DensiForm® Technology for Wrought-Steel-Like Performance of Powder Metal Components 2006-01-0398
Power transmission components for automotive applications require high static and dynamic mechanical properties to insure long term system reliability. Historically, high quality wrought steel alloys have been the only materials used in the series manufacturing of high torque transmitting components such as one-way clutch races, transmission gears, sprockets and bearing races. Although powder metal technology offers lower cost components, limitations in static and fatigue properties of sintered materials preclude utilization of conventional powder metallurgy in these applications. To address these shortcomings we have developed DensiForm®, a surface densification technology. Specifically, a densification process is utilized with the net result of a full density layer on critical areas up to 1 mm deep into the part and an overall component density above 92% of the theoretical density. The combination of full density on critical areas, high core density and powder metal alloying flexibility enable the production of sintered components which match the performance of wrought steel in highly stressed applications. Contact and bending fatigue properties are presented along with applications to powertrain components.