According to a report in the trade daily, American Metal Market Metaldyne is making powder stainless steel parts for Visteon Corp., Dearborn, Mich., for use in exhaust systems it manufactures for Ford Motor Co. The parts are believed to be either flanges or hot-exhaust gas oxygen (HEGO) sensor bosses (mounting pieces), or both.
The trade paper also reports that starting next year, Metaldyne will make exhaust system modules complete with powder stainless flanges for use in Ford's new upscale midsize sedans and sports wagons: the Ford Five Hundred; Mercury Montego; and Ford Freestyle models. Flanges of that type are designed to provide leak-proof junctions between the tubular components of such systems.
Historically, exhaust system flanges have been specified as wrought components, made on presses, but a trend away from wrought units to powder metal commenced in the mid-1990s. Ford and General Motors Corp. have set the pace, using powder stainless flanges in more and more of their vehicles every year.
Metaldyne reportedly has designated its plant in St. Marys, Pa., as the site for making the powder stainless steel parts, and recently invested a significant amount of money to pave the way for the production work. Companies in North America produce stainless steel powders for parts manufacturers, including Hoeganaes Corp., Cinnaminson, N.J.; Ametek Inc., Eighty Four, Pa.; and North American Hoganas Inc., Hollsopple, Pa.