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Technical Paper

Permanent Mold Casting and Creep Behavior of Mg - 4 Al - 4 X: (Ca, Ce, La, Sr) Alloys

Creep-resistant magnesium alloys for automotive powertrain applications offer significant potential for vehicle weight reduction. In this study permanent mold casting, microstructure and creep behavior have been investigated for a series of ternary magnesium alloys (Mg-4Al-4X (X: Ca, Ce, La, Sr) wt%) and AXJ530 (Mg-5Al-3Ca-0.15Sr, wt%). A permanent mold was instrumented with twelve thermocouples and mold temperature was monitored during the casting process. Average mold temperature increased from 200°C to 400°C during a typical alloy casting series (fifteen to twenty castings). The cast microstructure for all alloys consists of primary α-Mg globular phase surrounded by eutectic structure which is composed of intermetallic(s) and α-Mg magnesium phases. The primary cell size of the AXJ530 increased from 18 to 24 μm with increasing mold temperature and a similar trend is expected for all alloys.
Journal Article

Development and Validation of an Analytical Seal Bead Design Model for Automotive Superplastic Forming

With the increasing demand for fuel efficient vehicles, technologies like superplastic forming (SPF) are being developed and implemented to allow for the utilization of lightweight automotive sheet materials. While forming under superplastic conditions leads to increased formability in lightweight alloys, such as aluminum, the slower forming times required by the technology can limit the technology to low to mid production levels. One problem that can increase forming time is the reduction of forming pressure due to pressurizing (forming) gas leaks, during the forming cycle, at the die/sheet/blankholder interface. Traditionally, such leaks have been successfully addressed through the use of a seal bead. However, for advanced die technologies that result in reduced cycle times (such as hot draw mechanical performing, which combine aspects of mechanical preforming of the sheet metal followed by SPF), the use of seal beads can restrict the drawing of sheet material into the forming die.
Technical Paper

A Test Method for Quantifying Residual Stress Due to Heat Treatment in Metals

Quantification of residual stresses is an important engineering problem impacting manufacturabilty and durability of metallic components. An area of particular concern is residual stresses that can develop during heat treatment of metallic components. Many heat treatments, especially in heat treatable cast aluminum alloys, involve a water-quenching step immediately after a solution-treatment cycle. This rapid water quench has the potential to induce high residual stresses in regions of the castings that experience large thermal gradients. These stresses may be partially relaxed during the aging portion of the heat treatment. The goal of this research was to develop a test sample and quench technique to quantify the stresses created by steep thermal gradients during rapid quenching of cast aluminum. The development and relaxation of residual stresses during the aging cycle was studied experimentally with the use of strain gauges.
Technical Paper

A Knowledge Representation Scheme for Nondestructive Testing of Composite Components

This paper presents our efforts to formalize the knowledge domain of nondestructive quality control of automotive composite components with organic (resin) matrices and to develop a prototype knowledge-based system, called NICC for Nondestructive Inspection of Composite Components, to help in the quality assurance of individual components. Geometric and bonding characteristics of parts and assemblies are taken into account, as opposed to the better understood evaluation of test specimens. The reasoning process was divided in two stages: in the first stage all flaws that might be present in the given part are characterized; in the second stage appropriate nondestructive testing procedures are specified to detect each of the possible flaws. The use of nondestructive techniques in the inspection of composites is fairly recent and hence, the knowledge required to develop an expert system is still very scattered and not fully covered in the literature.
Technical Paper

Innovative Composite Structure Design for Blast Protection

An advanced design methodology is developed for innovative composite structure concepts which can be used in the Army's future ground vehicle systems to protect vehicle and occupants against various explosives. The multi-level and multi-scenario blast simulation and design system integrates three major technologies: a newly developed landmine-soil-composite interaction model; an advanced design methodology, called Function-Oriented Material Design (FOMD); and a novel patent-pending composite material concept, called BTR (Biomimetic Tendon-Reinforced) material. Example results include numerical simulation of a BTR composite under a blast event. The developed blast simulation and design system will enable the prediction, design, and prototyping of blast-protective composite structures for a wide range of damage scenarios in various blast events.
Technical Paper

