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Journal Article

Carbon and Manganese Effects on Quenching and Partitioning Response of CMnSi-Steels

Quenching and partitioning (Q&P) is a novel heat treatment to produce third generation advanced high-strength steels (AHSS). The influence of carbon on mechanical properties of Q&P treated CMnSi-steels was studied using 0.3C-1.5Mn-1.5Si and 0.4C-1.5Mn-1.5Si alloys. Full austenitization followed by two-step Q&P treatments were conducted using varying partitioning times and a fixed partitioning temperature of 400 °C. The results were compared to literature data for 0.2C-1.6Mn-1.6Si, 0.2-3Mn-1.6Si and 0.3-3Mn-1.6Si Q&P treated steels. The comparison showed that increasing the carbon content from 0.2 to 0.4 wt pct increased the ultimate tensile strength by 140 MPa per 0.1 wt pct C up to 1611 MPa without significantly decreasing ductility for the partitioning conditions used. Increased alloy carbon content did not substantially increase the retained austenite fractions. The best combinations of ultimate tensile strength and total elongation were obtained using short partitioning times.
Technical Paper

Effect of Thermal Treatments and Carbon Potential on Bending Fatigue Performance of SAE 4320 Gear Steel

This project investigated the effect of carburizing carbon-potential and thermal history on the bending fatigue performance of carburized SAE 4320 gear steel. Modified-Brugger cantilever bending fatigue specimens were carburized at carbon potentials of 0.60, 0.85, 1.05, and 1.25 wt. pct. carbon, and were either quenched and tempered or quenched, tempered, reheated, quenched, and tempered. The reheat treatment was designed to lower the solute carbon content in the case through the formation of transition carbides and refine the prior austenite grain size. Specimens were fatigue tested in a tension/tension cycle with a minimum to maximum stress ratio of 0.1. The bending fatigue results were correlated with case and core microstructures, hardness profiles, residual stress profiles, retained austenite profiles, and component distortion.
Technical Paper

Effects of Testing Temperature on the Fatigue Behavior of Carburized Steel

The effects of elevated testing temperature on the fatigue behavior of carburized steel were evaluated by testing modified Brügger bending fatigue specimens at room temperature, 90 °C and 150 °C. SAE 4023, SAE 4320, and SAE 9310 steel were studied to assess the influence of alloy content and stability of retained austenite. Fatigue samples were gas-carburized and tested in air at 30 Hz with a stress ratio of 0.1. An infrared spot lamp was used to heat samples to 90 °C (150 °F) or 150 °C (302 °F) during testing. S-N curves were developed for the room temperature baseline tests as well as elevated temperature tests. The endurance limits determined are as follows: SAE 4023-RT (1170 MPa), SAE 4023-90°C (1140 MPa), SAE 4320-RT (1210 MPa), SAE 4320-90°C (1280 MPa), SAE 9310-RT (1380 MPa), SAE 9310-90°C (1240 MPa).
Technical Paper

Examination of Pitting Fatigue in Carburized Steels with Controlled Retained Austenite Fractions

The effects of several variables on pitting fatigue life of carburized steels were analyzed using a geared roller test machine (GRTM). The material variables that were primarily used to influence retained austenite include aim surface carbon concentration (0.8 % and 0.95 %), alloy (SAE 4320 and a modified SAE 4122), and cold treatment (performed on one material condition per alloy). Testing variables included contact stress in addition to a variation in lambda ratio (oil film thickness/surface roughness), arising from variation in roughness among the machined surfaces. Test results are presented, and differences in performance are considered in terms of material and testing variables. A primary observation from these results is an improvement in contact fatigue resistance apparently arising from cold-treatment and the associated reduction of retained austenite at the surface.
Technical Paper

Hydrogen Embrittlement Susceptibility of Case Hardened Steel Fasteners

This work establishes the relationship between core hardness, case hardness, and case depth on susceptibility to hydrogen embrittlement of case hardened steel fasteners. Such fasteners have a high surface hardness in order to create their own threads in a mating hole, and are commonly used to attach bracketry and sheet metal in automotive applications. While case hardened fasteners have been studied previously, there are currently no processing guidelines supported by quantitative data for fastener standards. Through sustained load embrittlement testing techniques, the susceptibility of case hardened steel tapping screws to internal and environmental hydrogen embrittlement is examined. Further characterization of the fastener samples through microhardness testing, microstructure review, and fracture surface examination allows the investigation of susceptibility thresholds. It is shown that core hardness is the primary consideration for susceptibility.
Technical Paper

