GKN says that its planetary reaction carrier won the Grand Prize award in the automotive transmission category from the Metal Powder Industry Federation (MPIF). The carrier features the aluminum metal matrix composite (MMC) material and is reportedly the first series production carrier to use this technology.

This carrier was designed for General Motors' (GM) global front wheel Drive 9-speed automatic transmission. According to GKN, the aim was to reach a higher yield strength and fatigue limit at an elevated temperature. While standard aluminum materials were unable to reach these levels, aluminum MMC material was able to meet them in tests. By using aluminum MMCs over steel, the company was able to reduce the component weight by approximately 50%, enabling improvements in the transmission’s overall efficiency and performance.

The company next plans to use the MMC material is in oil pumps where it hopes to match the coefficient of thermal expansion (CTE) of aluminum housings.

This story is reprinted from material from GKN, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier.