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Improving on an Ancient Process, Modern Methods of Heat Treating Sintered Steel

Innovative Solution #10850


The use of Sinter Hardened Powder Metal to achieve a microstructure optimized for strength and improved dimensional tolerance.


Atlas Pressed Metals produces a complex gear for use in an automotive application, produced to AGMA level 7 quality standards.  This two level gear requires a heat-treated microstructure for strength and wear.  Heat treating a component that requires tight tolerances is a challenge for manufacturers. 


This gear requires a heat treat operation to optimize the microstructure for strength, surface hardness, and wear resistance, all while maintaining tight AGMA tolerances for the application.  The traditional oil quench process has a high potential for distortion.  A warped component would be unacceptable in this application. 


Atlas Pressed Metals Engineers put their experience and knowledge to work. With a deep understanding of materials and microstructures, the Atlas team selected a sinter hardened material that did not require an oil quench heat treatment to produce the gear.  The decision to sinter hardened this material in the furnace saved two time-consuming transports to and from a secondary heat treatment supplier as well as provided the required dimensional stability.

Since this sinter hardened gear is manufactured to a near net shape, this alternative to a secondary heat treatment provided a strong economic incentive as well. Over four million units have been used in this automotive application.

Interested in learning more about Sinter Hardened materials? Looking for the optimized microstructure to improve the performance of your components?  Or just interested in having a technical discussion with materials experts? Atlas Pressed Metals Engineers are ready for a new challenge. Call us today.

Learn More

Interested in reading more about heat treatments options in the Powdered Metal process? Click here to read “Powder Metallurgical Solution for a Complex Geometry Coupler Requiring High Dimensional Stability and Microstructure Uniformity through Heat Treatment” written by Dr. Craig Stringer, Andy Wright ad Pete Imbrogno of Atlas Pressed Metals. Dr. Stringer presented this paper at ASM International Heat Treat 2021 Conference in St. Louis on September 14-16th, 2021.

ASM International is the world’s largest association of material-centric engineers and scientists. ASM is dedicated to informing, educating, and connecting the materials community to solve problems and stimulate innovation around the world.

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contact information

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DuBois, PA 15801


Fax(814) 371-4182


After finding Atlas Pressed Metal on the internet and a site visit by our CEO, we were impressed with the Atlas plant, the team and the product. We used them for a powdered metal part for one of our customers and we have continued to use them for about 5 years. We are pleased with their expertise in making good suggestions and with their customer service.”

- John R., CNC Sales Manager | Machined Parts Manufacturer