of Distinction included MIM parts from INDO-MIM Pvt Ltd., OptiMIM (a Form Technologies Company), Advanced Powder Products Inc., ARC Group Worldwide and PTI (Polymer Technologies Inc.). Metal additively manufactured component winners included Azoth and Amaero.