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Old 01-22-2003, 03:44 PM
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Post powdered metal rods.....

What is the deal with the powdered metal rods, are they really stonger than the standard forged rods???? Or are they just another way for the auto manufacturers to cut production costs on parts.

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Old 01-22-2003, 03:59 PM
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HEY ONE: I have one of my customers who manufacture powdered metal connecting rods. They are dimensional stable right out of the sinteristing furnance and require very little secondary machine time. The grafic powder that they use is like talcum, very fine which gives a dense, even strength part. Cheaper casting can have porosity which has uneven strength. The make over a million a year, mostly for Ford.
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Old 01-22-2003, 04:13 PM
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Ok then they are definately stronger than a standard cast unit, but are they stronger than a standard forged unit? I notice that they are replacing or have already replaced the standard forged rods, so cost must have something to do with it. Doesn't Chevy use the powdered metal rods too?
BTW what is the weight difference between a standard forged rod and a powdered metal rod?
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Old 01-22-2003, 06:02 PM
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the powdered rod is very strong, they are using them in I.M.S.A. cars, they are light, dense, tough,very little work is needed to prep them, just replace the bolts and size them.
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Old 01-23-2003, 03:00 AM
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I don't believe they are stronger, they are easier and cheaper to manufacture since the caps are snapped to get two parts, saves an extra machining step. The fact that when all those Ford Mod motors are built they go to a aftermarket forged rod says a lot. Most rods are forged not cast, I think that Pontiac was the last big company to use cast rods so don't think in terms of sintered vs. cast think of them vs. forged.
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Old 01-23-2003, 01:20 PM
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powdered rods are made by a process called sinter-forgeing the rod is made like a powderen metal part but in a vacum oven, the cap is made in the same pressing but has a joining line about a milimeter wide, when the part is first pressed and then sintered (baked) the part is just like any sintered part, a little brittle due to the small porosities between the powder grains, but when the white hot rod is removed from the oven a thin layer of iron oxide forms on the surface and the rod is now forged to its final shape, Thus yielding a rod that is every bit as strong as a forged unit, it is actually a little supperior in strength due the grain uniformity. But back to the ironoxide, this also forms in the joining line, and when the rod is forged the ironoxide acts as a crack in the rod makeing it possible to break the cap off in a brittle break and thus yielding a rod with perfect cap allignment.

to put it in plain, YES powdered rods are everybit as strong as forged ones (they are them selves forged), and as an added bennefit they weigh exactly the same and requires no ballancing, which is the real reason the rods are supperior. the initial tooling and equipment cost is however very high, and therefor we propably wont see aftermarket manufactures produceing powdered rods anytime soon.
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Old 01-23-2003, 02:34 PM
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[quote]Originally posted by deuce_454:
<strong>
to put it in plain, YES powdered rods are everybit as strong as forged ones (they are them selves forged).</strong><hr></blockquote>

Okay then, why have the rods in my 2.0L Pinto
engine held together at whacko RPM levels (like
9500rpm) and one of the rods in my Contour SVT
2.5L V6, taken out the block at 4000rpm?? Now
there's an ugly sound...
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Old 01-23-2003, 03:07 PM
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GM uses the powered rod in the 383 crate motors, heres their write-up.
This small-block connecting rod is used in our 383 ci crate engines. This steel PM connecting rod is 5.7" long from the center of the crankshaft hole to the center of the piston pin hole. The rod is machined to clear the camshaft in most small-block stroked type engines. This connecting rod was tested for 45 hours in a 550 HP engine assembly at 6,000 rpm.
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Old 01-23-2003, 03:20 PM
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Canzus sometimes **** holds together and sometimes it don't... seems it don't when you want it to stay together and you aren't even pushing it....

WHy does this happen you ask???

