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Influence of heat treatment on hysteresis error of force transducers manufactured from 17-4PH stainless steel

Influence of heat treatment on hysteresis error of force transducers manufactured from 17-4PH stainless steel

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Published by Jonathan Olson
Bulent Aydemir a,*, Erdinc Kaluc b, Sinan Fank a
a TUBITAK, Force Measurement Laboratory, National Metrology Institute (UME), P.K. 54, 41470 Gebze, Kocaeli, Turkey
b Kocaeli University, Engineering Faculty, 41040 Kocaeli, Turkey

Abstract
Different heat treatment processes can be applied on the spring element of a force transducer in order to obtain good
and satisfactory performance. The study covers the attempts of different heat treatments on spring element using 17-4PH
precipitation hardened stainless steel, which is regarded as one of the best and popular spring materials for force sensor
applications. Heat treatments named as H900, H925, H1025, H1150 and S450 was applied, and different hardness values
were reached. Especially, S450 heat treatment process was improved in this study. It was observed that heat treatments
influenced the transducer performance, particularly hysteresis behaviour point of view. The results have shown that; hysteresis
characteristics were improved with increasing hardness and sub-zero treatment process.
Bulent Aydemir a,*, Erdinc Kaluc b, Sinan Fank a
a TUBITAK, Force Measurement Laboratory, National Metrology Institute (UME), P.K. 54, 41470 Gebze, Kocaeli, Turkey
b Kocaeli University, Engineering Faculty, 41040 Kocaeli, Turkey

Abstract
Different heat treatment processes can be applied on the spring element of a force transducer in order to obtain good
and satisfactory performance. The study covers the attempts of different heat treatments on spring element using 17-4PH
precipitation hardened stainless steel, which is regarded as one of the best and popular spring materials for force sensor
applications. Heat treatments named as H900, H925, H1025, H1150 and S450 was applied, and different hardness values
were reached. Especially, S450 heat treatment process was improved in this study. It was observed that heat treatments
influenced the transducer performance, particularly hysteresis behaviour point of view. The results have shown that; hysteresis
characteristics were improved with increasing hardness and sub-zero treatment process.

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Published by: Jonathan Olson on May 25, 2012
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Influence of heat treatment on hysteresis error of forcetransducers manufactured from 17-4PH stainless steel
Bulent Aydemir
a,*
, Erdinc Kaluc
b
, Sinan Fank
a
a
TUBITAK, Force Measurement Laboratory, National Metrology Institute (UME), P.K. 54, 41470 Gebze, Kocaeli, Turkey
b
Kocaeli University, Engineering Faculty, 41040 Kocaeli, Turkey
Received 11 August 2005; received in revised form 20 March 2006; accepted 21 March 2006Available online 24 May 2006
Abstract
Different heat treatment processes can be applied on the spring element of a force transducer in order to obtain goodand satisfactory performance. The study covers the attempts of different heat treatments on spring element using 17-4PHprecipitation hardened stainless steel, which is regarded as one of the best and popular spring materials for force sensorapplications. Heat treatments named as H900, H925, H1025, H1150 and S450 was applied, and different hardness valueswere reached. Especially, S450 heat treatment process was improved in this study. It was observed that heat treatmentsinfluenced the transducer performance, particularly hysteresis behaviour point of view. The results have shown that; hys-teresis characteristics were improved with increasing hardness and sub-zero treatment process.
Ó
2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Keywords:
Force transducer; 17-4 PH; Heat treatment; Hysteresis
1. Introduction
Strain gage based force sensors or transducersare used extensively in different field of industry.Several applications of force transducers in materi-als laboratories, manufacturing and control sys-tems, where critical force measurements are strictlyneeded. In order to achieve low uncertainties inforce measurements, the performance characteris-tics such as repeatability, linearity, hysteresis andcreep errors influence the measurement uncertaintyof force transducer[1]. It is known that hysteresiserror is one of the most important characteristicsof force transducers[2–5]. It plays an important roleon the measurement uncertainty of the force trans-ducer. For this reason it must be as low as possible.It was determined that performance characteristicsof force transducers were mostly affected by the heattreatment that was applied to spring element[2,6].Spring materials may exhibit different hysteresisbehaviour and the application of heat treatmenton spring material causes important microstructuralchanges and respectively creates different hysteresiserror performance in force transducers[1,7]. Vari-ous heat treatment procedures can be applied onthe spring element of a force transducer in orderto optimise performance characteristics. The study
0263-2241/$ - see front matter
Ó
2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.doi:10.1016/j.measurement.2006.03.014
*
Corresponding author. Tel.: +90 262 679 50 00; fax: +90 262679 50 01.
E-mail address:
bulent.aydemir@ume.tubitak.gov.tr(B. Ay-demir).Measurement 39 (2006) 892–900
www.elsevier.com/locate/measurement
 