The Mg-Al-Ca Alloy System for Structural Applications at Elevated Temperatures

Solidification paths and phase stability have been investigated in the creep resistant Mg-Al-Ca based alloys for powertrain applications. The liquidus projection and isothermal sections of the Mg-Al-Ca ternary system were determined, including a ternary (Mg, Al)2Ca intermetallic compound. The solidification of the alloys in the α-Mg primary phase field involves L→α+(Mg, Al)2Ca eutectic reaction in a wide range of compositions and is terminated with invariant reactions that form Mg2Ca or Mg17Al12 phases. The (Mg, Al)2Ca is a high temperature phase and decomposes into Mg2Ca and Al2Ca phases between 773 and 673 K, but the transformation is kinetically quite slow at temperatures below 473 K. Based on this new knowledge, alloy modifications through quaternary elemental additions to improve the solid-solution strength and aging treatments to reinforce the α-Mg phase with precipitates have been demonstrated.
Journal Article

Fatigue Behavior of Laser Welds in Lap-Shear Specimens of High Strength Low Alloy (HSLA) Steels

Fatigue behavior of laser welds in lap-shear specimens of high strength low alloy (HSLA) steels is investigated based on a fatigue crack growth model. Fatigue experiments of laser welded lap-shear specimens were conducted. Analytical global stress intensity factor solutions are developed and compared with finite element computational results. A fatigue crack growth model based on the analytical local stress intensity factor solutions of kinked cracks and the Paris law for crack growth is then adopted to estimate the fatigue lives of the laser welds under cyclic loading conditions. The estimated fatigue lives are compared with the experimental results. The results indicate that the fatigue life predictions based on the fatigue crack growth model are slightly longer than the experimental results.
Journal Article

Energy Finite Element Analysis Developments for Vibration Analysis of Composite Aircraft Structures

The Energy Finite Element Analysis (EFEA) has been utilized successfully for modeling complex structural-acoustic systems with isotropic structural material properties. In this paper, a formulation for modeling structures made out of composite materials is presented. An approach based on spectral finite element analysis is utilized first for developing the equivalent material properties for the composite material. These equivalent properties are employed in the EFEA governing differential equations for representing the composite materials and deriving the element level matrices. The power transmission characteristics at connections between members made out of non-isotropic composite material are considered for deriving suitable power transmission coefficients at junctions of interconnected members. These coefficients are utilized for computing the joint matrix that is needed to assemble the global system of EFEA equations.
Technical Paper

Effects of Surface Treatment (Lubricant) on Spot Friction Welded Joints Made of 6111-T4 Aluminum Sheets

The effects of lubricant on lap shear strength of Spot Friction Welded (SFW) joints made of 6111-T4 alloys were studied. Taguchi L8 design of experiment methodology was used to determine the lubricant effects. The results showed that the lap shear strength increased by 9.9% when the lubricant was present at the top surface compared to that of the baseline (no lubricant) whereas the lap shear strength reduced by 10.2% and 10.9% when the lubricant was present in the middle and at the bottom surfaces compared to that of the baseline (no lubricant), respectively. The microstructure analysis showed a zigzag interface at the joint between the upper and the lower sheet metal for the baseline specimen, the specimens with the lubricant at the top and at the bottom. However, a straight line interface is exhibited at the joint between the upper and the lower sheet for the specimen with the lubricant in the middle. The weld nugget sizes of the lap shear tested specimens were measured.
Technical Paper

