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Author Archives: Allied Sinterings

  1. Sintered vs. Machined Gears

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    Gears are interlocking mechanical components that transmit motion and power between rotating shafts. They are essential in various machines and systems because they alter mechanical energy’s speed, torque, and direction. These parts also come in different shapes and sizes, each tailored for specific applications. They are often indispensable in automobiles, appliances, or industrial machinery.

    This article will provide a comprehensive comparison between sintered and machined gears, exploring their respective applications, advantages, and disadvantages.

    Sintered Gears

    Sintered gears are produced through the powdered metal (PM) method, involving a specific sequence of steps. First, metal powders are thoroughly mixed, followed by the compaction of the materials into the desired shape and size for the gear. Subsequently, the compacted form undergoes controlled heating at specific temperatures.

    This methodological approach to gear manufacturing ensures a robust end product, making sintered gears suitable for various applications. Their strength and durability stemming from the fusion of metal particles make them particularly advantageous in situations prioritizing reliability and resilience. This attribute contributes to their extensive utilization across various mechanical systems and devices.

    Sintered Gear Applications

    Here are the most common applications of sintered or powdered metal gears:

    • Automobiles
    • Power tools
    • Medical instruments
    • Domestic appliances
    • Outdoor power equipment
    • Marine equipment

    Machined Gears

    Machined or precision gears are crafted using a procedure that involves cutting a gear shape with specialized machines. Common gear-cutting processes include hobbing, grinding, and milling. These three methods enable exact control over gear size and tooth profiles, resulting in high accuracy. The method choice depends on the gear design’s complexity and the desired precision level.

    CNC machining stands out as a preferred method for engineers seeking extreme precision and accuracy in gear manufacturing. It involves utilizing computer-controlled machines to execute precise and complex cuts. This technology enables the creation of gears with intricate designs and tight tolerances, meeting the demands of industries requiring precise gear engagement.

    Machined Gear Applications

    Listed below are the common applications of machined gears:

    • Factory automation tools
    • Packaging machines
    • Industrial robots
    • Food processing machinery
    • Machine tools
    • Material handling tools
    • Printing machines
    • Automatic cutting/welding machine
    • Medical/cosmetic apparatus
    • Construction machines
    • Wood/glass processing machine
    • Agricultural machinery

    Sintered vs. Machined Gears: Advantages and Disadvantages

    This section compares sintered and machined gears based on the following factors:

    Production Costs

    Sintered gears often have lower production costs than machined components due to the efficiency of the powdered metal process. Meanwhile, precision gears are often used for projects with extremely tight tolerances, so they tend to be more expensive.

    Production Time

    The sintering process is typically faster than machining since it involves fewer steps. This quick turnaround makes it suitable for industries with high-volume production needs. Conversely, the multi-step machining process may extend production time, especially for intricate designs or large quantities.

    Precision

    Machined components are often preferred for industries requiring micron-level precision for their exceptional accuracy. Nonetheless, sintered gears can also produce tight tolerances and intricate designs, making them ideal for mass production in various industries.

    Strength

    Sintered gears are known for their strength and durability, making them highly suitable for heavy-duty applications. Meanwhile, machined components may also be suitable in situations where the highest load-bearing capacity and precision are critical.

    Quality

    Precision gears consistently meet the high-quality standards of sectors demanding precise and reliable performance. On the other hand, sintered gears deliver exceptional quality for applications with more emphasis on manufacturing timeline, cost-effectiveness, and durability.

    Scrap Waste

    Sintering is an efficient process with minimal material waste. Likewise, machining produces less waste than other manufacturing processes, contributing to efficient material utilization. Despite the efficiencies of both techniques, some scraps may still occur during manufacturing operations.

    Design Flexibility

    Machined gears are capable of achieving highly complex and specialized designs. Similarly, sintering allows for reasonably intricate designs, making it suitable for various gear shapes and sizes.

    Self-Lubrication Capabilities

    Precision gears allow customized lubrication based on specific project requirements. On the other hand, sintered gears can possess inherent self-lubricating properties due to the material’s porous structure. This reduces the need for external lubrication in certain applications.

    Ability To Be Impregnated With a Variety of Materials

    Sintered gears can be impregnated with different materials to improve specific characteristics. Similarly, machined components can be coated with various compounds to enhance their mechanical properties, providing customization options.

