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Technical Paper

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.
Technical Paper

Development of High Strength Bolt for Connecting Rod

In recent years, efforts for development of high-performance and compact automobile engine are being made more actively than ever before. The connecting rod bolt is one of those parts which are very much required to be compact and light, since its size and weight affect the performance of the engine. However, if it is used under high stress, delayed fracture can be caused. Therefore, it is a common practice to keep the stress below 1177MPa. The developed alloy (HB149) is a precipitation hardening alloy steel of low carbon martensite, composed mainly of 0.35C-1.2Cr-1.0Mo-0.3V. With lowered intergranular inclusions by suppressing impurity elements such as phosphorus and sulfur, and with reduced grain boundary embrittlement by tempering it at a high temperature, this steel is excellent in resistance to delayed fracture. Using this steel, we developed a 1372MPa class (Class 14.9*) high strength connecting rod bolt.
Technical Paper

High Performance Differential Gear

Excellent fuel economy and high performance have been urgent in Japanese automobile industries. With increasing engine power, many of the power train components have to withstand higher loads. Differential pinion gear being one of those highly stressed parts, excellent fatigue and shock resistance have been demanded. At first the fundamental study on the fatigue and impact crack behavior of carburized components was studied and the new grade composed of 0.18%C-0.7%Mn-1.0%Cr-0.4%Mo was alloy designed. Furthermore, Si and P is reduced less than 0.15 and 0.015%, respectively aiming at the reduction of intergranular oxidation and improved case toughness. The differential gear assembly test has proved that the new grade shows three times as high impact strength as that of conventional steel, SCM418, and almost the same as that of SNCM420 containing 1.8%Ni.
Technical Paper

Application of Super Carburizing to Hydraulic Lash Adjuster

As hydraulic lash adjuster (HLA) gives great advantages to valve trains such as less maintenance cost, no variations in load exchange and engine power and so forth, the number of engines equipped with HLA is increasing. Being contact-loaded by cams or rockers, the contact face of HLA is usually case hardened or coated with wear resisting materials. The study was made to apply super carburizing to HLA to improve wear, pitting and scuffing resistance. Super carburizing is characterized by its carbide precipitation in case due to higher carbon contents than in conventional gas carburizing. Super carburizing was appplied to cam follower type HLA in trial using the newly alloy designed steel, 0.17 C-0.5Si-2.25Cr-0.4Mo. It was found that the super carburized HLA showed higher endurance life than gas carburized one and almost the same properties as wear resisting material coated one.
Technical Paper

Application of Hard Shot Peening to Automotive Transmission Gears

Although shot peening is an old technology, it has been revived in the Japanese automotive industry as a means to enhance the fatigue durability of steel components. Particular emphasis is on the application of “hard shot peening”. “Hard shot peening” is a high intensity peening technology which results in a higher magnitude of compressive residual stress and, therefore, greater fatigue resistance than conventional shot peening. The first area of development was in high performance carburizing steels suitable for hard shot peening. Desirable traits were enhanced by reducing the carburizing anomalies resulting from intergranular oxidation and by the enhancing case toughness. Further improvement of fatigue resistance has been accomplished by dual peening, first with hard shot followed by smaller diameter steel shot at a lower intensity. This paper also describes the development of long life shot media for hard shot peening.
Technical Paper

High Strength Steel for Cylinder Head Bolt

JIS SCM440M (SAE4140H), heat treated to the strength level of 120 to 140 kgf/mm2(171 to 199 ksi) -ISO 12.9 class-, is currently used for cylinder head bolts of Japanese passenger cars. Lower alloy steels, such as SAE 1541 for example, have not been substituted for JIS SCM440H so far because of their high susceptibility to delayed fracture. Daido Steel has tackled this problem and succeeded in applying the lower alloy SAE 1541 steel to 12.9 class cylinder head bolts by enhancing the resistance to delayed fracture by reducing impurities, especially sulphur. In this paper mechanical properties and delayed fracture characteristics of SAE 1541-ULS (Ultra Low Sulphur) steel are reported. 1541-ULS (S<0.005%, S+P< 0.020%) shows outstanding resistance to delayed fracture compared to conventional steel. Furthermore, the amount of MnS inclusions decreases remarkably in ULS steel, which results in high toughness.