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Technical Paper

Austempering Process for Carburized Low Alloy Steels

There is a continual need to apply heat treatment processes in innovative ways to optimize material performance. One such application studied in this research is carburizing followed by austempering of low carbon alloy steels, AISI 8620, AISI 8822 and AISI 4320, to produce components with high strength and toughness. This heat treatment process was applied in two steps; first, carburization of the surface of the parts, second, the samples were quenched from austenitic temperature at a rate fast enough to avoid the formation of ferrite or pearlite and then held at a temperature just above the martensite starting temperature to partially or fully form bainite. Any austenite which was not transformed during austempering, upon further cooling formed martensite or was present as retained austenite.
Journal Article

Comparison of Austempering and Quench-and-Tempering Processes for Carburized Automotive Steels

Carburized parts often see use in powertrain components for the automotive industry. These parts are commonly quenched and tempered after the carburizing process. The present study compared the austempering heat treatment to the traditional quench-and-temper process for carburized parts. Samples were produced from SAE 8620, 4320, and 8822 steels and heat treated across a range of conditions for austempering and for quench-and-tempering. Distortion was examined through the use of Navy C-Ring samples. Microstructure, hardness, and Charpy toughness were also examined. X-ray diffraction was used to compare the residual stress found in the case of the components after the quench-and-temper and the austempering heat treatments. Austempering samples showed less distortion and higher compressive residual stresses, while maintaining comparable hardness values in both case and core. Toughness measurements were also comparable between both processes.
Journal Article

Development of Corrosion Testing Protocols for Magnesium Alloys and Magnesium-Intensive Subassemblies

Corrosion tendency is one of the major inhibitors for increased use of magnesium alloys in automotive structural applications. Moreover, systematic or standardized methods for evaluation of both general and galvanic corrosion of magnesium alloys, either as individual components or eventually as entire subassemblies, remains elusive, and receives little attention from professional and standardization bodies. This work reports outcomes from an effort underway within the U.S. Automotive Materials Partnership - ‘USAMP’ (Chrysler, Ford and GM) directed toward enabling technologies and knowledge base for the design and fabrication of magnesium-intensive subassemblies intended for automotive “front end” applications. In particular, subassemblies consisting of three different grades of magnesium (die cast, sheet and extrusion) and receiving a typical corrosion protective coating were subjected to cyclic corrosion tests as employed by each OEM in the consortium.
Journal Article

Fatigue Life Predictions under General Multiaxial Loading Based on Simple Material Properties

A procedure for fatigue life estimation of components and structures under variable amplitude multiaxial loadings based on simple and commonly available material properties is presented. Different aspects of the analysis consisting of load cycle counting method, plasticity model, fatigue damage parameter, and cumulative damage rule are presented. The only needed material properties for the proposed procedure are hardness and monotonic and axial cyclic deformation properties (HB, K, n, K′ and n′). Rainflow cycle counting method is used for identifying number of cycles. Non-proportional cyclic hardening is estimated from monotonic and axial cyclic deformation behaviors. A critical plane approach is used to quantify fatigue damage under variable amplitude multiaxial loading, where only material hardness is used to estimate the fatigue curve, and where the needed deformation response is estimated based on Tanaka's non-proportionality parameter.