covers the attempts of different ageing heat treat-ments on spring element using solution annealed17-4PH precipitation hardened stainless steel whichis regarded as one of the most popular spring mate-rials for force transducer applications[5]. Precipita-tion hardened stainless steel usually exhibits a higherhysteresis error than alloyed tool steel or aluminum[3]. Application of specially selected heat treatmentreduces the hysteresis error. In this study, variousheat treatments were applied on the specimens toobtain minimum hysteresis error from the producedforce transducers.It is essential to select good performance materi-als, to perform good design, and to apply carefullycontrolledmanufacturingproceduresforforcetrans-ducers[8].Theuseofhighaccuracyelectronicinstru-ments in transducer outputs and the use of deadweight force standard machines in determining theperformance characteristics of transducers are alsovery important to get reliable results. After applica-tion of all heat treatment and ageing processes,finishing process was applied to get the resultingspecimens. Then special strain gages were bondedon the specimen surface. Finally, the selection andapplication practice of strain gages have been doneproperly. After completing the strain gage circuitsof transducers, all of specimens are calibrated withdead weight UME (National Metrology Institute)Force Standard Machine having 2
·
10
À
5
measure-mentuncertaintiesinaspecifiedmeasurementproce-dure to obtain performance specifications of eachspecimen.
2. Materials and heat treatments of spring elementof transducer
Test material for the spring element of forcetransducers is 17-4PH steel. 25.4 mm diameter withsteel bar was procured in condition A (Table 1). Thetension type force transducer body specimens werefirst machined roughly to their dimensions, as seeninFig. 1.17-4PH steel is one of most popular springelement material for the force transducer applica-tion due to corrosion resistivity[1,9]. In order tochange the microstructure in 17-4PH stainless steelspecimens, various annealing heat treatments wereapplied after solution annealing process. AlthoughH900, H925, H1025 and H1150 heat treatmentscould be found in literature, S450 heat treatmentwas specially improved for this study. The detailsof heat treatment, which were applied to 17-4PHstainless steel, are given inTable 1.These heat treatment processes were appliedon the five groups of specimens. Each group hastwo identical specimens to determine effect of heattreatment on the hysteresis performance of forcetransducers.As a result of each heat treatment, hardness val-ues were measured for each specimen using Zwick Z
Table 1Heat-treating details of test specimensSpecimen code(condition)Solution annealing processes Sub-zerotreatmentAgeing (precipitation) heat treatmentAnnealingtemperature (K)Annealingtime (min)QuenchingmediumAgeingtemperature (K)Ageingtime (min)CoolingmediumA (standard material) 1313 30 Atmosphere – H900 1313 30 Atmosphere 755 60 AtmosphereH925 1313 30 Atmosphere 769 240 AtmosphereH1025 1313 30 Atmosphere 825 240 AtmosphereH1150 1313 30 Atmosphere 893 240 AtmosphereS450 1313 30 Water 1 h in liquidnitrogen723 120 AtmosphereFig. 1. Force transducer specimens technical dimensional.Table 2Average hardness values of specimensSpecimen code Hardness values (HRC)H900 44.90H925 41.35H1025 37.34H1150 32.57S450 45.29
B. Aydemir et al. / Measurement 39 (2006) 892–900
893
 
2.5 model hardness machine in order to determinerelation between performance and hardness. Aver-age hardness values in Rockwell (HRC) scale aregiven inTable 2.
3. Transducer design and strain gage application
All transducers were designed for 100 kN capac-ity and produced in tension type and circular barshape for easy strain gage application. Tension typetransducer enables easy and exact centering in forcestandard machine since it has spherical apparatus,which eliminates the bending effect during loading.The basic elementary elasticity calculations wereemployed in the design of cylindrical tension typetransducer. In order to eliminate end effect, thediameter to length ratio was taken greater than five.Diameter of tension bar is calculated as 20 mm fora strain level of 1500
l
m/m for 100 kN capacity.After the application of heat treatments, specimensurfaces were finished to their exact dimensions bygrinding to satisfy ±0.002 mm tolerance in alldimensions for each specimen.In order to get output signal from transducerspring element, N2A type 350
X
transducer class(Measurement Group Co., USA) strain gages wereused and bonded in this study. Its STC (self temper-ature compensation) number is 06 associated withexactly 17-4PH stainless steel for approximatingthe thermal expansion coefficients of the transducermaterial[10]. These strain gages are selected as 90
°
rosette to eliminate alignment errors.Correct application of strain gages is very impor-tant to obtain repeatable performance from theforce transducers. Recommendations of strain gageproducer were carefully applied to obtain better per-formance and quality bonding using M bond-610adhesive for strain gage application. Since finaltransducer performances are greatly depending onthe application of a uniform and repeatable clamp-ing pressure, strain gages are bonded accordingto manufacturer recommendations using specialclamping apparatus[8,11].Two rosettes pair is bonded on opposite side witha 180
°
angle between them to establish a full bridgewheatstone circuit. Another pair of rosettes isbonded on the spring element to obtain another fullbridge circuit. As it mentioned before that eachgroup has two identical specimens. Although eachspecimen has a full bridge circuits, one specimenfrom each group has two full bridges circuit dueto determination of the installation errors of straingage application. A completed specimen preparedas force transducer was shown inFig. 2.
4. Calibration method for hysteresis errordetermination
Hysteresis or reversibility error in force transduc-ers is determined at each calibration procedure bytaking the difference of force measurements inincreasing and decreasing order of force applica-tions (Fig. 3). In other words, the difference betweenthe values obtained with increasing force and withdecreasing force enables the relative hysteresis error(
v
), which can be calculated by using Eqs.(1) and (2)
v
1
 – 
2
¼
 X 
0
1
 – 
2
À
 X 
1
 – 
2
 X 
 N 
ð
1
 – 
2
Þ
Â
100
ð
1
Þ
v
ave
¼
v
1
þ
v
2
2
ð
2
Þ
where
v
is the relative hysteresis error of force trans-ducer,
v
1
,
v
2
are the hysteresis errors in first and sec-
Fig. 2. Completed force transducer specimen ready to perfor-mance test.Fig. 3. Schematic representation of hysteresis error on forcetransducer output graph.894
B. Aydemir et al. / Measurement 39 (2006) 892–900

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