    Volume Repeatability and Overall Cost

    Sintered gears offer cost-effective production but may have lower volume repeatability due to variations in the sintering process. On the other hand, machined gears provide superior volume repeatability. This ensures consistent performance but comes with a higher overall cost attributed to the machining process.

    Choose Allied Sinterings for High-Quality Gear Products

    Allied Sinterings is a globally acknowledged leader in producing custom-engineered powder metal products tailored for small-scale applications! We specialize in manufacturing small gears and miniature components designed for planetary drives. This showcases a commitment to precision and innovation in gear technology.

    Contact us today to learn more about our capabilities or request a quote to get started with us!

  2. How To Find the Right Sintered Metal Parts

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    Sintered metal components begin as powder compacts heated in a furnace to fuse the grains, forming hard, usable finished products. These intricate and complex-shaped parts are prevalent in multiple industries, including aerospace, agricultural, automotive, electronics, medical, and consumer goods.

    The sintering process works with various metals and alloys and is frequently used to produce many part types. However, finding the appropriate sintered components can be challenging, and those who purchase or use them should be familiar with the technique.

    This article will discuss the advantages of sintering and several tips for finding the right sintered metal parts for your application.

    Benefits of Sintering

    Sintering is the process of applying heat to a formed component. After it has been completed, the metal particles are fused, and the structural rigidity of the element is attained.

    In addition to transforming metal powder into a solid mass, sintering also provides the following benefits:

    • Allows for the fabrication of metal components with high levels of repeatability
    • Creates highly complex shapes
    • Is cost-effective, particularly when fabricating large quantities of metal parts
    • Manufactures components with high magnetism and porosity
    • Enables manufacturers to produce large quantities of parts with tight tolerances
    • Increases the metal part’s durability
    • Generates minimal waste, with roughly 97% of the starting material used to create a part
    • Reduces production costs due to less waste

    Tips for Finding the Right Sintered Metal Parts

    Over the years, sintering has become one of the most prevalent metal-forming processes. However, given the market’s abundance of manufacturers producing sintered metal parts, selecting the most suitable one for your project can take time and effort.

    Here are four tips to guide you in finding the right metal parts:

    Identifying the Application of the Metal Part

    Sintered metal products apply to various industries and applications. Therefore, it is essential to determine where the metal component will be utilized or what part must be sintered.

    Here are some of the common uses of metal sintering:

    • Armatures
    • Bearing retainers
    • Brackets
    • Cams
    • Couplings
    • Custom bearings
    • Electrical contacts
    • Gears
    • Levers
    • And many others!

    Selecting the Best Material for Sintering

    A wide variety of metals can be sintered to create various products and parts that meet the exact requirements of a project. Furthermore, powders can be combined to create unique and durable alloys.

    Common materials used for sintered components include:

    • Carbon steel
    • Copper and copper alloys
    • Hardened steels
    • Iron-copper alloys
    • Iron-nickel alloys
    • Low-alloy steels
    • Nickel steel
    • Soft magnetic alloys
    • Stainless steel
    • And more!

    Determining the Need for Secondary Processing

    In some instances, a sintered metal part must be modified by secondary processes to improve its characteristics. For example, Gear rolling for higher tooth density and tolerance control. Copper infiltration for  improved strength of components. Oil impregnation for lubricating properties and corrosion resistance. Steam treating for sealing and corrosion resistance. Various plating for improved surface properties or sealing parts for critical applications. Machining for more complex designs or features not able to be originally compacted.

    Parts that have been sintered may also undergo tempering, , deburring, machining, and sizing as secondary processes. Particularly, sintered components with extremely tight tolerances — such as bushings and bearings — are frequently subjected to secondary sizing procedures.

    Partnering With a Reliable Powder Metallurgy Manufacturer

    A powder metallurgy manufacturer will always adhere to the customer’s specifications. However, involving your manufacturer in the design process could significantly optimize your component.

    In addition, reliable powder metallurgy manufacturers can steer you toward reasonably priced, high-performance sintering options. They can also help reduce manufacturing costs without compromising the performance of your metal part.

    Allied Sinterings: Your Trusted Custom Manufacturer of Powdered Metal Products

    Allied Sinterings has provided high-quality powdered and sintered metal products to our customers in various industries for over six decades! We take pride in our long-standing business relationships and reputation as a dependable company.

