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Technical Paper

Investigation of S-N Test Data Scatter of Carburized 4320 Steel

A series of bending fatigue tests were conducted and S-N data were obtained for two groups of 4320 steel samples: (1) carburized, quenched and tempered, (2) carburized, quenched, tempered and shot peened. Shot peening improved the fatigue life and endurance limit. The S-N data exhibited large scatter, especially for carburized samples and at the high cycle life regime. Sample characterization work was performed and scatter bands were established for residual stress distributions, in addition to fracture and fatigue properties for 4320 steel. Moreover, a fatigue life analysis was performed using fracture mechanics and strain life fatigue theories. Scatter in S-N curves was established computationally by using the lower bound and upper bound in materials properties, residual stress and IGO depth in the input data. The results for fatigue life analysis, using either computational fracture mechanics or strain life theory, agreed reasonably well with the test data.
Technical Paper

Mechanical Properties of Gear Steels and Other Perspective Light Weight Materials for Gear Applications

To improve fuel economy and possibly reduce product cost, light weight and high power density has been a development goal for commercial vehicle axle components. Light weight materials, such as aluminum alloys and polymer materials, as well as polymer matrix composite materials have been applied in various automotive components. However it is still a huge challenge to apply light weight materials in components which are subject to heavy load and thus have high stresses, such as gears for commercial vehicle axles or transmissions. To understand and illustrate this challenge, in this paper we will report and review the current state of art of carburized gear steels properties and performance.
Technical Paper

Investigation of the Effect of Sample Size on Fatigue Endurance Limit of a Carburized Steel

Prediction of fatigue performance of large structures and components is generally done through the use of a fatigue analysis software, FEA stress/strain analysis, load spectra, and materials properties generated from laboratory tests with small specimens. Prior experience and test data has shown that a specimen size effect exists, i.e. the fatigue strength or endurance limit of large members is lower than that of small specimens made of same material. Obviously, the size effect is an important issue in fatigue design of large components. However a precise experimental study of the size effect is very difficult for several reasons. It is difficult to prepare geometrically similar specimens with increased volume which have the same microstructures and residual stress distributions throughout the entire material volume to be tested. Fatigue testing of large samples can also be a problem due to the limitation of load capacity of the test systems available.
Technical Paper

Cyclic Deformation, Fatigue and Fracture Toughness of a Nano-Composite High Strength Steel

A nano-composite high strength (NCHS) steel was tested and evaluated in this work. Monotonic tension, strain controlled fatigue and fracture toughness tests were conducted at ambient temperature. Chemical composition, microstructure and fractography analysis were also performed. The NCHS steel showed excellent combination of high strength, high ductility and high fracture toughness with relatively low alloy content, compared with a S7 tool steel. Fatigue performance of the NCHS steel was also better than that of S7 tool steel. With the exceptional combination of high strength and high fracture toughness, the nano-composite high strength steel may have potential applications in gears, shafts, tools and dies where high fatigue performance, shock load resistance, wear and corrosion resistance is required.
Technical Paper

Microwave Plasma Carburization of Steel Alloys at Atmospheric Pressure

Microwave plasmas at atmospheric pressures can be utilized for carburization of steel alloys. Due to their high frequencies, microwaves ionize and dissociate molecules with great efficiency and provide carbon for carburization by dissociating hydrocarbons that are introduced in the plasma. Also, conventional carburization techniques are not very energy efficient, as much of the heat generated is not utilized for the heating of the parts. Microwave plasmas are highly energy efficient due to very high coupling of microwaves to the plasma and then transferring of heat to the parts. Since plasma surrounds the part uniformly, heating rates over the part surface are also uniform. Preliminary results are presented for carburization of steel alloy 8620H by atmospheric microwave plasma process using acetylene as the source gas. Possible effects of application of pulsed DC bias to the parts are also discussed.
Technical Paper

Atmospheric Pressure Microwave Plasma P/M Sintering of Cam Lobes

A new proprietary Atmospheric Pressure Microwave Plasma Technology, developed for various materials processing applications, has been applied to P/M sintering of cam lobes. The aims were a) to compare the new processing route with conventional process for the same alloy composition and b) to check the possibility of successful sintering at higher temperatures so that different higher temperature P/M alloys may be used. P/M green cam lobes were used, and sintering runs were carried out initially at temperatures comparable to that currently used in the conventional processes; this was followed by runs at higher temperatures that are not very practical in the conventional processing route due to equipment component constraints. Properties such as density and hardness were measured for the sintered samples, together with corresponding microstructural analysis.
Technical Paper

