A Comparative Study of Fatigue Behavior and Life Predictions of Forged Steel and PM Connecting Rods 2004-01-1529
This study investigates and compares fatigue behavior of forged steel and powder metal connecting rods. The experiments included strain-controlled specimen testing, with specimens obtained from the connecting rods, as well as load-controlled connecting rod bench testing. Monotonic and cyclic deformation behaviors, as well as strain-controlled fatigue properties of the two materials are evaluated and compared. Experimental S-N curves of the two connecting rods from the bench tests obtained under R = -1.25 constant amplitude loading conditions are also evaluated and compared. Fatigue properties obtained from specimen testing are then used in life predictions of the connecting rods, using the S-N approach. The predicted lives are compared with bench test results and include the effects of stress concentration, surface finish, and mean stress. The stress concentration factors were obtained from FEA, and the modified Goodman equation was used to account for the mean stress effect. Fractography of the connecting fracture surfaces were also conducted to investigate the failure mechanisms. A discussion of manufacturing cost comparison and recent developments in “crackable” forged steel connecting rods are also included.