    We are the first company in our industry to obtain ISO 9000 certification, and we continue to utilize our accreditation as a valuable business tool. For more information, contact us today, and we will be happy to assist you with your needs.

  3. What Is Sintered Powdered Metal?

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    Powder metallurgy involves using metallic powders to produce finished or semi-finished shaped components. It is becoming an increasingly popular option for traditional casting to create application-specific metal parts.

    However, while the compaction process performs most of the work, Compacting pressures will only attain up to about 90% of theoretical densities. PM compacting is a net shape or close to net shape process. Here is where sintering comes into play.

    In this article, we will delve into the fundamentals of the sintering process in powder metallurgy, including its definition, benefits, and applications.

    Definition of Sintering

    Sintering is used to provide strength and a stabilizing agent to a material. The sintering of powdered metals is a process in which particles Physically bond under pressure to create a cohesive “green” shape and  when subjected to sintering temperature compacted particles then bond. Typically, the temperature at which the particles are sintered is below the melting point of the powder’s primary material.

    Before the actual sintering process, choosing a powder composition that will produce the desired results is crucial. The powder mixture will contain essential elements — such as copper, iron, molybdenum, and nickel — plus other substances like lubricants and flow enhancers. These will help in improving the powder’s flow into the die. Then, the powder is pressed with extreme force and high pressure to fuse it.

    After the powder has been compacted, the sintering process begins by transferring the parts through a highly controlled Hydrogen/ nitrogen atmosphere  furnace . The objective is to maintain a temperature just below the melting point of the metal, but not completely. Finally, the sintered components are prepared for additional finishing and or secondary heat treatments to achieve the desired properties.

    Benefits of Sintered Powdered Metal Products

    Sintering enables manufacturers to replace costly metalworking techniques — such as cutting, casting, and stamping — with a more economical alternative. Here are some additional benefits of sintered powdered metal products:

    • Environmentally friendly
    • Excellent tolerance control
    • Good performance properties in parts
    • Superior surface finishes
    • High levels of uniformity and purity
    • Reduced costs due to minimal material waste
    • Sound dampening
    • Self lubricating

    Applications of Sintered Powdered Metals

    Sintering has a wide range of applications in various industries. For example, sintered stainless steel is utilized as filtering material in applications requiring high thermal stability and the ability to regenerate the filter component. On the other hand, sintered silver and gold are frequently used to create small jewelry items.

    This process is also one of the few feasible manufacturing techniques for metals with low melting points, including bronze, copper, molybdenum, tungsten, and osmium. Particularly, sintered bronze is used as a bearing material due to its porosity, enabling lubricants to flow through or remain trapped within it. Meanwhile, sintered copper is used as mainly heat sinks and corrosive environments

    Sintered powdered metals are also utilized in the military and defense industries. Artillery and grenade launcher detonators and timers.  The process also works well for net shape gun parts such as front and rear sights. Sporting rifles contain many PM components due to there quality and reliability

    Allied Sinterings for Quality Powdered and Sintered Metal Parts

    Since 1959, Allied Sinterings has provided powdered and sintered metal products using powders and materials of the highest quality. Our proficiency with complex and intricate geometries enables us to serve numerous industries, including the automotive, medical, telecommunications, and industrial equipment sectors.

    Contact us today to learn more about our capabilities or request a quote to get started with Allied Sinterings!

  4. Key Considerations in Choosing Powdered Metal Parts

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    Powdered metal parts are made using powder metallurgy. They have various applications in different industries, including automotive, aerospace, medical, and industrial. In manufacturing, they are typically used for gears, bearings, bushings, cams, and other precision components.

    One of the main advantages of powdered metal parts is they can be produced more efficiently than traditional cast or machined parts. They also can be created in large quantities, with consistent properties and performance.

    There are many advantages to using powder metallurgy, but is it the best solution for your project? This article will explore the pros and cons of powder metallurgy and the key considerations in choosing powdered metal parts for your manufacturing requirements.

    Things To Remember When Choosing Powdered Metal Parts for Manufacturing

    There are several factors to consider when choosing powdered metal parts to ensure that your components are high-quality and perform according to design expectations. These include the following:

    Material Compatibility

    Not all metals can be treated using powder metallurgy. Therefore, it is important to confirm whether the material you select is workable. The best materials for producing powdered metal components are nickel, cobalt, titanium, iron, steel, Stainless Steel, copper, bronze, and aluminum.

