Case Study: Gear-Race

Process: Conventional powder metallurgy

Tensile Strength: 60,000 psi

Density: 6.7 g/cm³

Yield Strength: 50,000 psi

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End Use and Function

The powder metallurgy (PM) steel gear-race is used in the OnTrac2 GPS-assisted steering system. The system positions agricultural planting and harvesting equipment to more accurately perform tillage, spraying, and spreading, as well as reducing skips and overlaps, thus reducing fuel consumption.


A 2012 Grand-Prize Winner in the Lawn & Garden/Off-Highway category


Molded to a density of 6.7 g/cm³, the part has an ultimate tensile strength of 60,000 psi, minimum yield strength of 50,000 psi, 125,000 psi transverse rupture strength, and 23,000 psi fatigue limit. The complex net-shape design features 112 gear teeth and 16 assembly holes.
The component is molded near-net shape, except for the tapping/threading of 14 assembly holes, turned relief under the gear teeth, and trimming of the ID and bevel.


  • 60% cost savings over the previous machining method of making the part.
  • Designing with powder metallurgy reduced the assembly part count from 24 to 6 parts.
  • Selecting PM also cut lead times and allowed for easier assembly and disassembly in the field.

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