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Old 01-24-2003, 02:35 PM
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I don't think the process as I understand it or the way it has been described here qualifies as Forged, perhaps the Forging process should be looked at to before describing powdered rods (or any parts, the Jap bikes have used these for a decade or more)as such. Sean Hyland motorsports, that builds 600hp mod motor Fords replaces the powdered rods in all his motors, seems kind of a waste if they are that strong. A stock Forged 302 rod with 5/16 bolts and heavier pistons can take a lot more abuse than some of those motors can with stock rods.
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Old 01-24-2003, 02:48 PM
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The Powder Metal Process
How Powder Metal Parts are Made

The three basic steps for producing conventional density parts by the powder metallurgy process are mixing, compacting, and sintering. A brief explanation of each step follows:

Step One: Mixing
Elemental or prealloyed metal powders are first mixed with lubricants or other alloy additions to produce a homogeneous mixture of ingredients.

The initial mixing may be done by either the metal powder producer or the powder metal parts manufacturer.

Step Two: Compacting

A controlled amount of mixed powder is automatically gravity-fed into a precision die and is compacted, usually at room temperature. Normally, compacting pressures in the range of 30 to 50 tons per square inch are used.

Compacting the loose powder produces a "green compact" which, with conventional pressing techniques, has the size and shape of the finished part when ejected from the die, and sufficient strength for in-process handling and transport to a sintering furnace. Typical compacting techniques use rigid dies set into special mechanical or hydraulic presses.

Step Three: Sintering

In the typical sintering step, the green compact is placed on a wide-mesh belt and slowly moved through a controlled atmosphere furnace. The parts are heated to below the melting point of the base metal, held at the sintering temperature, and then cooled.

Basically a solid state process, sintering transforms compacted mechanical bonds between the powder particles to metallurgical bonds. This provides the powder metal part's primary functional properties.

Powder metal parts generally are ready for use after sintering. However, to provide special properties, the parts can be repressed, impregnated, machined, tumbled, plated, or heat treated.



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Old 01-25-2003, 03:06 AM
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Check out this or other sites about the forging process and you'll see that powdered parts are more cast than forged;

<a href="http://www.keystoneforging.com/forging.htm" target="_blank">http://www.keystoneforging.com/forging.htm</a>

I have seen many fatigued powdered metal parts and you can see that they originate as fine metal powder, no grain structure whatsoever which is what gives a forged part it's strength. The lack of impacting the powdered stuff when it is near molten denies it the density that is part of a forgings integrity.
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Old 01-25-2003, 05:55 AM
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Powder metal rods are suppose to be stronger than OEM forged rods; ie stock rods when talking chevy. I agree with woodx428 that it is doubtable that they are any stronger than factory forgings do to the grain structure. They are essentially a cast part. The big advantage is that they are evenly weighted and do not require as much balancing.

They are not even in the same league with aftermarket forged rods. That is due to the metallurgic properties of the material used. Just wanted to make sure that is what you are refering to.

Chris
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Old 01-25-2003, 06:29 AM
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I agree with TurboS10, to provide special properties, the parts can be repressed, impregnated, machined, tumbled, plated, or heat treated in which GM does to strengthen the rods.
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Old 01-25-2003, 07:21 AM
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The main reason why powder metallurgy rods are superior is the weak link in the chain theory of engine construction, forged rods are all over the place as far as construction and shape are concerned. Powder rods are all the same no matter which rod you pull out of the barrel.

Of course this lets them make them lighter and more uniform. There is another property of powder metallurgy the manufacturers don't talk about much;

Impact toughness and notch sensitivity, as far as rods go they fall far behind in comparison to a common forged rod in these respects. Is it important? Sure if you are running nitromethane or lots of boost, definetly not recommended for racing because of this limitation (in stock configuration). Racing powder rods have a slightly different composition that includes stainless as the diffuser rather than copper (which in powder form is brittle), this lets them yield a little more and handle peak pressure loading better. Of course powder metallurgy is still in it's infancy, who knows what they will accomplish in a few years.

I believe Canzus had a rod with a slight irregularity or even a nick in it's skin, powder parts are very sensitive to notching and do not tolerate material imperfections like a forged rod would. Steel used to forge rods ends up in a sense like a person, able to heal itself and realign it's grain structure if brought close to yield load levels, powder rods just suddenly break...there is no yield curve, just brittle fracture.

Actually, this is exactly what you want in a mass produced rod for passenger engines.
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