    Precious metals like gold, silver, platinum, and palladium are also used in powder metallurgy. They have excellent electrical conductivity and corrosion resistance. Further, they are non-toxic, making them suitable for electronic applications.

    Mechanical Properties

    The mechanical characteristics of powdered metal parts — such as strength, ductility, and wear resistance — may not always meet the application’s requirements. Choosing a powdered metal part with unsuitable properties can lead to failure or reduced performance in your components. However, PM can cost-effectively meet most of these requirements or 90% of like wrought material

    Design Flexibility

    Although powder metallurgy enables the production of parts with intricate geometries and custom holes, keyways, or stepped cores, it may not always meet the application’s design specifications. Therefore, when selecting a powdered metal component, it is best to know all your project requirements and decide on them.

    Tolerance and Finish

    Powder metallurgy may or may not be able to produce parts with very tight tolerances or that require a high surface finish. Thus, ensure that the powdered metal part’s dimensional tolerance and surface finish meet your application’s requirements.

    Cost

    Powder metallurgy can be a cost-effective manufacturing method. Still, it is important to consider the investment necessary for the powders, handling and processing, and the total cost of production before going through this manufacturing technique. Tooling is low-cost compared to other tooled processes.

    What To Look For in a Powder Metal Distributor

    There are several industry-specific characteristics and qualifications to look for to ensure that you are working with a reputable and reliable powder metal molder. Among them are the following:

    Highly Recommended by Industry Leaders

    A supplier with a good reputation in the industry is likely to be reliable and provide high-quality products and services. You can ask other manufacturers in your industry for recommendations or research suppliers online to get an idea of their track records. Typically, a dependable and experienced powdered metal supplier can also provide references from other established manufacturing companies.

    Excellent Customer Service

    Look for a distributor who can provide technical support and guidance throughout the process, from material selection to production and delivery.

    Timely Delivery and Handling

    The manufacturer you work with should be able to provide the materials you need promptly so that you can meet production deadlines. Late deliveries can cause delays in production and lead to lost revenue. On the other hand, when goods are supplied on time, they are easily managed and distributed.

    High Safety Standards

    A supplier that adheres to the highest safety standards will ensure that the materials they provide are reliable. This can help protect your employees and customers and reduce liability risks.

    Get Your High-Quality Powdered Metal Parts From Allied Sinterings!

    Allied Sinterings understands the importance of working with a reliable powdered metal supplier. We adhere to the highest industry standards, safety, and quality to maintain our brand’s impeccable reputation and ensure customer satisfaction.

    Contact us for all your powdered metal components needs!

  5. Understanding the Powdered Metallurgy Process

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    Powder metallurgy involves heating compacted metal powders just below their melting temperatures to create hardened Net Shape geometries. It is the best method for producing high-quality parts for numerous significant applications.

    The popularity of powder metallurgy can be attributed to the advantages the technique has over conventional metal forming processes like forging and metal casting. These benefits include better material utilization, increased shape complexity, and improved near-net-shape dimensional control. Additionally, this method is renowned for promoting sustainability.

    Powder metallurgy has several advantages over other techniques. Enhanced product quality, shape and material flexibility, application variety, and cost-effectiveness impact the part-to-part homogeneity of components produced through this method.

    The Powdered Metallurgy Process

    Powder metallurgy is a process that creates precise and accurate parts by applying a range of pressures to press powdered metals and alloys into a hard tooling . Here are the four fundamental processes in this technique:

    Powder Preparation

    All metals and alloys can be reduced to a powder, regardless of the method utilized. For instance, various techniques can be used to create non-ferrous metal powders in different applications. Meanwhile, almost all iron powders used in producing powder metallurgy structural parts are produced either by the sponge iron method or water atomization.

    Aside from atomization, other procedures for creating powder include chemical reduction, electrolytic deposition, and atomization.

    Mixing and Blending

    To ensure the finished product has the required properties, powders are mixed and blended with other powders, binders, and lubricants. Depending on the item’s specifications, this can be wet or dry. Further, adding alloys and a pressing lubricant is usually included in this process.

