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Surface Finishing of Automotive Components

Fuel efficiency, longer part life, component downsizing, and the transition to electric vehicles (EV’s) are all challenges and opportunities that exist in the Automotive industry.  Additionally, the Automotive industry has to execute its production at volumes that are far beyond the scale of most other industries while also maintaining very competitive price points.

Part Sizes and Production Scaling

REM’s ISF® Process is an isotropic superfinishing technology that is proven to significantly increase the efficiency, performance, and life of metal to metal contact power transfer components for a range of Automotive component applications.  For smaller components (~2-3″/50-75 mm in diameter or less), large processing lots and low process costs can be achieved, and when coupled with automated part handling (loading/unloading), this surface finishing/polishing process technology can effectively and efficiently be incorporated into high volume production lines.

Automotive Gear Ring Before ISF Process

Gear Ring Before ISF Process

For larger parts or components that demand a more single-piece flow, REM’s Rapid ISF® Process is capable of delivering all of the performance benefits of the ISF Process while reducing cycle times from, on average 1 – 4 hours to <10 minutes.  As a near single-piece flow/just-in-time (JIT) production system, the Rapid ISF Process and its associated equipment are well-suited to full production automation in both existing and new production lines.

Gear Ring After ISF Process

Automotive Gear Ring After ISF Process

Both the ISF Process and the Rapid ISF Process are proven to be effective in delivering low roughness surfaces while maintaining component geometry and contact pattern without increasing noise, harshness, or vibration (NVH) across all common gear design variants (spur, helical, and spiral bevel).  Additionally, these isotropic superfinishing technologies have been effectively applied to a wide range of non-gear applications including bearings and numerous other engine components.

The increases to component load carrying capacity/power density allowable that the ISF® Surface generates can allow design engineers to downsize components or increase power input to the gear system.  The improved surface roughness and unique surface texture generated by REM’s ISF® Technology can allow for further gear/engine optimization through reductions in lubricant viscosity due to the increased lambda ratio of mating ISF Surfaces.  Additionally, the unique texture of the ISF Surface offers increased resistance to scuffing offers additional margins of operating safety for components.

Common Automotive Applications for the ISF & Rapid ISF Processes:

  • Axles
  • Transmission Gears
  • Bearings
  • Springs
  • Camshafts
  • Cam Lobes
  • Shifter Lobes
  • Crankshafts
  • Rocker Arms
  • Tappets

Component Benefits for Automotive Applications:

  • Reduced Friction/Roughness
  • Increased Fuel Efficiency
  • Increased Resistance to Micropitting
  • Increased Resistance to Scuffing
  • Increased Pitting Resistance
  • Increased Resistance to Contact and Bending Fatigue
  • Increased Part Durability/Reduce Wear
  • Reduced Lubricant/System Operating Temperatures
  • Reduced Vibration and Noise
  • Increased Power Density Allowable/Component Load Carrying Capacity
  • Reduced Lubrication Requirements and Cost (anti-wear additives, etc.)
  • Increased Lubricant Lambda Ratio
  • Eliminated Break-in/Run-in Requirement
  • Reduced Metal Debris Generation

Production Benefits for Automotive Applications:

  • Potential to Eliminate Secondary Lapping Steps
  • Potential Reduce or Eliminate Honing
  • Potential to Eliminate Phosphating
  • Potential to Reduce Grinding Surface Finish Requirements
  • Potential to Reduce or Optimize Deburring and Chamfering Operations

Common Automotive Alloys REM can Assist with:

  • Carbon Steels (ex. SAE 8620, 9310, 4140, 4340, DIN 34CrNiMo6)
  • Aluminum Alloys
  • Bearing Steels (ex. AISI 52100/DIN 100Cr6)

Common Automotive Component Forming Methods the ISF Process can Improve:

  • Ground (Machined)
  • Milled
  • Turned
  • Pressed and Sintered
  • Honed
  • Lapped

Interested in learning more, ready to start a project, or have an application that you don’t see listed here?  Contact us today to see how we can help solve your surface finishing/polishing needs.

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