Optimized Carburized Steel Fatigue Performance as Assessed with Gear and Modified Brugger Fatigue Tests

The effectiveness of three different techniques, designed to improve the bending fatigue life in comparison to conventionally processed gas-carburized 8620 steel, were evaluated with modified Brugger bending fatigue specimens and actual ring and pinion gears. The bending fatigue samples were machined from forged gear blanks from the same lot of material used for the pinion gear tests, and all processing of laboratory samples and gears was done together. Fatigue data were obtained on standard as-carburized parts and after three special processing histories: shot-peening to increase surface residual stresses; double heat treating to refined austenite grain size; and vacuum carburizing to minimize intergranular oxidation. Standard room-temperature S-N curves and endurance limits were obtained with the laboratory samples. The pinions were run as part of a complete gear set on a laboratory dynamometer and data were obtained at two imposed torque levels.
Technical Paper

Predicting the Radius of a Sheet Bent Around Drawbeads

Drawbeads in production stamping dies often have insufficient penetration of the male bead into the female cavity. With insufficient penetration, the actual bending radii of the sheet metal are larger than the geometrical radii of the drawbead. The actual bending radii in the sheet directly affect the force that restrains sheet movement. To predict the restraining stress due to a drawbead, it is necessary to know the actual bending radii in the sheet as it passes though the drawbead. Data from a previous study are used to develop empirical regression equations for predicting measured radii of the sheet that is bent around the radii in a drawbead. A physical model for the evolution of the sheet radii as the drawbead closes is proposed. This model is consistent with the empirical equations and the mechanics of the sheet bending process.
Technical Paper

Tensile Properties of Steel Tubes for Hydroforming Applications

With the increased use of tubular steel products, especially for automotive hydroforming applications, there is increased interest in understanding the mechanical properties measured by tensile tests from specimens of different orientations in the tube. In this study, two orientations of tensile specimens were evaluated -- axial specimens with and without flattening and flattened circumferential specimens. Three steels were evaluated -- two thicknesses of aluminum killed drawing quality (AKDQ) steel and one thickness of high strength low alloy (HSLA) steel. Mechanical property data were obtained from the flat stock, conventional production tubes and quasi tubes. Quasi tubes were produced from the flat stock on a 3-roll bender, but the quasi tube was not welded or sized.
Technical Paper

The Effect of Strain Rate on the Sheet Tensile Properties and Formability of Ferritic Stainless Steels

High strain rate sheet tensile tests (up to 300s-1) and Ohio State University (OSU) formability tests (up to an estimated strain rate of 10s-1) were performed to examine the effect of strain rate on the mechanical properties and formability of five ferritic stainless steels: HIGH PERFORMANCE-10™ 409 (HP-10 409), ULTRA FORM® 409 (UF 409), HIGH PERFORMANCE-10™ 439 (HP-10 439), two thicknesses of 18 Cr-Cb™ stainless steel, all supplied by AK Steel, and Duracorr®, a ferrite-tempered martensite dual-phase stainless steel supplied by Bethlehem Steel Corporation. Tensile results show that increasing strain rate resulted in increases in yield stress, flow stress, and stress at instability for all alloys tested. In addition, increases in uniform and total elongation were also found for each of the five alloys.
Technical Paper

The Fatigue Performance of High Temperature Vacuum Carburized Nb Modified 8620 Steel

The bending fatigue performance of high temperature (1050 °C) vacuum carburized Nb modified 8620 steel, with niobium additions of 0.02, 0.06 and 0.1 wt pct, was evaluated utilizing a modified Brugger specimen geometry. Samples were heated at two different rates (20 and 114 °C min-1) to the carburizing temperature resulting in different prior austenite grain structures that depended on the specific Nb addition and heating rate employed. At the lower heating rate, uniform fine grained prior austenite grain structures developed in the 0.06 and 0.1 Nb steels while a duplex grain structure with the presence of large (>200 μm grains) developed in the 0.02 Nb steel. At the higher heating rate the propensity for abnormal grain growth was highest in the 0.02 Nb steel and complete suppression of abnormal grain growth was achieved only with the 0.1 Nb steel.