    Compacting

    Compressing the powder mixture into the required form or tooling is known as compacting. When done correctly, compacting reduces potential voids and greatly boosts the product’s density.

    Each type of metal powder requires a particular compacting pressure — from 80 MPa to 1600 MPa — depending on its characteristics. For example, the pressure for compacting soft powder ranges from 100 MPa to 350 MPa, while the pressure ranges from 400 MPa to 700 MPa for harder, more resilient metals like steel and iron.

    Sintering

    In this step, the material is heated to a temperature below the melting point of the main component, typically in a protective environment. Liquid phase sintering refers to situations where a minor constituent can occasionally form a liquid phase at the sintering temperature.

    Components Manufactured Using the Powdered Metallurgy Process

    Powder metallurgy may be used to meet the requirements of any application or production process, and almost all manufacturing companies use it. Among these applications includes areas in the industries below:

    Automotive Gears

    The capacity to generate complex configurations utilizing efficient production techniques is one of powder metallurgy’s benefits for producing vehicle parts. Finishing or machining are unnecessary if complex components can be produced without waste or scrap.

    Machinery Gears

    When it comes to powder metallurgy, one of the most frequently produced items is gears. This process provides outstanding precision, extending gears’ life. Champhers and various techniques can be used to localize density,increase strength and improve smoother outcomes. .Compound gears can be made net without separate gears or assemblies.

    Oil and Gas Industry

    Exploration for gas and oil requires hard metal and diamond-cutting equipment. Powder metallurgy creates tools from austenitic and stainless steels to fill this need.

    Powdered and Sintered Parts From Allied Sinterings

    Since 1959, the knowledgeable staff of Allied Sinterings has produced reliable and high-quality powdered and sintered metal goods. Our proficiency with complex and intricate geometries using top-notch powders and materials is well-known and appreciated among clients in the telecom, automotive, medical, and industrial equipment industries.

    Experience world-class services from Allied Sinterings! Contact us today.

  6. Gearing Types and Applications

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    Gears are essential components in many mechanical systems, especially in transmitting power and motion from one rotating shaft to another. They come in various shapes and sizes, each with its unique set of advantages and disadvantages. Particularly, mechanical gears are utilized to increase productivity and reduce costs. Some applications include assembly lines, robots, conveyor belts, and packaging equipment.

    This article will discuss the uses of gears in common manufacturing applications and custom gears used in niche industries with high-end requirements.

    How Gears Work

    Gears transmit torque by interlocking, facilitating the transfer of rotational force from one unit to the next. They function as a pair and are connected to a shaft or the base part of a machine. Additionally, the ratio between two interlocking gears is established by their number of teeth.

    If the driving gear (input) is greater than the number of teeth on the driven gear (output), the output will rotate at a slower speed but with greater torque. Conversely, if the driving gear has few teeth, the output turns faster with less force.

    Specialized Types of Gears and Their Applications

    Allied Sinterings specializes in producing small, precision-made gears for various applications. These custom gears are used in multiple industries, such as Medical devices, robotics, and electric vehicles (EVs). Here are some of the most commonly used specialized components:

    Actuator Gears

    Electric vehicle actuator gears are mechanical components used to control the movement and positioning of different parts in an electric vehicle. They are typically precision-engineered and designed to withstand the high loads and stress in EVs.

    Planetary Gears

    Planetary gears are a type of gear system consisting of sun, planet, and ring gear. They are designed to provide high gear ratios in a compact space and are widely used in automobiles. Moreover, their unique design allows multiple gear ratios within a single system, making them a versatile and efficient power transmission solution.

    Harmonic Drive Gears

    The harmonic drive gear system is distinguished by its unique design, which enables high precision and accuracy in a compact size. This makes it a popular option for applications requiring high precision, such as robotics, semiconductor manufacturing, and aerospace.

    One of its advantages is its ability to achieve a high reduction ratio in a smaller package. This is particularly beneficial for applications where space is limited. In addition, it has a high torque and a low backlash, which is the minimal amount of play or looseness between the gears.

    Spur Gears

    Spur gears are characterized by their straight teeth and are the most commonly used type in medical devices. They are typically used to power surgical instruments, pumps, and other mechanical systems. In addition, their simple designs are easy to manufacture and maintain, making them an ideal choice for applications requiring reliability and durability.

