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Technical Paper

Comparison of Single Gear Tooth and Cantilever Beam Bending Fatigue Testing of Carburized Steel

The bending fatigue performance of gears, cantilever beam specimens, and notched-axial specimens were evaluated and compared. Specimens were machined from a modified SAE-4118 steel, gas-carburized, direct-quenched and tempered. Bending fatigue specimens were characterized by light metallography to determine microstructure and prior austenite grain size, x-ray analysis for residual stress and retained austenite measurements, and scanning electron microscopy to evaluate fatigue crack initiation, propagation and overload. The case and core microstructures, prior austenite grain sizes and case hardness profiles from the various types of specimens were similar. Endurance limits were determined to be about 950 MPa for both the cantilever beam and notched-axial fatigue specimens, and 1310 MPa for the single gear tooth specimens.
Technical Paper

Effects of Subzero Treatments on the Bending Fatigue Performance of Carburized SAE-4320 and SAE-9310 Steels

The effects of subzero treatments on the bending fatigue performance of carburized gear steels were investigated by cantilever bending fatigue testing. Specimens were machined from SAE-4320 and SAE-9310 bar stock steel, gas-carburized, quenched, tempered at 175°C, subzero cooled to -73°C and -196°C, and tempered at 175°C. Bending fatigue specimens were characterized by light metallography to determine microstructure and prior austenite grain size, x-ray diffraction for residual stress and retained austenite contents, microhardness testing, and scanning electron microscopy to evaluate fatigue crack initiation, propagation and overload. Refrigeration treatments caused additional transformation of retained austenite and increased surface hardness and compressive residual stresses. Bending fatigue endurance limits for the SAE-4320 specimens were determined to be 1310 MPa for the as-carburized condition, 1170 MPa for the -73°C condition, and 1280 MPa for the -196°C condition.
Technical Paper

Grain Size and Forgeability of a Titanium Microalloyed Forging Steel

In recent years, microalloying has been advocated as a means for producing direct cooled forging steels. Microalloyed steels benefit from vanadium and niobium additions, but the carbonitrides formed by these elements are not stable at high temperatures. Micro-additions of titanium, which form a fine dispersion of carbonitrides that are stable at high temperature, have been promoted as an approach fox maintaining a fine austenite grain size at high forging temperatures. In this work two microalloyed steels were examined, 1522MoV and 1522MoV with 0.011 titanium addition. The effect of the titanium additions on the grain size and high temperature flow strength were studied. The titanium addition has a significant effect on maintaining a small austenite grain size at temperatures up to 1300°C. High temperature stress-strain data indicate that titanium causes an increased flow strength at 1100°C and 1200°C especially at higher strain rates.
Technical Paper

Assessment of Bending Fatigue Limits for Carburized Steel

This paper reviews the bending fatigue endurance limits reported in the literature for carburized steels. Almost an order of magnitude difference in fatigue limits (210-1950 MPa) is reported. The reasons for this wide range are not clear because of the complexity of interactions between the microstructural, testing and manufacturing systems associated with carburized components. In well characterized specimens, two types of microstructures and fatigue crack mechanisms associated with moderate and high levels of fatigue performance have been identified and are described here. Finally, the effects of selected engineering parameters on the measurement of bending fatigue limits are discussed. The need for more complete experimental characterization of fatigue performance is stressed as a critical step to produce consistent bending fatigue performance at the upper end of that attainable in carburized steels.
Technical Paper

New Options for Steel Selection for Automotive Applications

This paper reviews and compares the various approaches available and under development for automotive components manufactured from bar and forging steels. Steel compositions, manufacturing approaches, microstructures, and properties for quench and tempered alloy steels and direct-cooled microalloyed ferrite-pearlite and bainitic steels are described. Recent efforts to increase toughness in direct-cooled steels are also reviewed.
Technical Paper

Carbon and Sulfur Effects on Performance of Microalloyed Spindle Forgings

Five heats of vanadium-microalloyed steel with carbon contents from 0.29% to 0.40% and sulfur contents from 0.031% to 0.110% were forged into automotive spindles and air cooled. Three of the steels were continuously cast whereas the other two were ingot cast. The forged spindles were subjected to microstructural analysis, mechanical property testing, full component testing and machinability testing. The microstructures of the five steels consisted of pearlite and ferrite which nucleated on prior austenite grain boundaries and predominantly on intragranularly dispersed sulfide inclusions of the resulfurized grades. Ultimate tensile strengths and room temperature Charpy V-notch impact toughness values were relatively insensitive to processing and compositional variations. The room temperature tensile and room-temperature impact properties ranged from 820 MPa to 1000 MPa (120 to 145 ksi) and from 13 Joules to 19 Joules (10 to 14 ft-lbs), respectively, for the various steels.
Technical Paper

Effect of Sulfur on Microstructure and Properties of Medium-Carbon Microalloyed Bar Steels

Three heats of 0.40% carbon microalloyed steel, containing either 0.03 % or 0.10% sulfur, and with and without a 0.09% vanadium addition, were subjected to metallographic analysis and mechanical property testing. Bars were heated to austenitizing temperatures, between 1000°C and 1300°C. Significant amounts of intragranular ferrite, which has been associated with improved toughness, formed only in specimens containing vanadium and high sulfur which were austenitized above 1100°C. The balance of the microstructure consisted of ferrite which formed at prior austenite grain boundaries and large amounts of pearlite. High densities of manganese sulfide particles in the steels with high sulfur content effectively retarded austenite grain growth. The formation of significant amounts of intragranular ferrite decreased mean free ferrite spacing, effectively refined the pearlite structure, and lowered the Charpy V-notch impact transition temperature.
Technical Paper

Effect of Thermal Treatments and Carbon Potential on Bending Fatigue Performance of SAE 4320 Gear Steel

This project investigated the effect of carburizing carbon-potential and thermal history on the bending fatigue performance of carburized SAE 4320 gear steel. Modified-Brugger cantilever bending fatigue specimens were carburized at carbon potentials of 0.60, 0.85, 1.05, and 1.25 wt. pct. carbon, and were either quenched and tempered or quenched, tempered, reheated, quenched, and tempered. The reheat treatment was designed to lower the solute carbon content in the case through the formation of transition carbides and refine the prior austenite grain size. Specimens were fatigue tested in a tension/tension cycle with a minimum to maximum stress ratio of 0.1. The bending fatigue results were correlated with case and core microstructures, hardness profiles, residual stress profiles, retained austenite profiles, and component distortion.