Bolt-Load Retention Behavior of Die-Cast AZ91D and AE42 Magnesium

The effect of temperature and preload on the bolt load retention (BLR) behavior of AZ91D and AE42 magnesium die castings was investigated. The results were compared to those of 380 aluminum die castings. Test temperatures from 125 to 175°C and preloads from 7 to 28 kN were investigated. The loss of preload for AZ91D was more sensitive to temperature than that observed for AE42, especially at low preloads. In general, retained bolt-load was lowest in AZ91D. All test assemblies were preloaded at room temperature and load levels increased when the assemblies reached test temperature. The load-increase was dependent on the preload level, test temperature, alloy, and results from thermal expansion mismatch between the steel bolt and the magnesium alloy components, mitigated by the onset of primary creep. Thermal exposure (aging) of AZ91D at 150°C improved BLR behavior.
Technical Paper

Bolt-Load Retention and Creep of Die-Cast Magnesium Alloys

New high-temperature Mg alloys are being considered to replace 380 Al in transmission cases, wherein bolt-load retention, and creep, is of prime concern. One of these alloys is die cast AE42, which has much better creep properties than does AZ91D but is still not as creep resistant as 380 Al. It is thus important to investigate bolt-load retention and creep of AE42 as an initial step in assessing its suitability as a material for transmission housings. To that end, the bolt-load retention behavior of die-cast AE42, AZ91D and 380 Al have been examined using standard M10 bolts specially instrumented with stable high-temperature strain gages. The bolt-load retention test pieces were die cast in geometries approximating the flange and boss regions in typical bolted joints. Bolt-load retention properties were examined as a function of time (at least 100 hours), temperature (150 and 175 °C) and initial bolt preload (14 to 34 kN).
Technical Paper

Bolt-Load Retention Behavior of a Die Cast Magnesium-Rare Earth Alloy

The need for improved understanding of new magnesium alloys for the automotive industry continues to grow as the application for these lightweight alloys expands to more demanding environments, particularly in drivetrain components. Their use at elevated temperatures, such as in transmission cases, presents a challenge because magnesium alloys generally have lower creep resistance than aluminum alloys currently employed for such applications. In this study, a new die cast magnesium alloy, MEZ, containing rare earth (RE) elements and zinc as principal alloying constituents, was examined for its bolt-load retention (BLR) properties. Preloads varied from 14 to 28 kN and test temperatures ranged from 125 to 175°C. At all test temperatures and preloads, MEZ retained the greatest fraction of the initial imposed preload when compared to the magnesium alloys AZ91D, AE42, AM50, and the AM50+Ca series alloys.
Technical Paper

Fatigue Behavior of Semi-Solid Formed A357-T6 Aluminum

The fundamental relationship between semi-solid processing and microstructure and their effect on the flow characteristics of semi-solid metals have been studied for several years. However, how the process related microstructure influences fatigue properties has not been given the same attention. This study examines the influence of process-related microstructure on the fatigue properties of semi-solid formed A357 alloys. High-solid-fraction (62% solid) and low-solid-fraction (31% and 36% solid) semi-solid formed A357 was tested in axial fatigue with a stress ratio (R) equal to -1. The high solid fraction (HSF) material had better fatigue properties than the low solid fraction (LSF) material. This is attributed to the fatigue crack initiation mechanisms, as related to the fatigue crack initiation features and the strengths of the materials.
Journal Article

Optimization of Spatially Varying Fiber Paths for a Symmetric Laminate with a Circular Cutout under Remote Uniaxial Tension

Minimizing the stress concentrations around cutouts in a plate is often a design problem, especially in the Aerospace industry. A problem of optimizing spatially varying fiber paths in a symmetric, linear orthotropic composite laminate with a cutout, so as to achieve minimum stress concentration under remote unidirectional tensile loading is of interest in this study. A finite element (FE) model is developed to this extent, which constraints the fiber angles while optimizing the fiber paths, proving essential in manufacturing processes. The idea to be presented could be used to derive fiber paths that would drastically reduce the Stress Concentration Factor (SCF) in a symmetric laminate by using spatially varying fibers in place of unidirectional fibers. The model is proposed for a four layer symmetric laminate, and can be easily reproduced for any number of layers.
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.
Technical Paper

