Great New Materials Development at Xtrac

Following a sustained development activity, drawing on application design, testing and race experience, Xtrac has introduced a new gear steel suitable for high performance transmission applications. The steel is manufactured exclusively for Xtrac to our specification set by many years of experience and understanding the requirements of highly loaded gears used in the arduous environment of motorsport. Acknowledging the desire of our customers, to continually push the boundaries of design and performance, Xtrac embarked on a materials development programme in 2003. The brief was simply to evaluate existing materials and identify new improved candidate steels with the goal of introducing these into new advanced transmission designs. Steve Vanes, Xtrac's Chief Metallurgist says "This programme has been hugely successful. Corus have fulfilled all of our requirements, and following a prolonged testing and evaluation period, including both rig and 'in car' testing, we are now seeing smaller and lighter XM023 gears being used successfully on the track".

The new steel, which is available for racing in 2006, draws on extensive application experience gained with other materials, and moves further away from the more conventional nickel chromium molybdenum gear steels. Via the testing programme, the new material has been shown to exhibit both increased bend strength (~18%) and improved impact resistance (~8%), and temper resistance to 200°c. Furthermore, the resistance to both rolling contact and bending fatigue has been increased.

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