    Stepper Motor Gears

    Stepper motor gears enhance the performance of stepper motors by improving their torque and precision. These gears are precisely manufactured to complement the control capabilities of stepper motors. They also regulate the movement of the device’s various components — such as wheels, actuators, and mechanical systems — to ensure accurate and controlled motion.

    Shift Gears for Wire Systems

    Shift gears for wire systems are mechanical or hydraulic components used to control the speed and torque of the wiring system output. They can also be controlled manually or automatically and are typically used with a gearbox and a brake system.

    Custom Engineered Small Gears From Allied Sinterings

    Allied Sinterings is an industry leader in custom-designed small gears! Our products are precisely manufactured to the highest quality standards to ensure that they meet the specific requirements of our customers. We also use advanced technology to continuously improve our products and services and provide everyone with innovative solutions to their needs.

    Contact us for inquiries, or request a quote to begin your next projects with us!

  7. How to Get the Right Powdered Metal Products

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    Manufacturers are always looking for an advantage in quality, cost, and production time – all to provide better services and product options for their target markets. As a result, they often compare side to side but look outside the box when they crave innovation or a more cost-effective solution for their manufacturing needs. One of them is through the use of powdered metal products.

    One of the primary drivers of the structural components business and the most common justification for selecting powder metallurgy is the cost-effectiveness of the final product. These and more are just a few reasons powdered metal products stand out in the manufacturing industry.

    What Are Powdered Metal Products?

    Alloys that have undergone one of several procedures to become a fine, grain-like powder are known as powdered metals. Often made of stainless steel, brass, copper, iron, or bronze, these materials can be alloyed to produce the appropriate features and attributes for a certain application.

    With the right sintering, soft powder metal can be shaped into various shapes. In addition, the sintering process can increase the magnetism of powder metal, which is a common choice of material for items with magnetic qualities. Solid metal components manufactured from powdered metal are used in various industries. Applications in building and construction, lawn and garden, computer, electronics, hardware, jewelry production, and automobile manufacturing all benefit from powder metallurgy.

    Tips for Choosing the Best Powdered Metal Products

    The powder metallurgy process offers several advantages. These factors impact part-to-part homogeneity, enhanced product quality, shape and material flexibility, application variety, and cost-effectiveness. In addition, powdered metals are frequently utilized in alloy production, lubrication, and corrosion resistance.

     Industry Application

    For what purpose do you require the metal powder? Metal powders are utilized in a range of industries and applications. Of course, you will need to purchase a different metal powder for cosmetics than a component manufacturing application. Metal powders are frequently used in the following industries:

    • Paint and coatings industry
    • Electronics
    • Automotive
    • Cosmetics
    • Printing

    Type of Processing Method

    There are numerous alternatives for molding the metal powder to meet specific needs or incorporating it into the desired end product. It goes without saying that a metal powder used in a 3D printing process must meet different requirements than a powder intended for use in a traditional sintering application. Therefore, it is imperative to carefully analyze the type of processing involved.

    Consider whether additives will be needed when purchasing metal powder, and if so, which ones. It is essential to ensure that the various raw materials are compatible and that there are no risks associated with their combination.

    Key Information About Powdered Metal Type

    A provider of powder metal components might have expertise and experience in the area. But if they can’t provide details on their physical characteristics, you can look for someone else who can. Suppliers offering material factors like particle size, chemistry, flowability, and sphericity are critical for the successful product selection of powder metal. You can learn more about their powder’s behavior from these details during and after manufacturing and production.

    Timely and Expert Support from Your Powdered Metal Supplier

    The promise of excellent, individualized service is another feature to consider when choosing a powder metal product and supplier. Even if the provider has already completed a project, maintaining open lines of communication between you and the supplier ensures that the latter will always be available to address any questions you may have concerning your purchased powdered metal. In addition, if your supplier continues to work and communicate timely, any material-related issues can be quickly rectified.

    Custom Engineered Powdered Metal Products From Allied Sinterings

    If you are looking for the best supplier of powder metal components, you can contact us at Allied Sinterings. We are a company based in Danbury, CT, that provides first-class small powder metal products, including gears and other miniature components, to businesses in the automotive, industrial, aerospace, medicine, and consumer goods industries.

