Powder Metallurgy Applications in Motorcycles

Motorcycling is closer to nature and easier to maneuver than driving. Many young people like this cool and exciting mode of transportation. Motorcycles are also constantly updated and iterated, which is naturally inseparable from emerging technologies and materials.

Powder metallurgy (PM) is one.

PM technology has been booming in recent years due to its fast production speed, high material utilization rate and less secondary processing. Especially, the powder metallurgy applications in motorcycles has continued to grow.

Let me give you a detailed introduction:

  • Powder Metallurgy Parts in Motorcycles
  • Benefits of Powder Metallurgy Applications in Motorcycles

Powder Metallurgy Parts in Motorcycles

Motorcycle Shock Absorber Parts

If you want a smooth and comfortable ride, shock absorbers are essential. They absorb and dampen shocks and vibrations from the road.

2-Motorcycle Shock Absorber

Shock Absorber Pistons

The pistons move up and down in the shock absorber body, creating damping by passing oil pressure through small orifices or valves. PM can produce pistons with complex internal structures and high wear resistance to improve damping performance.

Powder metallurgy shock absorber pistons are mostly iron-based materials with a density of 6.5g/cm3 and hardness of 70-90HRB.

Shock Absorber Valves

Valves control the flow of hydraulic oil to provide damping.

Motorcycle Shock Absorber Valves and Pistons

Transmission System

Driven gear

Driven gears are common in transmission systems. They obtain power from the engine through the driving gear (or input gear) and further transmit it to other gears.

Since driven gears have high requirements for tooth profile accuracy, secondary processing is often necessary. Powder metallurgy process can produce near net shape gears and reduce subsequent processing.

Powder metallurgy driven gears have the characteristics of good wear resistance and low noise.

However, during heat treatment and sintering process, the tooth profile and tooth direction will also produce certain deformation. Therefore, more attention should be paid to improving mold accuracy and reducing deformation.

Shift Drum Segments

It is integrated with the transmission for smooth shifting and helps in moving the shift fork to engage different gears.

Engine Components

Motorcycle Valve Guide

Valve guide is a cylindrical component inside the engine cylinder head. It facilitates in proper alignment of the valve stem and thus smooth operation of the valve.

Some motorcycles you may know, such as the Honda CG125 and CD70, use powder metallurgy valve guides.

Besides, the valve guide contributes to transferring heat from the valve stem and reducing its wear.

Powder Metal Valve Guide for Motocycle

Motorbike Camshaft Governor

The motorcycle camshaft governor regulates the engine speed by controlling the camshaft. Therefore, it keeps the engine running within a safe speed range.

Sintered camshaft governor has such pros:

  • High precision (±0.02mm)
  • Hardness: HRA65-75
  • Good wear resistance
  • Low noise
  • Good smoothness and low price.

Oil Pump Rotors

You might already know the oil pump rotor, which is essential in the oil pump system of a motorcycle engine.

It circulates oil throughout the engine so that all moving parts are properly lubricated, reducing friction and preventing overheating.

Motocycle Oil Pump Rotors

Motorcycle Cutch Friction Plate

What are friction plates? These are designed to transmit power from the engine to the transmission by engaging and disengaging the clutch.

Clutch friction plates are typically made from composite materials with high friction properties to withstand high temperatures and wear. The image below shows the sintered clutch friction plate for a KTM 50 SX.

Motorcycle Clutch Friction Plate

Motorbike Timing Pulley

This component is applied in the timing system of motorcycle engines to synchronize the rotation of the camshaft and crankshaft.

Motorcycle Camshaft Sprocket

The camshaft sprocket is connected to the crankshaft via a timing chain or belt. By rotating the camshaft and crankshaft together, the opening and closing of the intake and exhaust valves are controlled.

Sintered Motorcycle Sprocket

Motorcycle sprocket is a gear that meshes with a chain or belt to transfer the engine’s power to the motorcycle’s rear wheel. It can adjust the speed and torque of the wheel.

Sprockets are divided into front and rear sprockets. Manufacturers usually employed iron or iron alloy to make Sprocket, with a density of about 6-7.2/cm3.

Sintered Motorcycle Sprocket

Sintered Brake Pads Motorcycle

As we all know, safe motorcycling is closely related to the braking system, and brake pads are one of the considerable factors.

Motorcycle brake pads convert kinetic energy into heat through friction to slow down or stop the speed of the motorcycle. Sintered brake pads have the following advantages:

  • High Durability

Sintered brake pads are extremely wear-resistant, making them ideal for high-performance motorcycles and heavy-duty.

  • Good Heat Dissipation

They can withstand higher temperatures than organic or semi-metallic brake pads, reducing the risk of brake failure during heavy braking.

  • Excellent Stopping Power

Sintered brake pads exhibit excellent braking performance in a variety of conditions, including wet and dry environments.

Sintered Brake Pads Motorcycle

Intake and exhaust valve seats

The intake and exhaust valve seats work in a high temperature environment, with the temperature reaching about 500°C. You can solve this problem by producing high-temperature alloy materials through powder metallurgy.

Clutch drive wheel bushing

A motorcycle clutch drive wheel bushing is a component in a motorcycle clutch system. It helps promote smooth operation and engagement of the clutch by reducing friction and wear between moving parts.

Benefits of Powder Metallurgy Applications in Motorcycles

Here are some pros of powder metallurgy applications in motocycles.

Cost-effectiveness

PM can produce producr close to their final shape, with high mass production efficiency, effectively reducing motorcycle production costs.

High Precision

The precision of sintered motorcycle parts generally reaches IT 8-9. After the sizing process, the precision of the sintered parts is further improved, potentially increasing to IT 5-7.

Green Technology

Powder metal parts have very little material waste, and waste products can be recycled for secondary use. In addition, there is no need to melt metal during sintering process, so less energy is consumed.

Self-lubrication

Powder metal components have many gaps inside. By immersing oil into the product through impregnation process, a good self-lubricating effect can be achieved. This eliminates the need for subsequent lubrication and increases the service life of product.

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