Home | Markets X3 Served | Automotive




Heavy Trucks, Car / Light truck, Engine / Transmission, Drivetrain

Heavy trucks

The complexity of today’s heavy trucks is growing at an increasing pace. New environmental and efficiency requirements are driving advances throughout many components. X³ services and technical expertise advances with the industry, through changes in material utilisation as well as geographic.

Engine gears

Engine gears operate at high rotational speeds. Case hardening is used to harden the surface of the metal by infusing elements into the material’s surface, forming a thin layer of a harder alloy, to provide toughness, surface hardness for wear resistance and good fatigue strength.

Joint cross

The joint cross forms part of the universal joint used in the drive shaft of heavy trucks. Case hardening is used to harden the surface of the metal by infusing elements into the material’s surface, forming a thin layer of a harder alloy, to provide toughness, surface hardness for wear resistance and good fatigue strength.

Gear shift

The gear shift is connected to the transmission, allowing the driver to change gears, and therefore needs to operate safely and reliably. A thermochemical treatment for simultaneous improvement of corrosion resistance and wear properties through generating a nitride-oxide combination layer, which has very little effect on distortion and dimensional changes of components compared to higher temperature case hardening processes.


A splined shaft transmits rotation and torque to a mating piece. Induction hardening is a case hardening process carried out to enhance the mechanical properties in a localised area of a ferrous component, such as the end splines of a shaft. It increases wear resistance, surface hardness and fatigue life through creation of a hardened surface layer while maintaining an unaffected core microstructure.

Car / Light truck

The automotive industry faces numerous challenges, ranging from consumer driven price and reliability expectations to enhanced environmental and efficiency requirements. X³ continues to refine existing thermal processes and pioneers new processes to serve this rapidly changing industry.

Brake systems

When it comes to critical systems on any vehicle, probably the most important is the braking system. Failure of any component would have serious implications and so material and processing requirements must be strictly adhered to. Brake system components can suffer deterioration from the brake hydraulic fluid, unless suitably protected. Typical treated parts include:

  • Brake web
  • Calliper piston
  • Various stampings

The X3 Innovations process is ideal for components requiring resistance to wear and corrosion. Other processes used in the braking system are induction hardening, nitriding and other case hardening techniques.

Chassis and suspension

The chassis, suspension and steering components need to be tough with good wear resistance and also good resistance to corrosion due to being exposed to water and other road surface fluids. In addition, as with many auto components, cost has to be minimised wherever possible for competitive reasons.

X3 Innovations' cadre of heat treatment processes include special treatments which permit less expensive steels to be utilised whilst maintaining the required operational properties. Typical processes include induction hardening, ferritic nitrocarburising and continuous furnace quench and tempering. Typical treated parts include:

  • Ball studs
  • Torsion bars
  • Arm lever
  • Seating
  • Pins
  • Fasteners
  • Stampings

Engine / Transmission

The engine/transmission of a car is comprised of safety critical, fast moving parts which require various properties such as toughness, surface hardness for wear resistance and good fatigue strength, whilst operating in high heat and corrosive environments.

X3 Innovations' various heat treatment processes modify and/or enhance component material properties so these vital parts can continue to operate safely and reliably.

Typical processes utilised in the powertrain are induction hardening, low pressure carburising, ferritic nitrocarburising, carbonitriding and gas carburising. Process selection depends on the type of steel, required properties, surface finish and dimensional tolerances. Typical treated parts include:

  • Shafts
  • Hubs
  • Support arms
  • Pinions
  • Gears
  • Parking pawl
  • Pistons
  • Valves
  • Retainers


Drivetrain components are subjected to high operational loads and can be exposed to extreme environments. The manufacturer’s choice of material combined with X3 Innovations' various processes ensure that every component in the drivetrain operates to design specifications. Many parts are hardened to attain the required strength, whilst others are hardened in local areas prone to wear. Additional procedures can be carried out to provide resistance to corrosion.

Typical heat treatment processes used for drivetrain components are induction hardening, carburising, furnace hardening and ferritic nitrocarburising. Typical treated parts include:

  • Wheel Hubs
  • Differential Case
  • Differential pins
  • Axle shafts
  • Hub annulus
  • Pins
  • Gears
  • Friction plates
  • Gear carriers