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Technical Paper

Trend of Bolts for Use in Automobiles and Development of Class 10.9 Low Carbon Boron Steel Bolt

There are strong demands for reduced production costs of ordinary bolts, of which a large number are used throughout automobiles. In addition, there are continued demands for higher performance and lower weight in automobiles. For this reason, there is an increasing trend to develop steel for high strength bolts or to adopt the plastic region tightening method. At present, the principal materials used in high strength bolts of class 10.9 are medium carbon alloy steel. When a low carbon boron steel bolt is used as a class 10.9 bolt under high stress, delayed fracture may occur, so that these cannot always be used for the body and chassis applications. The authors have developed a new low carbon boron steel with increased delayed fracture strength on the same order as that of JIS-SCM435 (equivalent to SAE4135) medium carbon alloy steel. Attention was focused principally on decreasing the amounts of phosphorus and sulfur in the steel.
Technical Paper

Development of Nitrocarburized High Strength Crankshaft Through Controlling Vanadium Carbonitride Precipitation by Normalizing

In addition to the requirements of high power output and compactness, further reduction of weight is being required for motorcycle engines from the standpoint of fuel economy and reduction of CO2 emissions. For this purpose, it is important to reduce crankshaft weight, which is the heaviest rotating part in the engine. The crankshaft has to be strong enough to bear loads, as the demands of weight reduction are increasing. Yet, productivity has to be considered at the same time even when increasing crankshaft strength. In this report of crankshaft material studies that feature high fatigue strength, machinability and distortion correct-ability, attention is given to the fact that the amount of vanadium, which is known as an element that enhances the strength with its precipitation, accelerates deposition, dissolved in the steel depends on the heating temperature.
Technical Paper

Structure to Assist in the Prevention of Bimetallic Corrosion of Hybrid Doors

The use of low-density materials in body panels is increasing as a measure to reduce the weight of the vehicle body. Honda has developed an aluminum/steel sheet hybrid door that is more effective in reducing weight than an all-aluminum door. Because aluminum was used in the door skin, bimetallic corrosion at the connection between the aluminum and the steel sheets represented an issue. It was possible that the difference in the electrical potential of the two metals might promote corrosion at the connection between the aluminum door skin and the steel sheet door panel, in particular at the lower edge of the door, where rainwater and other moisture tend to accumulate, with the result that the appeal of the exterior of the door might decline.
Technical Paper

Study of Power Generation Loss Decrease in Small Gas Engine Cogeneration

Power generation systems employed in small gas engine cogeneration were examined to compare losses in the converter, which converts three-phase alternator power to direct current (DC) voltage, and losses in the inverter, which converts power to high-quality alternating current (AC) voltage that can be connected into electric utility power lines. It is a characteristic of alternators that their efficiency and output voltage decline in the heavy load range. It was found, therefore, that step-down methods using thyristors operate in a low-efficiency range in order to provide a satisfactory supply of the targeted DC output voltage. Use of switching regulator methods, on the other hand, can generate the target voltage by regulating a switching device after first storing the alternator output in a choke coil. It was found, therefore, that these use the high-efficiency range of the alternator. The converter was found to have a resulting loss decrease of 19.4 W.
Technical Paper

Application of Load Path Index U* for Evaluation of Sheet Steel Joint with Spot Welds

An attempt was made to apply the index U* in detail analysis of load paths in structural joints under static load, using as examples coupling structures of two joined frames with hat-shaped sections, and T-beam joint structures each including spot welds, both of which are widely used in automotive body structures. U* is a load path analysis index that expresses the strength of connection between load points and arbitrary points on a structure. It was possible to identify areas making up load paths by means of the magnitude of U* values, and to clarify the areas that should be coupled in order to achieve effective load transfer to contiguous members. In addition, because it is possible to determine whether or not each section of a structure possesses the potential for load transfer using U* analysis, the research also demonstrated that U* could be used as an indicator of joint structures providing efficient load transfer.
Technical Paper

Development of Aluminium Hollow Subframe Using High-Pressure Die Casting

High-tensile steel plates and lightweight aluminum are being employed as materials in order to achieve weight savings in automotive subframe. Closed-section structures are also in general use today in order to efficiently increase parts stiffness in comparison to open sections. Aluminum hollow-cast subframe have also been brought into practical use. Hollow-cast subframe are manufactured using sand cores in gravity die casting (GDC) or low-pressure die casting (LPDC) processes. Using these manufacturing methods, it is difficult to reduce product thickness, and the limitations of the methods therefore make the achievement of weight reductions a challenge. The research discussed in this paper developed a lightweight, hollow subframe technology employing high-pressure die casting (HPDC), a method well-suited to reducing wall thickness, as the manufacturing method. Hollow-casting using HPDC was developed as a method of forming water jackets for water-cooled automotive engines.
Technical Paper

