Delphi, D.O.E., and ORNL Successfully Implement New Energy Saving Heat-Treat Furnace Technology

Apr 30, 2001, 01:00 ET from Delphi Automotive Systems

    TROY, Mich., April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Delphi Automotive Systems
 (NYSE:   DPH) and the Department of Energy (D.O.E.) celebrate today the
 successful implementation of nickel aluminide heat-treat fixtures developed
 jointly under a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA).  Use
 of nickel aluminide fixtures instead of traditional steel fixtures at Delphi
 has extended the fixture life by more than two times, dramatically enhancing
 manufacturing productivity.
     (Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20001019/DELPHIAS )
     The development enables a more reliable, energy-efficient manufacturing
 process for Delphi and other U.S. manufacturers who have similar needs,
 thereby helping D.O.E. to meet its goals of improving energy efficiency,
 decreasing industrial process waste and improving worldwide competitiveness.
     The D.O.E.'s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) researchers invented the
 nickel aluminide alloy in an effort to develop heat resistant materials
 leading to more energy efficient processes.  The alloy has a highly ordered
 structure, which contributes to an unusual property where the alloy gets
 stronger as it is heated to around 900 degrees centigrade.  The next step was
 to develop a specific commercial application for this material.
     "Delphi is one of the largest producers of heat-treated products in the
 world, so it was of great interest to us to develop the nickel alloy further
 in partnership with D.O.E. and ORNL," stated Paul J. Tosch, president of
 Delphi Saginaw Steering Systems and vice president of Delphi Automotive
 Systems.  "The benefits to be realized for Delphi and other industries are
 significant and worthy of the investment."
     Delphi engineers worked with ORNL to apply the material in Delphi's heat
 treat facilities, replacing steel rack assemblies that over time were less
 tolerant of high heat and resulted in production delays.  The assemblies hold
 automotive parts to be heat-treated and consist of trays, support posts, and
 fixtures.  Together, Delphi and ORNL developed a nickel aluminide fixture
 casting process, modified the alloy to optimize its manufacturability and
 performance under typical heat-treating furnace operating conditions, and
 tested and evaluated prototype parts.
     "We are pleased to have worked with Delphi, leveraging the strengths of
 industry and government, to develop this technology for a win-win
 application," said Denise Swink, deputy assistant secretary for industrial
 technologies, D.O.E., Office of Industrial Technologies (OIT).  "The
 commercialization of nickel aluminide for heating trays and fixtures will
 clearly give the United States global leadership with now-proven, advanced
 materials for these types of applications."
     The typical life of a steel tray used today approaches 12-15 months.
 Using nickel aluminide trays and fixtures significantly lengthens the life of
 the product.  Delphi tested six trays in batch furnaces and 65 trays in pusher
 furnaces in January 1998.  The trays are still in use today, thirty-nine
 months later, with no failures.  The component life has been extended by more
 than two times the life of the steel tray.
     "The implementation of nickel aluminide into the heat-treating furnace has
 large potential for energy savings through enhanced component life, a major
 objective of D.O.E.-supported research," stated Swink.
     For more information about Delphi Automotive Systems, visit Delphi's
 Virtual Press Room at www.delphiauto.com/vpr .
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X10186447
 
 

SOURCE Delphi Automotive Systems
    TROY, Mich., April 30 /PRNewswire/ -- Delphi Automotive Systems
 (NYSE:   DPH) and the Department of Energy (D.O.E.) celebrate today the
 successful implementation of nickel aluminide heat-treat fixtures developed
 jointly under a cooperative research and development agreement (CRADA).  Use
 of nickel aluminide fixtures instead of traditional steel fixtures at Delphi
 has extended the fixture life by more than two times, dramatically enhancing
 manufacturing productivity.
     (Photo:  http://www.newscom.com/cgi-bin/prnh/20001019/DELPHIAS )
     The development enables a more reliable, energy-efficient manufacturing
 process for Delphi and other U.S. manufacturers who have similar needs,
 thereby helping D.O.E. to meet its goals of improving energy efficiency,
 decreasing industrial process waste and improving worldwide competitiveness.
     The D.O.E.'s Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) researchers invented the
 nickel aluminide alloy in an effort to develop heat resistant materials
 leading to more energy efficient processes.  The alloy has a highly ordered
 structure, which contributes to an unusual property where the alloy gets
 stronger as it is heated to around 900 degrees centigrade.  The next step was
 to develop a specific commercial application for this material.
     "Delphi is one of the largest producers of heat-treated products in the
 world, so it was of great interest to us to develop the nickel alloy further
 in partnership with D.O.E. and ORNL," stated Paul J. Tosch, president of
 Delphi Saginaw Steering Systems and vice president of Delphi Automotive
 Systems.  "The benefits to be realized for Delphi and other industries are
 significant and worthy of the investment."
     Delphi engineers worked with ORNL to apply the material in Delphi's heat
 treat facilities, replacing steel rack assemblies that over time were less
 tolerant of high heat and resulted in production delays.  The assemblies hold
 automotive parts to be heat-treated and consist of trays, support posts, and
 fixtures.  Together, Delphi and ORNL developed a nickel aluminide fixture
 casting process, modified the alloy to optimize its manufacturability and
 performance under typical heat-treating furnace operating conditions, and
 tested and evaluated prototype parts.
     "We are pleased to have worked with Delphi, leveraging the strengths of
 industry and government, to develop this technology for a win-win
 application," said Denise Swink, deputy assistant secretary for industrial
 technologies, D.O.E., Office of Industrial Technologies (OIT).  "The
 commercialization of nickel aluminide for heating trays and fixtures will
 clearly give the United States global leadership with now-proven, advanced
 materials for these types of applications."
     The typical life of a steel tray used today approaches 12-15 months.
 Using nickel aluminide trays and fixtures significantly lengthens the life of
 the product.  Delphi tested six trays in batch furnaces and 65 trays in pusher
 furnaces in January 1998.  The trays are still in use today, thirty-nine
 months later, with no failures.  The component life has been extended by more
 than two times the life of the steel tray.
     "The implementation of nickel aluminide into the heat-treating furnace has
 large potential for energy savings through enhanced component life, a major
 objective of D.O.E.-supported research," stated Swink.
     For more information about Delphi Automotive Systems, visit Delphi's
 Virtual Press Room at www.delphiauto.com/vpr .
 
                     MAKE YOUR OPINION COUNT -  Click Here
                http://tbutton.prnewswire.com/prn/11690X10186447
 
 SOURCE  Delphi Automotive Systems

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