Powdered metal technology isn’t new, just new to automotive engine applications. The first powdered metal products appeared in the 1930s. Automotive use didn’t start until around 1980 when powdered metal valve seats first appeared on some import engines.
The use of powdered metal has increased since OBD-II standards were implemented in
the mid-1990s. With the most recent round of tighter emission standards that will begin in 2002, expect even greater use of powdered metal in engines of the 21st century.
At the rebuilder level, powdered metal components require new procedures, and possibly new equipment. Dealing with powdered metal is more different than difficult, but getting a handle on the differences can be frustrating.
Until more information is readily available, learning how to work with powdered metal will be a do-it-yourself project for most rebuilders.
Article by: Norm Brandes