Development of Lightweight Connecting Rod Based on Fatigue Resistance Analysis of Microalloyed Steel
Application of microalloyed steel to automobile parts is becoming increasingly common in Japan. However, fatigue properties of actual automotive forged parts with slight notches on their surface have not been fully clarified. In this work, the fatigue properties of microalloyed steel were studied using test specimens and also actual automotive parts. The results indicated that microalloyed steel with an optimal microstructure showed higher notch fatigue resistance than quenched-tempered steel. The improvement of material technology and the application of microalloyed steel have not only served to bring product costs down, but have paved the way for part weight reductions. Lightweight connecting rods for the newly developed Nissan engines have been produced, contributing to improved engine performance.