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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.
Technical Paper

Response of Aluminum Alloys to Temperature Exposures Observed in Automotive Service

This report presents results of experiments to determine the effect of elevated temperature exposures on the mechanical properties of aluminum alloy materials. The two alloys studied, 5754 and 6111, are of the types which would be used in a stamped automobile structure and exterior panels. Yield strength, tensile strength, and total elongation are reported for a variety of test conditions. The material temperature exposures simulated a broad range of conditions which might be experienced during manufacturing operations such as adhesive curing and vehicle paint bake cycles. In addition, tests were conducted at temperatures to resemble in-service under-hood and under body (near the exhaust system) conditions. Materials were prestrained various amounts prior to temperature exposure to simulate metal forming processes. Results show that both materials react to temperature and aging times differently.
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

Monotonic and Fatigue Behavior of Magnesium Extrusion Alloy AM30: An International Benchmark Test in the “Magnesium Front End Research and Development Project”

Magnesium alloys are the lightest structural metal and recently attention has been focused on using them for structural automotive components. Fatigue and durability studies are essential in the design of these load-bearing components. In 2006, a large multinational research effort, Magnesium Front End Research & Development (MFERD), was launched involving researchers from Canada, China and the US. The MFERD project is intended to investigate the applicability of Mg alloys as lightweight materials for automotive body structures. The participating institutions in fatigue and durability studies were the University of Waterloo and Ryerson University from Canada, Institute of Metal Research (IMR) from China, and Mississippi State University, Westmorland, General Motors Corporation, Ford Motor Company and Chrysler Group LLC from the United States.
Technical Paper

Fatigue Properties of Cold-Rolled Sheet Steels

Fatigue characteristics of representative cold-rolled, high strength steels, in gages ranging from 0.072 in. (1.83 mm) to 0.055 in. (1.39 mm), were determined in fully-reversed, axial strain cycling at amplitudes up to 0.01. Alloys were selected from three families of high strength steels: recovery annealed steels, conventional microalloyed steels - nitrogenized steel and rephosphorized steel, and dual phase steel. Cold rolled low-carbon steel provided a comparative baseline. Cyclic stress-strain curves are presented to indicate the degree of cyclic stability achievable by various strengthening mechanisms while relative fatigue resistance is determined from strain-life curves. The implications of these behavioral trends to component down gaging are discussed.
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

New Alloys for Automotive Turbines

THIS paper reports on progress to date in the development of high-temperature alloys for automotive gas turbines. Strict limitations have been set on the alloying elements in order to keep costs down — the cost factor being the main reason for this alloy search. The materials discussed here, which meet the alloy limitations and the temperature and stress requirements, fall into three classes: 1. Iron-base chromium - manganese - nitrogen austenitic alloys. 2. Iron-aluminum ferritic alloys. 3. Cast ferritic alloys with up to 12% chromium and some titanium, vanadium, molybdenum, and tungsten.
Technical Paper

TiAl-Based Alloys for Exhaust Valve Applications

The recent development of TiAl-based alloys by the aerospace community has provided an excellent material alternative for hot components in automotive engines. The low density combined with an elevated temperature strength similar to that of Ni-base superalloys make TiAl-based alloys very attractive for exhaust valve applications. Lighter weight valvetrain components improve performance and permit the use of lower valve spring loads which reduce noise and friction and enhance fuel economy. However, difficult fabricability and a perception that TiAl alloys are high cost, low volume aerospace materials must be overcome in order to permit consideration for use in high-volume automotive applications. This paper provides a comparison of properties for several exhaust valve alternative materials. The density of TiAl alloys is lower than Ti alloys with creep and fatigue properties equivalent to IN-751, a current high performance exhaust valve material.
Technical Paper

Corrosion of Cast Aluminum Alloys under Heat-Transfer Conditions

Most coolant formulations designed for cast iron engines are unsatisfactory for aluminum head/block use because of excessive heat-transfer corrosion, resulting in heavy corrosion product deposition and loss of cooling efficiency in the radiator. The effect of inhibitor and buffer additives, singly and in combination, on the heat-transfer corrosion rates for cast aluminum alloys was investigated. It was shown that some tetraborate and phosphate mixtures can be excessively corrosive. Silicate, in contrast, effectively protects the heat-transfer surfaces. In addition, the effects of heat-transfer surface temperature, nucleate boiling, and variations in glycol, dissolved oxygen and chloride concentrations on the heat-transfer corrosion rate were investigated.
Technical Paper

The Influence of Heat Treat Process and Alloy on the Surface Microstructure and Fatigue Strength of Carburized Alloy Steel

Gas carburized and quenched low alloy steels typically produce surface microstructures which contain martensite, retained austenite and often NMTP's (non-martensitic transformation products). The NMTP's are caused by a reduction of surface hardenability in the carburizing process from loss of alloying elements to oxidation. Gas carburized low alloy steels such as SAE 8620 with NMTP's on the surface have been shown to have inferior bending fatigue properties when compared to more highly alloyed steels which do not form NMTP's, such as SAE 4615M. One method of minimizing the formation of oxides and eliminating NMTP formation during carburizing and quenching is to use plasma carburizing instead of conventional gas carburizing. In this study the microstructures and bending fatigue performance of plasma carburized SAE 8620 and SAE 4615M is compared to the same alloys conventionally gas carburized and quenched.
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.
Technical Paper

