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Technical Paper

Trend toward weight reduction of automobile body in Japan

2000-06-12
2000-05-0240
With society demanding automobiles that provide higher fuel efficiency, safety of occupants in collisions and that at the end of their service life can be recycled with low environmental impact, the steel industry is tackling the needs of the automobile industry by developing ever-higher performance steel materials and simulation technologies that can demonstrate the performance of steel materials at the development stage without the need for costly prototype testing. In this paper, weight reduction of automobile body in Japan will be discussed. The main items will be as follows: (1) Development of Automobile Steel Sheets, (2) Materials for Automobile Bodies, (3) Materials and Technologies (Tailored Blanks, Hydroforming and Locally Quenching) for Reducing the Weight of Panels and Reinforcing members, (4) Future Prospects.
Technical Paper

Development of Pitting Resistant Steel for Transmission Gears

2001-03-05
2001-01-0827
It was found that pitting resistance of gears is strongly influenced by resistance to temper softening of carburized steel. The investigation about the influence of chemical compositions on hardness after tempering revealed that silicon, chromium and molybdenum are effective elements to improve resistance to temper softening and pitting resistance. Considering the production of gears, molybdenum is unfavorable because it increases hardness of normalized or annealed condition. Developed new steel contains about 0.5 mass% of silicon and 2.7 mass% chromium. The new steel has excellent pitting resistance and wear resistance. Fatigue and impact strength are equivalent to conventional carburized steels. Cold-formability and machinability of the new steel are adequate for manufacturing gears because of its ordinary hardness before carburizing. The new steel has already been put to practical use in automatic transmission gears. Application test results are also reported.
Technical Paper

Forming Performance of Aluminum Alloy Sheets for Automobile Body Panels

1995-02-01
950924
Improvement of material characteristic values, adjustment of forming conditions as well as introduction of new forming technics are necessary to promote wide application of aluminum alloy sheets into automotive parts. 5000 series and 6000 series aluminum alloy sheets are concerned about the relationship between material characteristic values and fundamental forming ability required to apply them to automobile body parts as well as the effect of lubricant on their formability. The hardening parameters, n values, of them are larger than those of cold-rolled steel sheets. However, the r values and the local elongations are extremely small. The improvement of stretch formability owing to increase of n value is smaller than that of the steel sheets. Inferior deep drawability of the aluminum alloy sheets is due to low fracture resistance force caused by low r value.
Technical Paper

Estimation of the Maximum Load Applied to Automotive Carburized Gears Using an Acoustic Emission Technique

1995-02-01
950668
A study was made of the possibility of using an acoustic emission (AE) technique to estimate the maximum load applied to automotive carburized gears under actual operating conditions. Three-point bending tests done on carburized steel specimens showed that, provided a small crack was induced in the material, AE was not generated until the material was subjected to a higher bending load than the maximum load previously applied. Using this effect, the maximum load applied to gears, in which a crack had been induced during endurance testing, was estimated. Although the estimated maximum load was about 14% higher than the actual load, the AE technique appears to be a promising method for use in the design and durability assurance of carburized parts of automotive powertrains.
Technical Paper

Strengthening of Surface Induction Hardened Parts for Automotive Shafts Subject to Torsional Load

1994-03-01
940786
The purpose of this study is twofold: to clarify the factors governing the torsional strength of surface induction hardened parts and, to present a method for strengthening automotive shaft parts for their weight reduction. The torsional strength against Mode III fracture can be expresssed by a new indicator, “equivalent hardness” defined as an average hardness weighted with the radius squared. If the equivalent hardness is continuously increased, the fracture mode change from Mode III to Mode I. The torsional strength against Mode I fracture is governed by grain boundary strength. Accordingly, the key-points in increasing the torsional strength of surface induction hardened parts are to raise the equivalent hardness and increase the grain boundary strength of the steel. By application of this method, the torsional strength of steel can be raised by 50%, which, in turn, enables about a 25% weight reduction for shaft parts.
Technical Paper

Improvement in Pitting Resistance of Transmission Gears by Plasma Carburizing Process

1994-03-01
940727
The application of both high strength gear steels and shot peening technology has succeeded in strengthening automotive transmission gears. This technology, though, improves mainly the fatigue strength at the tooth root, but not the pitting property at the tooth face. Therefore, demand has moved to the development of new gear steels with good pitting resistance. In order to improve pitting resistance, the authors studied super carburizing which is characterized by carbide dispersion in the case, especially processed with a plasma carburizing furnace. Firstly, the influence of the carburizing temperature and carburizing period on the carbide morphology was investigated and the optimum carburizing conditions were determined. Secondly, the fatigue strength and pitting resistance was evaluated using carbide dispersed specimens.
Technical Paper