    Contact us to experience specialized and customized powder metal solutions for your manufacturing needs.

     

     

  8. Why High Precision Matters for Your Fabricated Components

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    As electronic devices, medical devices, automobiles, and other products adopt smaller and more complex forms, precision fabricated components become more critical. To fit tight spaces and complex geometries, these miniature components must achieve a level of precision not possible through conventional manufacturing. Today, precision fabrication and manufacturing are the most in-demand sectors of industrial manufacturing.

    The Difference Between Manufactured and Fabricated Parts

    Fabrication and manufacturing are two industrial terms associated with producing a finished product. Although the two processes are often referred to interchangeably, they describe different types of processes.

    Fabrication is a process of constructing products from several standardized parts or subassemblies. A good example is metal fabrication, which forms metal structures through multiple processes, including cutting, bending, and assembling. Oftentimes, fabrication processes utilize computer-aided designs (CAD) and computer numerical control (CNC) technology to achieve these multiple assemblies with greater precision and faster turnaround times.

    In contrast, manufacturing involves converting raw materials into finished products. Manufacturing leverages machines, tools, and chemical processing to change materials from their raw form to ready-to-use goods, from start to finish. Examples of industries that perform manufacturing processes are the apparel, chemical processing, electronics, food, leather, printing, and lumber sectors.

    Benefits of High Precision

    High-precision manufacturing is a subset of manufacturing that specializes in producing parts with tight tolerances, often of just a few micrometers. Usually, the tolerance grade of precision machining is IT5, with an accuracy of 10-0.1 μm and surface roughness not more than 0.1 μm. The following are some of the advantages of high precision manufacturing:

    • Reduced turnaround time: High precision manufacturing can significantly improve turnaround times. You can invest in precision machines and skilled technicians to cut down on the number of destinations your products must travel to before final delivery. A contract manufacturer can handle these responsibilities in-house, ensuring you receive high-quality products on time.
    • Minimized human error: Because high precision manufacturing utilizes intelligent, accurate machinery, they eliminate the risk of costly human errors. Unlike humans, computers can follow the same set of predefined operations without errors or inconsistencies.
    • Easy prototyping: High precision manufacturing can help you produce one-off prototypes to full-scale production runs. This flexibility allows you to test and refine prototypes throughout multiple phases of the production process, and you can adjust to changes in niche markets.

    Uses of Fabricated Components

    Nut and gear combination medicalAllied Sinterings, Inc. specializes in manufacturing miniature powdered and sintered metal components. One of the markets that relies on these precision components is the medical industry, particularly for making medical devices and equipment. As this industry pioneers breakthrough technology in microsurgery, microelectronics, biotechnology, and instrumentation, precision components must meet increasingly tighter tolerance and safety standards. 

    Our powdered metal materials include stainless steel, brass, nickel steel, copper steel, carbon steel, iron, bronze, and more. Specific components we produce include:

    • Gearboxes
    • Gears
    • Medical dispensing devices and diagnostic equipment
    • Planetary drives
    • Pinions
    • Cams
    • Sprockets 
    • Retainers 

    Custom Miniature Parts from Allied Sinterings, Inc.

    Allied Sinterings is a leading manufacturer of small powered metal products, including miniature components for medical equipment. From our ISO 9001:2015 certified facility, we fabricate precision components for the medical, automotive, aerospace, consumer goods, and telecom industries. Contact us today to learn how we can serve you.

  9. The Growth of Actuators & Other Motion Control Components In Electric Vehicles

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    With the electric vehicle (EV) industry expected to have a compound annual growth rate of 29% over the next decade, there has been a significant increase in demand for actuators and other motion control components for electric vehicles. Powdered and sintered metals offer improved magnetic performance, lightweight, and reduced noise vibrations, making them an excellent option for enhancing the performance of various EV components. Two piece assembly sintered together automotive shift by wire

    Challenges of the Electric Vehicle Industry

    EV engines deviate from internal combustion engines in some significant ways. For instance, electric motors are far more compact. Additionally, rotation in electric motors is restricted just to the central axis, thus naturally reducing engine vibrations. This creates new challenges for EV automakers. For example:

    • All electric automotive components need to be lightweight and have better thermal management to increase fuel efficiency.
    • Actuated auxiliary system components must be far more compact.
    • Noise vibration harshness (NVH) levels must be reduced even more than usual to address driver expectations and comfort.