Examination of the Corrosion Behavior of Creep-Resistant Magnesium Alloys in an Aqueous Environment

An electrochemical testing protocol for assessing the intrinsic corrosion-resistance of creep-resistant magnesium alloys in aqueous environments, and effects of passivating surface films anticipated to develop in the presence of engine coolants is under development. This work reports progress in assessing the relative corrosion resistance of the base metals (AMC-SC1, MRI-202S, MRI-230D, AM50 and 99.98% Mg) in a common test environment, based on a near-neutral pH buffered saline solution, found to yield particularly stable values for the open-circuit or corrosion potential. This approach was found to provide a platform for the eventual assessment of the durability of certain passivating layers expected to develop during exposure of the magnesium alloys to aqueous coolants.
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.
Technical Paper

Mechanical and Thermophysical Properties of Magnesium Alloy Extrusions

Magnesium alloy extrusions offer potentially more mass saving compared to magnesium castings. One of the tasks in the United States Automotive Materials Partnership (USAMP) ?Magnesium Front End Research and Development? (MFERD) project is to evaluate magnesium extrusion alloys AM30, AZ31 and AZ61 for automotive body applications. Solid and hollow sections were made by lowcost direct extrusion process. Mechanical properties in tension and compression were tested in extrusion, transverse and 45 degree directions. The tensile properties of the extrusion alloys in the extrusion direction are generally higher than those of conventional die cast alloys. However, significant tension-compression asymmetry and plastic anisotropy need to be understood and captured in the component design.
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

A Comparative Study of the Fatigue Behavior of Spot Welded and Mechanically Fastened Aluminum Joints

The cyclic behavior of single overlap aluminum joints joined through a number of different methods has been investigated using Alcan 5754-O, an alloy that potentially could be used in structural applications. Overlap shear tests of spot welded, clinched and riveted joints are compared on the basis of their fatigue performance. The fatigue response of the spot welded joint was the baseline to which the other fasteners were compared. Test results showed an improvement of approximately 25% for both the mechanical clinch joints and aluminum rivets in fatigue strength at 106 cycles. The most significant improvement in fatigue strength of 100% was found for the self piercing rivets at 106 cycles. The failure behavior of the various joining methods is discussed as well as the surface appearance.
Technical Paper

An Ultrasonic Technique for Measuring the Elastic Constants of Small Samples

Using instrumentation designed for the ultrasonic measurement of thickness, a technique has been devised for measuring the isotropic elastic constants of small samples, i. e., samples 1 mm in thickness and a minimum of 5 mm in other dimensions. Young's modulus, the shear modulus and Poisson's ratio are calculated from measurements of density and ultrasonic shear and longitudinal wave velocities. Samples of valve train materials, including chill cast iron, low alloy steel, tool steel, stainless steel, a nickel-base superalloy, and a powder metal alloy were machined from components and analyzed. The magnitude of the measured values of the elastic constants are reasonable when compared with published values. The measurement error on all the constants is estimated to be less than 1%. Moduli determined by this method can be used in finite element analyses to improve designs.
Technical Paper

Master Alloys to Obtain Premixed Hardenable Powder Metal Steels

Systems of alloys for liquid phase alloying during sintering were investigated. The solidification range of alloys of Mn-Ni-Cr-Mo-Fe and Mn-Cu-Ni was determined. Alloys with the lowest and narrowest melting range were prepared and atomized in nitrogen. Admixtures of master alloys to water-atomized, forging grade, pure iron powder were sintered at 1232°C (2250°F). After hot forging, these P/M steels exhibited hardenabilities which were 75%-90% of theoretical hardenability, as calculated from the factors for conventional steels. Alloying efficiency was further improved to 85%-100% of theoretical hardenability when additions of approximately 2% silicon and 1% rare earth misch-metal were made to the master alloys. The silicon and rare earth misch-metal additions were used to enhance diffusion and sintering.
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

Influence of the Local Mechanical Behavior on Component Deformation in a Mg Alloy Thin-Walled Frame Casting

A demonstration structure was cast in AM60. The structure, known as the Generic Frame Casting or GFC, was designed specifically to mimic features seen in castings for closure applications. Excised samples were subsequently removed from different areas of the casting and tested under axial loading conditions. Component level tests were also conducted. Comparison of the excised sample results and the component level testing indicated the influence of local properties on the component level deformation. It was shown that varying the casting processing conditions could change the local ductility and yield strength in different areas of casting with the same geometry. Lowering the local ductility decreased the total displacement in a component level test and lowered the amount of energy absorption. Therefore, understanding the processing conditions and their influence on the local properties is important for predicting behavior in a component level test.