Development of High Strength Steel Sheet with Excellent Stretch Flange Formability for Automobile Application

1994-03-01
940943
With the aim of improving stretch-flange formability by further reducing carbides in steel, the authors studied the hole expansion ratio of a steel consisting entirely of ferrite and the factors governing the hole expansion ratio. Ultra low carbon steels adding Ti and/or Nb showed a higher hole expansion ratio than conventional steels, but their hole expansion ratio was not higher than the hole expansion ratio of bainitic steel reported before1). On the other hand, it was found from study of the relationship between hole expansion ratio and r-value of various steels, including cold-rolled interstitial-free steels, that the hole expansion ratio of a steel consisting only of the ferrite phase is strongly influenced by the minimum r-value and n-value and that it improves as the r- and n-values increase. The steel added Ti and/or Nb has a strong anisotropy of r-value, hence its minimum r-value is small. This is disadvantageous to hole expansion ratio.
Technical Paper

The Development of a High Speed Steel Based Sintered Material for High Performance Exhaust Valve Seat Inserts

1998-02-23
980328
The demands on valve seat insert materials, in terms of providing greater wear-resistance at higher temperatures, enhanced machinability and using non-environmentally hazardous materials at a reasonably low cost have intensified in recent years. Due therefore to these strong demands in the market, research was made into the possibility of producing a new valve seat insert material. As a result a high speed steel based new improved material was developed, which satisfies the necessary required demands and the evaluation trials, using actual gasoline engine endurance tests, were found to be very successful.
Technical Paper

Study of Formable High Strength Steel Sheets for Automotive Panels

1992-02-01
920247
Weight reduction of automobiles is one of the most highlighted subjects in automobile industry from the energy saving and clean environment points of view. A typical approach for the purpose is to use high strength steel sheets as well as optimizing designs and using low density materials. It is not, however, easy to apply high strength steel sheets to automotive panels because of their strict requirement for the shape-fixability although a high dent resistance is also required. Besides the use of bake hardening steels, two different high strength steel sheets, which are a continuously annealed extra-low carbon titanium-added IF steel and a low carbon TRIP steel which contains about six volume% of austenite, were assessed for the application to automotive panels in combination with a tension-controled press-forming technique and showed as good shape-fixability as a conventional box-annealed aluminum-killed DDQ steel sheet when high blank-holding-forces were applied.
Technical Paper

Application of Vibration Damping Steel Sheet for Autobody Structural Parts

1992-02-01
920249
As a demand for vehicles of higher functionality grows, automakers and material suppliers are devoting increasing efforts to develop technologies for greater safety, lighter weight, higher corrosion resistance, and enhanced quietness. The resin-sandwiched vibration damping steel sheet (VDSS), developed as a highly functional material for reducing vehicle vibration and noise, has been used for oil pans1) and compartment partitions2). First applied for a structural dash panel of the new Mazda 929, a Zn-Ni electroplated VDSS which allows direct electric welding has contributed to greater weight reduction as well as improved quietness.
Technical Paper

Development of Lightweight Connecting Rod Based on Fatigue Resistance Analysis of Microalloyed Steel

1990-02-01
900454
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

High Performance Differential Gear

1989-02-01
890531
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

Recent Developments in Press Formability of Aluminum Alloy Sheets for Automotive Panels

1993-03-01
930705
Aluminum alloy sheets are used for automotive body-panels, but their small Young's modulus results in inferior shape-fixability than conventionally-applied steel sheets with similar strengths. Smaller radius of curvature, indicating better shape-fixability, is found at the center of a panel press-formed with higher blank holder force (BHF). Higher force can be applied for press-forming of alloy sheets with larger strain-hardening exponent (n value) induced by an increased addition of Mg. Recently-developed 5000 series alloy sheets containing 5.5 pct Mg and 0.3 pct Cu have an elongation over 33 pct at an ultimate tensile strength of 270 MPa and can be press-formed with better shape-fixability.
Technical Paper

Extremely Formable Cold Rolled Sheet Steel with Ultra-High Lankford and n Values - Metallurgy and Formabilities