Development of Traction Motor for New Fuel Cell Vehicle and New Electric Vehicle

Honda’s purpose is to realize the joy and freedom of mobility and a sustainable society in which people can enjoy life. As such, three series of environmental vehicles-FCVs, BEVs, and PHEVs-have been developed so that users in communities around the world can select the ones best suited to their local energy circumstances and individual lifestyles. This paper discusses a structure that enhances both the motive power performance and quietness of a newly developed FCV/BEV traction motor. To enhance motive power performance, the research focused on the stator lamination technique. As for methods of affixing the stator’s layers, the practice with previous models has been adhesion lamination, using electric steel sheets that come pre-made with adhesive layers. Having adhesive layers, however, lowers the ratio (space factor) of steel sheet layers. The new motor uses electric steel sheets without an adhesive layer in order to enhance motive power performance.
Technical Paper

Development of Nitrocarburizing Steel for Crankshafts

The purpose of our research is to omit normalizing after hot forging in nitrocarburized crankshafts. Based on fundamental studies about the influence of chemical composition on as-forged and nitrocarburized properties, the authors have developed a new nitrocarburizing steel composed of 0.3% carbon, 0.8% manganese, and 0.02% nitrogen. The newly designed crankshafts for compact cars using the steel can be in use without the normalizing and have equivalent properties to conventional crankshafts, though the treatment is an indispensable process for conventional ones.
Technical Paper

Development of 1600 N/mm2 Class Ultra-High Strength Bolts

1 Many different bolts are employed in automobiles for different purposes and uses, and their strength generally ranges from 700 N/mm2 to 1200 N/mm2. Automobiles face the issue of making improvements in fuel economy as an environmental measure, and there is consequently a requirement to lighten component parts. The creationof higher-strength bolts is an important factor in achieving lighter weight. Increasing the strength, however, can also bring about an increased incidence of delayed fracture, and the conventional solution used to require the application of special steels such as expensive maraging steel. The present development addressed this issue by focusing on high carbon steel rod, which had been considered less susceptible to delayed fracture, although heading was also considered to be difficult. Heading techniques were therefore devised that made it possible not only to form bolts from this material, but also to provide satisfactory strength.
Technical Paper

Development of High-Heat-Resistant High-Nitrogen Containing Austenitic Stainless Steel for Exhaust Gasket

SUS301-EH is widely used as a material for exhaust system gaskets, however, at temperatures in excess of 400°C, it can not be used as gas-seal ability of the material declines due to its reduced hardness. The following methods were found to be effective in controlling the softening of stainless steel at high temperatures: (1) The addition of a nitrogen component; (2) Stabilization of the austenite structure; (3) The addition of a molybdenum component. The addition of 0.5% nitrogen to austenitic stainless steel containing molybdenum has enabled the speed of softening at high temperatures to be significantly reduced, due to strain aging by solid nitrogen below 600°C and the combined effects of precipitation hardening and control of growth of recrystallized grains through the precipitation of fine Cr2N on the dislocations and the grain boundary above 600°C.
Technical Paper

49 Development of Pb-free Free-Cutting Steel Enabling Omission of Normalizing for Crankshafts

Crankshafts of motorcycles require high strength, high reliability and low manufacturing cost. Recently, a reduction of Pb content in the free-cutting steel, which is harmful substance, is required. In order to satisfy such requirements, we started the development of Pb-free free-cutting steel which simultaneously enabled the omission of the normalizing process. For the omission of normalizing process, we adjusted the content of Carbon, Manganese and Nitrogen of the steel. This developed steel can obtain adequate hardness and fine microstructure by air-cooling after forging. Pb-free free-cutting steel was developed based on Calcium-sulfur free-cutting steel. Pb free-cutting steel is excellent in cutting chips frangibility in lathe process. We thought that it was necessary that cutting chips frangibility of developed steel was equal to Pb free-cutting steel. It was found that cutting chips frangibility depend on a non-metallic inclusion's composition, shape and dispersion.
Technical Paper

