Powdered Metal Components for Motion Control Systems

electric vehicle engineThe electric vehicle industry is rapidly growing, and while we can expect the market to maintain a compounded annual growth rate of 29% over the next ten years, the technology behind electric vehicles is still maturing. One of the core premises of electric vehicles’ popularity is efficiency — cars need to be lightweight, thermally efficient, and energy-efficient all while providing a pleasant driving experience. 

At Allied Sinterings, Inc., we know what technologies the industry needs. Lightweight vehicle components, compact actuated auxiliary systems with noise and vibration control, and parts with adept thermal management will all play a crucial role in how electric vehicles continue to develop. To achieve these things, EV manufacturers must implement motion control systems manufactured through powder metallurgy.

The Need for Motion Control Components in Electric Vehicles

While electric vehicles and traditional vehicles may look similar, the parts under the hood are very different. Electric motors are much more compact than internal combustion engines, which presents more possibilities for the overall design. The design of electric engines inherently reduces overall vibration because the motor components rotate around one central axis, creating more controlled, less disruptive motion.

However, the essential design principles of electric motors do present some challenges to car designers. These include:

  • Fuel Efficiency: Electric vehicles need to be constructed from lightweight components that can direct heat for optimal control and fuel efficiency.
  • Compact Design: Because the engines are compact and the entire vehicle benefits from compactness, designers need to create auxiliary parts that are similarly compact.
  • Noise Vibration Harshness (NVH): Designers must create configurations and assemblies that reduce noise and vibration as much as possible.

Advantages of Motion Control Components

Well-designed actuators and motion control systems help address those issues. Changing the design and material composition of the components can substantively reduce weight loads, vibration and noise, and inefficiently managed or poorly directed heat. One increasingly popular option for EV-specific components is sintered metals. Sintering is a specific heat treatment for powder metals. After manufacturing a powdered metal component, the part is sintered, or heated to below the melting point of the material, to harden and strengthen the part. This allows electric cars to use lighter metals with no reduction in strength while simultaneously allowing parts designers and developers to create increasingly complex parts.

Some of the advantages of powdered and sintered motion control components include:

Quiet Performance

Traditional car parts are constructed with techniques that lead to laminations, or imperfections, in the part such as scratches that aren’t rolled out, seams and blisters, or introductions of foreign metals into the component. These small problems can emerge throughout any stage of the manufacturing process, and they lead to uneven processes and noticeable noise and shaking. 

EV motion control systems built with powdered metal and sintering processes eliminate the risk of laminations. The part is made out of compacted and heated powder for a seamless, smooth finish. The porosity of powder metal components enables it to have sound dampening characteristics.

Compact and Lightweight

Powdered components can be hardened and strengthened through the sintering process. As a result, a lightweight powdered component can possess the same strength, durability, and hardness characteristics as heavier metals. This allows developers to build engine configurations and motion control systems from much lighter parts.

Improved Magnetic Performance

Because of the variety of metals that can be powdered and used for sintered parts, the parts themselves benefit from increased magnetic and non-magnetic components where needed based on application. Magnetism increases the efficiency of parts in electric vehicles that rely on electromagnetic processes.

Contact Allied Sinterings, Inc. for Motion Control Components

As the EV market continues to develop, the right motion control components will be essential in creating vehicles that the market demands. Learn more about how Allied Sinterings, Inc. can produce specialized EV motion components. Contact us today

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