1993-03-01
930783
Extremely formable cold sheet steel with an ultra-high Lankford value of more than 2.5 and an n value of more than 0.27 has been developed. This steel is obtained due to the following factors; using extremely pure IF (Interstitial free) steel, immediate rapid cooling upon completion of rolling in the hot rolling process, a high reduction in the cold rolling process, and a high soaking temperature in the continuous annealing process. This steel sheet shows excellent deep drawability and stretch formability compared with conventional steel sheet (former IF steel and low carbon aluminum-killed steel) as a result of evaluating the limiting drawing ratio and limiting dome height, respectively. This excellent formability is also shown by the model forming tests for simulating the actual stamping of an oilpan and a side-panel. Furthermore, this steel shows the same spot-weldability as that of former IF steel, and zinc phosphatability similar to that of low carbon aluminum-killed steel.
Technical Paper

Development of Laser-Textured Dull Steel Sheets with Superior Press Formability

1993-03-01
930808
Surface roughness of steel sheet for automotive use is one of the most important control items, because the surface roughness influences image clarity of painted surface, press formability and easiness in handling during manufacturing and processing of steel sheets. Laser texturing technology is introduced into a roll finishing process of cold rolling, and new type of regular surface roughness profile can be processed on the surface of steel sheets. Effective application method of this technology is investigated at the present day. In Japan, Laser-textured dull steel sheets are used for outer-panels of automotive body as the first application. And image clarity after painting of outer panels has been successful in improving. Nowadays, Laser texturing technology is actually used for manufacturing the high image clarity steel sheets, and they are manufactured in large quantities. Another application of Laser texturing technology is for the inner parts which require pressformability.
Technical Paper

Perforation Corrosion of Automobiles - Field Car and Laboratory Investigation

1993-10-01
932367
In order to clarify the effect of design and materials of the hem as well as the climatic factors on perforation corrosion of the automobile doors, field car and laboratory investigation has been carried out Field car investigation revealed that corrosion of the hem can be minimized by using two side galvanized steel plus adhesives. The ratio of wet/dry environment was evaluated in laboratory on hemmed sample, and it was found that the design of the hem in conjunction with the various wet/dry ratio affected the corrosion rate differently.
Technical Paper

An Evaluation of Fatigue Strength for Various Kinds of Spot-Welded Test Specimens

1988-02-01
880375
Eight kinds of the spot-welded test specimens were studied to obtain the basic fatigue data on steel sheets for car bodies. Analytical methods such as the strain amplitude at outside and inside plates close to the nugget, the maximum nominal stress and Kθmax criteria of fracture mechanics were used. The authors propose that the ratio of strains at two points around the nugget can provide evaluation of the bending load and estimation of the fatigue strength.
Technical Paper

On-Line Painted Thermal Plastic Exterior Body Panels for Nissan Be-1 and Application to CAE

1988-02-01
880034
This paper describes the plastic body panels developed for the Nissan Be-1 which was released and put on sale in Japan in January 1987. The panels include four body parts: left and right front fenders, front apron and rear apron. They are made of a thermoplastic resin and are produced by injection molding. The top paint coat can be sprayed on all four panels simultaneously with other steel body panels. The panels provide a high-quality appearance that is in no way inferior to the paint quality of steel panels. This is true during initial use as well as over long periods of time. Besides providing weight reductions, they also deliver improved resistance to impacts. CAE process was applied to develop these panels and proved to be quite effective.
Technical Paper

New PM Valve Seat Insert Materials for High Performance Engines

1992-02-01
920570
Internal combustion engines experience severe valve train wear and the reduction of valve seat and seat insert wear has been a long-standing issue. In this work, worn valve seats and inserts were examined to obtain a fundamental understanding of the wear mechanisms and the results were applied in developing new valve seat insert materials. The new exhaust valve insert material for gasoline engines is a sintered alloy steel containing Co-base hard particles, with lead infiltrated only for inserts used in unleaded gasoline engines. The new intake valve insert material for gasoline engines is a high-Mo sintered steel, obtained through transient liquid phase sintering and with copper precipitated uniformly. This material can be used for both leaded and unleaded gasoline engines. Valve and valve seat insert wear has long been an issue of concern to engine designers and manufacturers.
Technical Paper

Development of High Strength Transmission Gears

1992-02-01
920761
High strength transmission gears have been developed for use in the final gear set of front-wheel-drive vehicles. The steel used as the gear material has a higher molybdenum content, allowing more austenite to be retained following carburizing than is possible with chromium steel. As a result, the steel can be subjected to higher intensity shot peening by using harder peening particles which are projected by an air-nozzle peening system. With this procedure, the fatigue strength of the gears can be increased 1.6 times over that of conventional gears.
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