Virtual Testing: Fatigue Life (S-N Curves) Simulations for Commercial Vehicle Axle Components

Current trends in vehicle development, including both automotive and commercial vehicles, are characterized by short model life cycles, reduced development time, concurrent design and manufacturing development, reduced design changes, and reduced total cost. All of these are driven by customer demand of higher load capacity, reduced weight, extended durability and warranty requirement, better NVH performance and reduced cost. These trends have resulted in increased usage of computational simulation tools in design, manufacturing, and testing, i.e. virtual testing or virtual prototyping. This paper summarizes our work in virtual testing, i.e. fatigue life simulations using computational fracture mechanics for commercial vehicle axle gearing development. First, fatigue life simulation results by using computational fracture mechanics CRACKS software were verified by comparing with gear teeth bending fatigue test data and three point bending fatigue test data.
Technical Paper

A Study of the Effect of Multiple Braze Furnace Exposures on 304L Stainless Steel Copper-Brazed Assemblies

The effect of multiple braze furnace exposures has been questioned by many because the rework of brazed parts is a common practice in manufacturing. However, there are process controls that limit the number of exposures for an assembly due to known issues with multiple exposures. A common concern deals with the effect of multiple braze furnace exposures on the structural integrity of the base material of the components. Another concern regards the effect of multiple exposures on the structural integrity of the braze joint itself. This paper details experimental results of a physical study to investigate these questions. The material forms used are seam-welded tube and a thin-wall stamped component, both made from 304L stainless steel. The copper paste used in the study has an industry designation of ANSI/AWS A5.8 - BCu-1a.
Technical Paper

A Study of Material Compatibility With Deionized Water

Deionized (DI) water is being used for humidification and cooling on some fuel cell designs. This highly purified water is corrosive, yet the high purity is required to maintain the function and durability of the fuel cell. A study of the deionized water system was undertaken to determine the effect of various materials on water quality, and also to determine the effect of deionized water on each material. The test setup was designed to circulate fluid from a reservoir, similar to an actual application. The fluid temperature, pressure, and flow rate were controlled. The resistivity of the water was observed and recorded. Pre- and post-testing of the water and the materials was performed. The goal is to achieve system cleanliness and durability similar to a stainless steel system using lighter, less expensive materials. This paper describes the test setup, test procedures, and the overall results for the eight materials tested.
Technical Paper

Monotonic Tension, Strain Controlled Fatigue and Fracture Toughness Properties of a Ductile Iron

The objective of this work is to test and develop monotonic tensile properties and strain controlled fatigue properties of a cast ductile iron. The test data and the related material constants will be used in conjunction with vehicle loading data to perform finite element stress-strain analysis and fatigue life prediction analysis to aid in the design of automotive components made from ductile iron. Currently, such material property data does not exist in the literature for this particular grade of ductile iron. Monotonic tension and fully reversed strain controlled fatigue tests were conducted by following ASTM E-8, ASTM E-606, and SAE J-1099 on samples machined from the cast ductile iron. Monotonic tensile properties were obtained, including Young's modulus, yield strength, ultimate tensile strength, elongation, reduction in area, strength coefficient K, and strain hardening exponent n.
Technical Paper

Bending Fatigue Life Analysis of Carburized Components Using Strain Life and Fracture Mechanics Approaches

Axle primary gearing is normally carburized for high and balanced resistance to contact fatigue, wear, bending fatigue, and impact loading. The focus of this work is on bending fatigue which is a key design consideration of automotive and commercial vehicle axle gearing. Since a carburized component is basically a composite material with steep gradients in carbon content, hardness, tensile strength and microstructure from surface to the middle of the cross section combined with non-linear residual stress, its bending fatigue life prediction is a complex and challenging task. Many factors affect the bending fatigue performance of axle gearing, such as gear design, gear manufacturing, loading history during service, residual stress distribution, steel grade, and heat treatment. In this paper, the general methodology for bending fatigue life prediction of a carburized component is investigated. Carburized steel composites are treated as two homogeneous materials: case and core.