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Journal Article

Very High Cycle Fatigue of Cast Aluminum Alloys under Variable Humidity Levels

Ultrasonic fatigue tests (testing frequency around 20 kHz) have been conducted on four different cast aluminum alloys each with a distinct composition, heat treatment, and microstructure. Tests were performed in dry air, laboratory air and submerged in water. For some alloys, the ultrasonic fatigue lives were dramatically affected by the environment humidity. The effects of different factors like material composition, yield strength, secondary dendrite arm spacing and porosity were investigated; it was concluded that the material strength may be the key factor influencing the environmental humidity effect in ultrasonic fatigue testing. Further investigation on the effect of chemical composition, especially copper content, is needed.
Technical Paper

Numerical Analysis of Thermal Growth of Cast Aluminum Engine Components

As-cast or as-solution treated cast aluminum A319 has copper solutions within its aluminum dendrite. These copper solutions precipitate out to form Al2Cu through a sequence of phase changes and bring with them volume changes at elevated temperatures. These volume changes, referred to as thermal growth are irreversible. The magnitude of thermal growth at a material point is decided by the temperature history of the material point. When an under aged or non heat treated cast aluminum is exposed to non-uniform temperature such as that during engine operation, thermal growth leads to non-uniform volume change and thus additional self balanced stresses. These stresses remain inside material as residual stresses even when the temperature of the material is uniform again. In the present paper, numerical analysis method for thermal growth is developed and integrated into engine operation analysis.
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

Finite Element Modeling of Bolt Load Retention of Die-Cast Magnesium

The use of die cast magnesium for automobile transmission cases offers promise for reducing weight and improving fuel economy. However, the inferior creep resistance of magnesium alloys at high temperature is of concern since transmission cases are typically assembled and joined by pre-loaded bolts. The stress relaxation of the material could thus adversely impact the sealing of the joint. One means of assessing the structural integrity of magnesium transmission cases is modeling the bolted joint, the topic of this paper. The commercial finite element code, ABAQUS, was used to simulate a well characterized bolt joint sample. The geometry was simulated with axi-symmetric elements with the exact geometry of a M10 screw. Frictional contact between the male and female parts is modeled by using interface elements. Material creep is described by a time hardening power law whose parameters are fit to experimental creep test data.
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

Development of Experimental Methods to Validate Residual Stress Models for Cast Aluminum Components

The prediction of residual stresses due to manufacturing is of high importance in product development. For the accurate prediction of residual stresses in metallic components, an understanding of the quenching process that occurs in many heat treatments is required. In this paper, the experimental techniques developed to quantify the temperature fields during quenching and to quantify the residual stresses in the quenched part are presented. The temperature fields were quantified using thermocouples embedded in the components. The residual stresses were quantified using a newly developed strain gauging, sectioning and dynamic data acquisition technique. The techniques were verified using thermal histories and residual stresses for an engine cylinder head quenched at two different quenchant temperatures. The measurements obtained were incorporated into an analytical program (finite element) to study the residual stresses produced during the quenching process.
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.
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.
Journal Article

A Fatigue Life Prediction Method of Laser Assisted Self-Piercing Rivet Joint for Magnesium Alloys

Due to magnesium alloy's poor weldability, other joining techniques such as laser assisted self-piercing rivet (LSPR) are used for joining magnesium alloys. This research investigates the fatigue performance of LSPR for magnesium alloys including AZ31 and AM60. Tensile-shear and coach peel specimens for AZ31 and AM60 were fabricated and tested for understanding joint fatigue performance. A structural stress - life (S-N) method was used to develop the fatigue parameters from load-life test results. In order to validate this approach, test results from multijoint specimens were compared with the predicted fatigue results of these specimens using the structural stress method. The fatigue results predicted using the structural stress method correlate well with the test results.