Evaluation of Microalloyed Steel for Articulated Piston Applications in Heavy Duty Diesel Engines
AISI-4140H steel has been used as articulated piston crown material in heavy-duty engines. With the driving force for reducing manufacturing cost, microalloyed steel (MAS) was identified as a low-cost material to replace 4140H steel. In order to determine the feasibility of using MAS to replace 4140H steel, a test program was initiated to fully evaluate the material properties of MAS and to compare them to those of the baseline 4140H steel. The physical and mechanical properties of both materials from room temperature to 550°C were evaluated. The effect of long term thermal exposure on the material properties was also studied. Some engine tests were also conducted to evaluate the performance of the articulated pistons made with both materials. The inherently lower strength of MAS as compared to 4140H steel, requires a total re-design of the piston for the utilization of MAS as a low-cost replacement material for 4140H steel.