2002 Volume 43 Issue 3 Pages 348-351
Automotive parts produced using a powder metallurgy (P/M) process are commonly used in automobiles because they can be produced without the use of machining and with a special alloy design. This paper describes how the P/M process can be applied to the production of environmentally friendly automotive parts. The paper begins with a discussion on how the utilization of P/M for net-shape manufacturing makes it possible to conserve both energy and materials due to the fact that machining is unnecessary. Evidence is then presented that shows that it is possible to produce warm-compacted automotive P/M parts with sufficient strength even without the use of special alloy elements and/or heat treatments. As a final example, magnet materials made using spark-plasma sintering are described. This spark-plasma sintering process makes it possible to create high-performance magnet parts that are highly energy efficient. Finally, taking into consideration the above-mentioned example, the ideal P/M process is discussed from an environmentally benign point of view.