Carbon and Sulfur Effects on Performance of Microalloyed Spindle Forgings 930966
Five heats of vanadium-microalloyed steel with carbon contents from 0.29% to 0.40% and sulfur contents from 0.031% to 0.110% were forged into automotive spindles and air cooled. Three of the steels were continuously cast whereas the other two were ingot cast. The forged spindles were subjected to microstructural analysis, mechanical property testing, full component testing and machinability testing. The microstructures of the five steels consisted of pearlite and ferrite which nucleated on prior austenite grain boundaries and predominantly on intragranularly dispersed sulfide inclusions of the resulfurized grades. Ultimate tensile strengths and room temperature Charpy V-notch impact toughness values were relatively insensitive to processing and compositional variations. The room temperature tensile and room-temperature impact properties ranged from 820 MPa to 1000 MPa (120 to 145 ksi) and from 13 Joules to 19 Joules (10 to 14 ft-lbs), respectively, for the various steels. The best ductile to brittle transition temperatures were associated with the steels containing the higher sulfur contents. None of the steel specimens failed when subjected to bending fatigue at stresses below the yield strength of the materials. All of the component and vehicle testing met or exceeded requirements with the higher sulfur steels exhibiting more desirable crack propagation characteristics. The sulfur containing steels had better machining characteristics which were less sensitive to the carbon content levels.