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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.
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

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.