When should you consider designing a gear manufactured from metal powder?
Finding the right material for your gear design
When it comes to high-volume production of gears, selecting the right material for your gear design is crucial. The three most important factors to consider that affect the choice of material are strength, durability and cost. Cost in this case includes both the cost of the material itself and the cost of manufacturing the component. Simply put, you want to find the perfect combination of fatigue performance and wear resistance at the lowest cost.
Gears can be made from a range of different materials, including steel forgings, metal powders, cast iron, aluminium and plastics. If your gear design is part of a product that will be manufactured in large volumes, such as a power tool or a vehicle, metal powders offer a favourable fatigue-wear-cost ratio.
Advantage metal powder
The majority of metal powder is made with recycled scrap, so it is a sustainable material. The powder is used in an efficient manufacturing production process with fewer steps than when forming steel into the right shape. The metal powder is formed in a compaction press followed by a strengthening step in a sintering furnace. The compaction tool is designed to make the part look like the final component with no need for extra processing, such as machining. The technique is also very suitable for complex gear design as the press tools can be intricate. In the sintering phase, the powder particles merge while still being solid, and form strong metal connections, which makes the finished component very robust and consistent.
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Welcome to Höganäs Academy
Join Höganäs Academy and learn more about the capabilities and opportunities for pressed and sintered metal components.
In our online courses at Höganäs Academy, you get access to everything from an easy-to-read overview of what sintered components are and how they are produced to profound process know-how on how to optimise production efficiency and quality.