    While challenging, these scenarios present automakers with opportunities to push innovation and rethink standard manufacturing expectations. The use of powdered metal components offers:

  10. Top Steel Grades for Manufacturing Miniature Components

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    Nickel vs. Stainless Steel

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    Sintering uses pressure and heat to form powdered metal materials into a 80-95% solid mass without fully melting the metal. As the metal granules are pressed together, they begin to bond together the irregular particles to form a “green” compact. These compacts interconnected particles are then sintered to melt the particles together giving the component strength. Powdered metallurgy processes afford the ability to create small net shape parts with complex geometries while generating little waste.

    Allied Sinterings, Inc. offers numerous varieties of powdered steel for creating small and miniature parts using the sintering process. This blog will highlight the two most common steel grades we utilize in this manufacturing process – stainless steel and nickel steel.

    Advantages of Stainless Steel Components

    A steel alloy containing more than 10.5% chromium is considered stainless steel. As one of the most widely used materials, stainless steel is a common base metal for powdered metal processes. The material offers numerous properties that make it an ideal material for producing powdered miniature components. Powdered stainless steel is available in multiple 300 series and 400 series grades.

    Some of the beneficial properties of powdered stainless steel include:

    • Corrosion resistance. The chromium within the stainless steel alloy reacts with oxygen to create a protective film on the surface of the metal that protects against corrosive elements.
    • Improved strength. Stainless steel offers good strength and can support significant weight.
    • Durability. Stainless steel’s high corrosion resistance, excellent strength, and broad temperature range make it highly durable in an expansive range of environments.
    • Highly recyclable. As a 100% recyclable material, stainless steel is the most recycled material in the world. Demand remains high enough to outpace the availability of recycled materials, but about 60% of all new stainless steel is generated from recycled material.
    • Wide temperature range. The functional temperature range of stainless steel varies widely based on the specific alloy. Some austenitic alloys used in natural gas applications perform well in temperatures as low as -161°C. Many common grades of stainless steel will maintain their oxidation resistance under exposure to temperatures as high as 870°C, and some specialty alloys can tolerate even higher temperatures.

    Sintered stainless steel serves many different types of applications. The medical industry uses powdered metallurgy to develop precision stainless steel parts for critical medical devices. Automotive and industrial equipment often incorporate small, sintered parts, such as gears, as crucial components of larger products. The growing telecom industry turns to sintered stainless steel miniature components for highly complex devices.

    The Benefits of Nickel-Steel Alloys

    Adding nickel to steel alloys provides a variety of benefits, including:

    • Good formability. The ductile nature of nickel-steel alloys makes them highly formable, which can be beneficial for powdered metals that need additional finishing or machining after the sintering process.
    • Improved strength/toughness. Adding nickel to a steel alloy imparts enhanced strength into the metal while improving resistance to cracking.
    • Good weldability. Nickel improves the weldability of steel by decreasing brittleness and improving welding bonds.
    • Resistance to high operating temperatures. Nickel improves the stability of the protective oxide layer in steel, which helps the layer better tolerate prolonged exposure to high temperatures.

    steel componentsNickel steel and nickel stainless steel alloys see broad usage because of their versatility and availability. The pharmaceutical and chemical industries use sintered nickel alloy components within a variety of process equipment. Applications concerned with cleanliness, such as medical or food and beverage facilities, often utilize sintered nickel steel alloy components for their hygienic properties. The aerospace industry prefers nickel alloys for miniature parts for their high strength and ability to operate in a wide temperature range.

    Custom Miniature Parts from Allied Sinterings

    Stainless steel and nickel steel alloys have become very popular in powdered metallurgy, though selecting the appropriate type of metal for your needs can be difficult. Your sintering provider can help you determine the powdered metal material best suited to your design and specifications.

    At Allied Sinterings, we specialize in custom miniature parts for commercial, industrial, and consumer markets. Using state-of-the-art technology in our environmentally controlled facility, our highly experienced technicians can handle virtually any custom powdered metal request, from assemblies and sub-assemblies to precision components for medical devices and process equipment. We can manage low- or high-volume production, offer short lead times on orders over 500 pieces, and can support rush orders when needed.

    To see how we can support your project, please contact us today.