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Technical Paper

Formability of an Automotive Aluminum Alloy-AA5754 CC

We have studied the formability of continuous strip cast (CC) AA5754 aluminum alloy for automotive applications. Strip casting technology can considerably reduce material cost compared with conventional direct chill (DC) cast aluminum sheets. However, the CC material tends to exhibit much less post-localization deformation and lower fracture strains compared with DC sheets with similar Fe content, although both alloys show similar strains for the onset of localization. Bendability of the CC alloy is also found to be inferior. The inferior behavior (post-necking and bendability) of the CC alloy can be attributed to the higher incidence of stringer-type particle distributions in the alloy. The formability of the AA5754 alloy has also been studied using two dimensional microstructure-based finite element modeling. The microstructures are represented by grains and experimentally measured particle distributions.
Technical Paper

Formability Predictions of Hydroformed AKDQ Steel Tubes by Various Burst Criteria

The accurate prediction of burst of hydroformed tubes is a research area of considerable importance in order to evaluate a design before prototyping. This report applies the presently available criteria (forming limit diagram, stress-based forming limit diagram, extended stress based forming limit curve and the plastic strain criterion) to some of the benchmark examples carried out by the Auto/Steel partnership. It was found that the formability predictions are lowest if the plastic strain criterion is used and highest if either the stress-based criteria are used. Predicted and measured results were also compared.
Technical Paper

Elevated Temperature Forming of Sheet Magnesium Alloys

The use of sheet magnesium for automobile body applications is limited, in part, due to its low room temperature formability. Elevated temperature forming of magnesium sheet could enable the manufacture of automobile body closure and structural panels to meet vehicle mass targets. The effect of temperature in improving the formability of sheet magnesium has been known since the 1940's; however, automobile applications for sheet magnesium still have been very limited. The present work characterizes the elevated temperature mechanical behavior of commercially available magnesium sheet alloys at temperatures between 300°C and 500°C. The materials are then evaluated using both warm forming and superplastic forming technologies.
Technical Paper

Combining a Statistical Design of Experiments with Formability Simulations to Predict the Formability of Pockets in Sheet Metal Parts

The design of pockets on automotive sheet metal parts can significantly affect part formability. We have developed regression formulas for predicting the failure depth of a symmetric rectangular pocket as a function of the geometric parameters that define the pocket. The formulas were developed by statistically selecting combinations of geometric pocket parameters for formability analysis and using formability simulations to determine the pocket failure depth for each selected parameter combination. The regression formulas were tested by comparing their predictions with simulations for combinations of part parameters not used to develop the formulas.
Technical Paper

Development of Creep-Resistant Magnesium Alloys for Powertrain Applications: Part 1 of 2

A family of low-cost, creep-resistant magnesium alloys has been developed. These alloys, containing aluminum, calcium, and strontium are designated as “ACX” alloys. Developed for engine blocks and transmissions, the “ACX” alloys have at least 40% greater tensile and 25% greater compressive creep resistance than AE42, and corrosion resistance as good as AZ91D (GMPG 9540P/B corrosion test). These alloys are estimated to cost only slightly more than AZ91D and have as good castability. Creep data up to 200°C, tensile properties at room temperature and 175°C, corrosion results and microstructure analysis are presented and discussed. These alloys have the potential to enable the extension of the substantial weight reduction benefits of magnesium to powertrain components.
Technical Paper

Assessment of Human Responses to Non-Azide Air Bag Effluents

All air bag systems use a pyrotechnic combustion process for the generation of gases. In some systems, it is also used for the heating of stored gases to quickly inflate the air bag. As a by-product of the process, gases and particles are produced that enter the passenger compartment resulting in inhalation of these substances. We have previously shown that systems using sodium azide as the gas generant can initiate asthmatic attacks in susceptible individuals. To evaluate whether the effluents from new-generation, non-azide air bag systems also have the potential to produce adverse responses, we performed controlled exposures of mild to moderate asthmatics to the effluents from six of these air bag systems. Each volunteer asthmatic subject was pulmonary function tested (baseline), and then seated in the back seat of the test vehicle. The air bag system was deployed and the subjects remained in the vehicle for twenty minutes.
Technical Paper

Comparative Life Cycle Assessment of Plastic and Steel Vehicle Fuel Tanks

Federal standards that mandate improved fuel economy have resulted in the increased use of lightweight materials in automotive applications. However, the environmental burdens associated with a product extend well beyond the use phase. Life cycle assessment is the science of determining the environmental burdens associated with the entire life cycle of a given product from cradle-to-grave. This report documents the environmental burdens associated with every phase of the life cycle of two fuel tanks utilized in full-sized 1996 GM vans. These vans are manufactured in two configurations, one which utilizes a steel fuel tank, and the other a multi-layered plastic fuel tank consisting primarily of high density polyethylene (HDPE). This study was a collaborative effort between GM and the University of Michigan's National Pollution Prevention Center, which received funding from EPA's National Risk Management Research Laboratory.
Technical Paper

New Binder for Casting Cores: An Industrial Application to Safety Suspension Parts

A new core binder system (1) was used to produce foundry cores for casting hollow aluminum suspension parts by the low pressure, gravity flow, semi-permanent mold method. These and other prototype aluminum parts made using the system demonstrate that easy core removal from complex castings, core and sand recycling, and an improved environment in the core making facilities will increase productivity, improve product quality and reduce manufacturing costs.
Technical Paper

ACuZinc™ 5 Applications in the Auto Industry

ACuZinc™ 5, a GM-patented, high-performance ternary zinc-copper-aluminum alloy which is suitable for manufacturing net shape die castings, plays a vital role in the success of new automotive parts and systems. The new parts were designed to meet the auto industry's higher load and safety specifications. The superior mechanical properties of ACuZinc™ make it suitable for structural applications where commercial zinc die casting alloys have been found to be inadequate. From a business viewpoint, ACuZinc™ can help in penetrating new markets by competing for cast iron, powder metal and brass applications. ACuZinc is a registered GM trademark.
Technical Paper

A Diamond-Like Carbon Coating for Aluminum Alloy Piston/Bore Application

This paper examines the potential use of diamond-like carbon (DLC) on aluminum alloy pistons of internal combustion engines. Our approach is to apply a DLC coating on the piston running against an aluminum-390 bore thus eliminating the iron liners in a standard piston/bore system. Experimental data, using a pin-on-disk tribometer under unlubricated test conditions, indicate that the performance of the DLC coating against aluminum 390 exhibits superior friction resistance compared to aluminum-390 against cast iron; the latter material couple representing the materials currently being used in production for the piston/bore application. Moreover, by thermally cycling the DLC coatings we show that improved friction and wear properties can he maintained to temperatures as high as 400°C.
Technical Paper

Bench Test for Scuff Evaluation of Surface Modified Piston and Bore Materials

This paper describes a bench method to evaluate the frictional behavior, under scuffing conditions, of some test coupons of standard materials currently used in making cylinder bores and pistons. The usefulness of this method is in evaluating new materials and coatings that may enable the elimination of iron liners from engine blocks. While investigating the potential application of Plasma Source Ion Implantation (PSII) on engine piston/bore materials, we have systematically studied the scuffing related friction behavior of aluminum 390 alloy and cast iron. A pin-on-disk tribometer is used under dry sliding conditions. Testing parameters for simulating cold scuff in bench tests have been specified. This proposed test method offers a screening tool desirable for the development of PSII technology and may also be useful for the design of other new surface modification techniques.