Development of Ductile Iron Material, Simulation and Production Technology to Locally Strengthen Castings
A lot of innovations in molding and casting technology and also simulation techniques have made ductile iron more and more competitive and it even competes meanwhile against steel forgings. A successful substitution of steel forgings for example is the wheel carrier for a high volume car with the Georg Fischer new ductile iron material 'SiboDur', a ductile iron family with high strength and high elongation at the same time. But there is still a great potential for ductile iron castings to substitute steel forgings, in particular in the automotive industry. One example is the crankshaft for the engine: Quite a lot of gasoline engines are equipped with ductile iron crankshafts, but for instance most of the diesel engines are still running with forged steel cranks. The reason is mostly the belief of design engineers that it is not possible to get similar fatigue limit with castings com-pared to forged steel. This belief may often be correct, but using local strengthening technologies, such as roller burnishing of bearing fillets or inductive hardening of highly stressed areas can raise the fatigue limit of casted crankshafts dramatically. The paper presents studies which show that using the right ductile iron material and optimized roller burnishing conditions can raise the fatigue limit of cast crankshafts to values even higher than forged steel ones (material 38MnVS6). But even quenched and tempered forged steel crankshafts are in the focus to be substituted by castings. It is well known that ductile iron also can be induction hardened, but the induction hardening of ductile iron is still an empirical technology. This leads to the second part of the paper: In a cooperation of Georg Fischer and RWP a research project was carried out to develop a simulation technology to predict the residual stresses in a cast crankshaft due to induction hardening under different condi-tions. The results are very encouraging and enable us today to predetermine the induction hardening conditions to get optimized fatigue behavior of ductile iron crankshafts. Of course, the findings can also be used for other applications than crankshafts.
Adel Nofal and Mohamed Waly
W. Menk et al., "Development of Ductile Iron Material, Simulation and Production Technology to Locally Strengthen Castings", Key Engineering Materials, Vol. 457, pp. 343-348, 2011