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Technical Paper

Local Mechanical Property Variations of AZ31B Magnesium Sheet due to Elevated Temperature Forming

The influence of elevated temperature forming on local mechanical properties of AZ31B magnesium (Mg) sheet material was investigated. The Mg sheet was formed into a closure component with high temperature gas pressure at 485°C. Miniature tensile testing specimens were cut from selected areas of the component where different levels of thinning occurred. The specimens were strained in tension to fracture using a miniature tensile stage. The two-dimensional strain distribution in the necking region along with true stress-true strain curves were computed using a digital image correlation technique to assess the influence of the forming-induced thinning on tensile strength and percent elongation at fracture.
Technical Paper

Expanding the Application of Magnesium Components in the Automotive Industry: A Strategic Vision

There is an increasing global realization about the need for fuel efficient vehicles. An inexpensive way to accomplish this is through mass reduction, and one of the most effective ways that this can occur is through substituting current materials with magnesium, the lightest structural metal. This document describes the results of a U.S. Automotive Materials Partnership (USAMP) sponsored study [1] that examines why magnesium use has only grown 10% per year and identifies how to promote more widespread commercial applications beyond the 5-6 kg of component currently in vehicles. The issues and concerns which have limited magnesium use are discussed via a series of research and development themes. These address concerns associated with corrosion, fastening, and minimal metalworking/non-traditional casting processing. The automotive and magnesium supplier industries have only a limited ability to develop implementation-ready magnesium components.
Technical Paper

Bolt-load Retention Testing of Magnesium Alloys for Automotive Applications

For automotive applications at elevated temperatures, the need for sufficient creep resistance of Mg alloys is often associated with retaining appropriate percentages of initial clamp loads in bolt joints. This engineering property is often referred to as bolt-load retention (BLR); BLR testing is a practical method to quantify the bolt load with time for engineering purposes. Therefore, standard BLR test procedures for automotive applications are desired. This report summarizes the effort in the Structural Cast Magnesium Development (SCMD) project under the United States Automotive Materials Partnership (USAMP), to provide a technical basis for recommending a general-purpose and a design-purpose BLR test procedures for BLR testing of Mg alloys for automotive applications. The summary includes results of factors influencing BLR and related test techniques from open literature, automotive industry and research carried out in this laboratory project.
Technical Paper

High Performance Vehicle Chassis Structure for NVH Reduction

The main objective of this paper was to determine if the vehicle performance can be maintained with a reduced mass cradle structure. Aluminum and magnesium cradles were compared with the baseline steel cradle. First, the steel chassis alone is analyzed with the refined finite element model and validated with experimental test data for the frequencies, normal modes, stiffnesses and the drive-point mobilities at various attachment mount/bushing locations. The superelement method in conjunction with the component mode synthesis (CMS) technique was used for each component of the vehicle such as Body-In-White, Instrument Panel, Steering Column Housing & Wheel, Seats, Cradles, CRFM, etc. After assemblage of all the superelements, analysis was carried out by changing the front and rear cradle gauges and the material properties. The drive-point mobility response was computed at various locations and the noise (sound pressure) level was calculated at the driver and passenger ears.
Technical Paper

The USAMP Magnesium Powertrain Cast Components Project

Over the past five years, the US Automotive Materials Partnership (USAMP) has brought together representatives from DaimlerChrysler, General Motors, Ford Motor Company and over 40 other participant companies from the Mg casting industry to create and test a low-cost, Mg-alloy engine that would achieve a 15 - 20 % Mg component weight savings with no compromise in performance or durability. The block, oil pan, and front cover were redesigned to take advantage of the properties of both high-pressure die cast (HPDC) and sand cast Mg creep- resistant alloys. This paper describes the alloy selection process and the casting and testing of these new Mg-variant components. This paper will also examine the lessons learned and implications of this pre-competitive technology for future applications.
Technical Paper

Magnesium Engine Cradle - The USCAR Structural Cast Magnesium Development Project

The Structural Cast Magnesium Development Project is a jointly sponsored effort by the US Department of Energy (DOE) and the US Council for Automotive Research (USCAR) Automotive Metals Division (AMD) to identify and resolve technical and manufacturing issues that limit the light weighting opportunities of applying large-scale structural cast magnesium automotive components. This project, which began in the end of year 2001, comprises General Motors, Ford, DaimlerChrysler and thirty-four other North America companies and organizations. The project has its overall objective set to determine the technical feasibility and practicality of producing and implementing a one-piece front engine cradle casting. This paper provides an overview of the project scopes and up-to-date accomplishments.
Technical Paper

Development of the 2006 Corvette Z06 Structural Cast Magnesium Crossmember

Since its very beginning in 1953, Corvette has been a pioneer in light weight material applications. The new 6th generation corvette high performance Z06 model required aggressive weight savings to achieve its performance and fuel economy targets. In addition to aluminum body structure and some carbon fiber components, the decision to use a magnesium front crossmember was identified to help achieve the targets. An overview of the Structural Cast Magnesium Development (SCMD) project will be presented which will provide information on key project tasks. Project focus was to develop the science and technical expertise to manufacture and validate large structural magnesium castings, which provide a weight reduction potential of 35 percent with respect to aluminum. The die cast magnesium cradle is being produced from a Mg-Al-RE alloy, designated AE44, for high temperature creep and strength performance as well as casting ductility requirements.
Technical Paper

Progress Toward a Magnesium-Intensive Engine: The USAMP Magnesium Powertrain Cast Components Project

The US Automotive Materials Partnership (USAMP) and the US Department of Energy launched the Magnesium Powertrain Cast Components Project in 2001 to determine the feasibility and desirability of producing a magnesium-intensive engine; a V6 engine with a magnesium block, bedplate, oil pan, and front cover. In 2003 the Project reached mid-point and accomplished a successful Decision Gate Review for entry into the second half (Phase II) of the Project. Three tasks, comprising Phase I were completed: (1) evaluation of the most promising low-cost, creep-resistant magnesium alloys, (2) design of the engine components using the properties of the optimized alloys and creation of cost model to assess the cost/benefit of the magnesium-intensive engine, and (3) identification and prioritization of scientific research areas deemed by the project team to be critical for the use of magnesium in powertrain applications.