Experimental Evaluation of the Quench Rate of AA7075

The aluminum alloy 7075-T6 has the potential to be used for structural automotive body components as an alternative to boron steel. Although this alloy shows poor formability at room temperature, it has been demonstrated that hot stamping is a feasible sheet metal process that can be used to overcome the forming issues. Hot stamping is an elevated temperature forming operation in which a hot blank is formed and quenched within a stamping die. Attaining a high quench rate is a critical step of the hot stamping process and corresponds to maximum strength and corrosion resistance. This work looks at measuring the quench rate of AA7075-T6 by way of three different approaches: water, a water-cooled plate, and a bead die. The water-cooled plate and the bead die are laboratory-scale experimental setups designed to replicate the hot stamping/die quenching process.
Technical Paper

Sandwich Panels with Corrugated Core - A Lightweighting Concept with Improved Stiffness

Sandwich panels with high modulus/high strength skin material and low density/low modulus core material have higher stiffness-to-weight ratio than monolithic panels. In this paper, sandwich panels with corrugated core are explored as a lightweighting concept for improved stiffness. The skin and the core materials are a high strength steel, aluminum alloy or carbon fiber-epoxy composite. The core has a triangular corrugation, a trapezoidal corrugation and a rectangular corrugation. The stiffness of the sandwich panels is analytically determined and compared with monolithic panels of equal mass. It is shown that the stiffness of the sandwich panels is 5 to 7 times higher than that of the monolithic panels.
Technical Paper

Fatigue Life Prediction for Adaptable Insert Welds between Sheet Steel and Cast Magnesium Alloy

Joining technology is a key factor to utilize dissimilar materials in vehicle structures. Adaptable insert weld (AIW) technology is developed to join sheet steel (HSLA350) to cast magnesium alloy (AM60) and is constructed by combining riveting technology and electrical resistance spot welding technology. In this project, the AIW joint technology is applied to construct front shock tower structures composed with HSLA350, AM60, and Al6082 and a method is developed to predict the fatigue life of the AIW joints. Lap-shear and cross-tension specimens were constructed and tested to develop the fatigue parameters (load-life curves) of AIW joint. Two FEA modeling techniques for AIW joints were used to model the specimen geometry. These modeling approaches are area contact method (ACM) and TIE contact method.
Technical Paper

Fatigue Life Prediction of Friction Stir Linear Welds for Magnesium Alloys

Friction stir linear welding (FSLW) is widely used in joining lightweight materials including aluminum alloys and magnesium alloys. However, fatigue life prediction method for FSLW is not well developed yet for vehicle structure applications. This paper is tried to use two different methods for the prediction of fatigue life of FSLW in vehicle structures. FSLW is represented with 2-D shell elements for the structural stress approach and is represented with TIE contact for the maximum principal stress approach in finite element (FE) models. S-N curves were developed from coupon specimen test results for both the approaches. These S-N curves were used to predict fatigue life of FSLW of a front shock tower structure that was constructed by joining AM60 to AZ31 and AM60 to AM30. The fatigue life prediction results were then correlated with test results of the front shock tower structures.
Technical Paper

The Effect of Copper Level and Solidification Rate on the Aging Behavior of a 319-Type Cast Aluminum Alloy

Compositional and microstructural variations in a casting can often result in rather significant variations in the response to a given aging treatment, leading to location dependent mechanical properties. The objective of this study is to determine the effect of copper content and solidification rate on the aging behavior of a type 319 cast aluminum alloy. The nominal composition of the alloy is Al-7% Si-3.5% Cu-0.25% Mg, however, typical secondary 319 aluminum specifications allow copper levels to vary from 3-4%. Solidification rates throughout a casting can vary greatly due to, among other factors, differences in section size. To determine the effect of copper level and solidification rate on the aging response, aging curves were experimentally developed for this alloy. Three different copper levels (3, 3.5, 4%) and two solidification rates were used for this study. Aging temperatures ranged from 150-290°C with nine aging times at each temperature.