32 Development of Silent Chain Drive System for Motorcycles

Examining the noise reduction of a motorcycle, the requirement of an effective method of reducing a drive chain noise has been a pending issue similarly to noise originating from an engine or exhaust system, etc. Through this study, it became clear that the mechanism of chain noise could be classified into two; low frequency noise originated from cordal action according to the degree of chain engagement and high frequency noise generated by impact when a chain roller hits sprocket bottom. An improvement of urethane resin damper shape, mounted on a drive side sprocket, was effective for noise reduction of the former while our development of a chain drive that combined an additional urethane resin roller with an iron roller worked well for the latter. The new chain system that combined this new idea has been proven to be capable of reducing the chain noise to half compared with a conventional system.
Journal Article

Vibration Reduction in Motors for the SPORT HYBRID SH-AWD

A new motor has been developed that combines the goals of greater compactness, increased power and a quiet drive. This motor is an interior permanent magnet synchronous motor (IPM motor) that combines an interior permanent magnet rotor and a stator with concentrated windings. In addition, development of the motor focused on the slot combination, the shape of the magnetic circuits and the control method all designed to reduce motor noise and vibration. An 8-pole rotor, 12-slot stator combination was employed, and a gradually enlarged air gap configuration was used in the magnetic circuits. The gradually enlarged air gap brings the centers of the rotor and the stator out of alignment, changing the curvature, and continually changing the amount of air gap as the rotor rotates. The use of the gradually enlarged air gap brings torque degradation to a minimum, and significantly reduces torque fluctuation and iron loss of rotor and stator.
Journal Article

Effect of Surface Heat Treatment on Corrosion-Related Failure of the Suspension Spring

In this research, a new wire material made using surface-reforming heat treatment was developed in order to enhance the corrosion fatigue resistance of suspension springs. The aim of surface reforming is to improve hydrogen embrittlement characteristics through grain refinement and to improve crack propagation resistance by partial softening of hardness. The grain refinement method used an α'→γ reversed transformation by rapid short-term heating in repeated induction heating and quenching (R-IHQ) to refine the crystal grain size of SAE 9254 steel spring wire to 4 μm or less. In order to simultaneously improve the fatigue crack propagation characteristics, the possibility of reducing the hardness immediately below the spring surface layer was also examined. By applying contour hardening in the second IHQ cycle, a heat affected zone (HAZ) is obtained immediately below the surface.
Journal Article

Development of γ′-Fe4N Phase Control Technology and Low-Carbon Alloy Steel for High-Strength Nitrided Gear

A new nitriding technology and material technology have been developed to increase the strength of microalloyed gears. The developed nitriding technology makes it possible to freely select the phase composition of the nitride compound layer by controlling the treatment atmosphere. The treatment environment is controlled to exclude sources of supply of [C], and H2 is applied as the carrier gas. This has made it possible to control the forward reaction that decomposes NH3, helping to enable the stable precipitation of γ′-phase, which offers excellent peeling resistance. A material optimized for the new nitriding technology was also developed. The new material is a low-carbon alloy steel that makes it possible to minimize the difference in hardness between the compound layer and the substrate directly below it, and is resistant to decline in internal hardness due to aging precipitation in the temperature range used in the nitriding treatment.
Journal Article

Development of GFRTP Crush Box with Consideration of Use Environment and Effect of Fiber Orientation

Regulation of automotive CO2 emissions is becoming increasingly stringent throughout the world in response to global warming. For automakers, this means a focus not only on increasing the fuel economy of powertrains, but also on reducing automotive driving resistance. High expectations are held for thermoplastic fiber-reinforced plastics (FRP) for the realization of automotive weight savings while also offering high levels of productivity and recyclability. Thermoplastic FRP crush boxes display a higher level of energy absorption performance than metal (steel, aluminum, etc.) crush boxes. This will contribute to automotive weight savings and improved package design. In the case of automotive front bumper beam systems, it is necessary to realize stable load characteristics irrespective of the use environment. It is therefore necessary to consider the effects of temperature and thermoplastic resin degradation.
Technical Paper

Prediction of Ductile Fracture Propagation of High Strength Steels in Automotive Structures

Initiation and propagation of ductile fractures in crashed automotive components made from high strength steels are investigated in order to understand the mechanism of fracture propagation. Fracture of these components is often prone to occur at the sheet edge in a strain concentration zone under crash deformation. The fracture then extends intricately to the inside of the structure under the influence of the local stress and strain field. In this study, a simple tensile test and a 3-point bending test of high strength steels with tensile strengths of 590 MPa and 1180 MPa are carried out. In the tensile test, a coupon having a hole and a notch is deformed in a uniaxial condition. The effect of the notch type on the strain concentration and fracture behavior are investigated by using a digital imaging strain measurement system.