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Technical Paper

Cylinder Head Design Process to Improve High Cycle Fatigue Performance

Cylinder head design is a highly challenging task for modern engines, especially for the proliferation of boosted, gasoline direct injection engines (branded EcoBoost® engines by Ford Motor Company). The high power density of these engines results in higher cylinder firing pressures and higher operating temperatures throughout the engine. In addition to the high operating stresses, cylinder heads are normally heat treated to optimize their mechanical properties; residual stresses are generated during heat treatment, which can be detrimental for high-cycle fatigue performance. In this paper, a complete cylinder head high cycle fatigue CAE analysis procedure is demonstrated. First, the heat treatment process is simulated. The transient temperature histories during the quenching process are used to calculate the distribution of the residual stresses, followed by machining simulation, which results in a redistribution of stress.
Technical Paper

Aluminum Cylinder Head High Cycle Fatigue Durability Including the Effects of Manufacturing Processes

High cycle fatigue material properties are not uniformly distributed on cylinder heads due to the casting process. Virtual Aluminum Casting (VAC) tools have been developed within Ford Motor Company to simulate the effects of the manufacturing process on the mechanical properties of cast components. One of VAC features is the ability to predict the high cycle fatigue strength distribution. Residual stresses also play an important role in cylinder head high cycle fatigue, therefore they are also simulated and used in the head high cycle fatigue analysis. Cylinder head assembly, thermal and operating stresses are simulated with ABAQUS™. The operating stresses are combined with the residual stresses for high cycle fatigue calculations. FEMFAT™ is used for the high cycle fatigue analysis. A user-defined Haigh diagram is built based on the local material properties obtained from the VAC simulation.
Technical Paper

Development of a Thermal Fatigue Test Bench for Cylinder Head Materials

An innovative specimen design and test system for thermal fatigue (TF) analysis is developed to compare the fatigue behavior of different cylinder head materials under realistic cyclic thermal loadings. Finite element analyses were performed to optimize the specimen geometry and thermal cycles. The reduced section of the TF specimen is heated locally by a high frequency induction heater and cooled by compressed air. The mechanical strain is then induced internally by the non-uniform thermal gradient generated within the specimen to closely simulate what valve bridges in cylinder heads experience in real operation. The resulting fatigue life is a function not only of the inherent fatigue resistance of the alloys, but also of other relevant properties such as thermal conductivity, modulus of elasticity, and coefficient of thermal expansion. This test is an essential tool for comparing different alloys for thermal fatigue applications.
Technical Paper

Copper Effect on the Ultrasonic Fatigue Life of A356 Aluminum Alloy Under Variable Humidity Levels

Ultrasonic fatigue tests (testing frequency around 20kHz) have been conducted on A356 aluminum alloys with different copper contents and AS7GU aluminum alloy. Tests were performed in dry air and submerged in water conditions. The effect of copper content was investigated and it was concluded that copper content plays an important role influencing the humidity effect on A356 aluminum alloy ultrasonic fatigue lives. Also, for the same copper content, copper in solute solution or in precipitate have different humidity sensitivities.
Journal Article

Effect of Humidity on the Very High Cycle Fatigue Behavior of a Cast Aluminum Alloy

In this paper, fatigue tests on a cast aluminum alloy (AS7GU-T64) were performed under different frequencies and humidity levels. Tests conducted under conventional frequency in laboratory air have been compared to tests conducted under ultrasonic frequency in dry air, saturated humidity and in distilled water. It was observed that the highest and lowest fatigue lives correspond to ultrasonic fatigue tests in dry air and in distilled water, respectively. Unlike specimens tested at conventional frequency, all of the specimens tested at ultrasonic frequency presented a large amount of slip facets on the fatigue crack propagation fracture surface.
Journal Article

Study on Fatigue Behaviors of Porous T300/924 Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymer Unidirectional Laminates

Morphological features of voids were characterized for T300/924 12-ply and 16-ply composite laminates at different porosity levels through the implementation of a digital microscopy (DM) image analysis technique. The composite laminates were fabricated through compression molding. Compression pressures of 0.1MPa, 0.3MPa, and 0.5MPa were selected to obtain composite plaques at different porosity levels. Tension-tension fatigue tests at load ratio R=0.1 for composite laminates at different void levels were conducted, and the dynamic stiffness degradation during the tests was monitored. Fatigue mechanisms were then discussed based on scanning electron microscope (SEM) images of the fatigue fracture surfaces. The test results showed that the presence of voids in the matrix has detrimental effects on the fatigue resistance of the material, depending on the applied load level.
Journal Article

Residual Stress Analysis of Air-Quenched Engine Aluminum Cylinder Heads

Residual stress of an air quenched engine cylinder head is studied in the present paper. The numerical simulation is accomplished by sequential thermal and stress analyses. Thermal history of the cylinder head is simulated by using the commercial Computation Fluid Mechanics (CFD) code FLUENT. The only parameter adjustable in the analysis is the incoming air speed. Predicted temperatures at two locations are comparable with available thermocouple data. Stress analysis is performed using ABAQUS with a Ford proprietary material constitutive relation, which is based on coupon tests on the as-solution treated material. Both temperature and strain rate impacts on material behavior of the as-solution treated material are considered in the stress and strain model. Predicted residual strain is shown to be consistent with measured data, which is obtained by using strain gauging and sectioning method.