Stackpole Automotive Gear Division Takes Grand Prize at MPIF Conference
June 18, 2007—Stackpole Automotive Gear Division, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, and its customer Magna Powertrain, New Process Gear Division, East Syracuse, NY, received the Grand Prize for a high-precision PM steel clutch hub at May's Metal Powder Industries 2007 Conference. Stackpole selected a special low-cost lean-alloy material to meet strict dimensional-control, compressibility, and durability requirements in a demanding-performance environment. The complex six-level part operates in the clutching system of an active four-wheel drive transfer case in light trucks and SUVs. The clutching system replaces a manual synchronizer system to allow full-time active control of torque transfer. It facilitates variable torque distribution to the vehicle's front wheels on the fly. According to the MPIF's press release, high-temperature sintering provides the following properties: a minimum density of 7.0 g/cm3, 165,000 psi tensile strength, yield strength of 150,000 psi, and an apparent hardness of 35 HRC. The complex castellated geometry required tooling to precisely control lengths, diameters, densities, weight, and run-out, as well as an even density distribution throughout the part. Annual production exceeds 600,000 parts.