2004-01-0628

Fatigue Life Comparisons of Competing Manufacturing Processes: A Study of Steering Knuckle

Mehrdad Zoroufi and Ali Fatemi
The University of Toledo
Copyright © 2003 SAE International

ABSTRACT
A vehicle steering knuckle undergoes time-varying loadings during its service life. Fatigue behavior is, therefore, a key consideration in its design and performance evaluation. This research program aimed to assess fatigue life and compare fatigue performance of steering knuckles made from three materials of different manufacturing processes. These include forged steel, cast aluminum, and cast iron knuckles. In light of the high volume of forged steel vehicle components, the forging process was considered as base for investigation. Monotonic and strain-controlled fatigue tests of specimens machined from the three knuckles were conducted. Static as well as baseline cyclic deformation and fatigue properties were obtained and compared. In addition, a number of load-controlled fatigue component tests were conducted for the forged steel and cast aluminum knuckles. Finite element models of the steering knuckles were also analyzed to obtain stress distributions in each component. Based on the results of component testing and finite element analysis, fatigue behaviors of the three materials and manufacturing processes are then compared. It is concluded that the forged steel knuckle exhibits superior fatigue behavior, compared to the cast iron and cast aluminum knuckles.

The steering knuckle, being a part of the vehicle’s suspension system, has alternatives of forging and casting as its base manufacturing process. Since it is connected to the steering parts and strut assembly from one side and the wheel hub assembly from the other, it has complex restraint and constraint conditions and tolerates a combination of loads. In addition, parameters such as internal defects, stress concentrations and gradients, surface finish, and residual stresses can have considerable influence while designing for fatigue. A common practice of fatigue design consists of a combination of analysis and testing. A problem that arises at the fatigue design stage of components is the transferability of data from smooth specimens to the component. The component geometry and surface specifications often deviate from that of the specimen investigated and neither a nominal stress nor a notch factor can be defined in most cases. An advantage of component testing is that the effects of material, manufacturing process parameters, and geometry are inherently accounted for, even though synergistically. Gunnarson et al.(1) investigated replacing conventional forged quenched and tempered steel with precipitation hardened pearlitic-ferritic cast steels. They also compared toughness and machinability characteristics of forging versus casting components. They observed insufficient toughness but higher machinability for cast components. Lee(2) evaluated fatigue strength for truck axle housing, crankshaft, leaf spring, torque-rod assembly, and steering knuckle. For the case of the steering knuckle, two sets of tests at constant load amplitude were conducted. The load was applied to the wheel stud (spindle) and carrier tube (body), and the acceptance criteria were no crack initiation and no permanent deformation until 2x105 cycles. Among five total tests, none of the knuckles failed. Lee et al.(3) developed a methodology to quantitatively assess fatigue lives of automotive structures and to identify critical and non-damaging areas for design enhancement and weight reduction. An MS-3760A cast 1

INTRODUCTION
There has been a strong trend towards the adoption of optimum materials and components in automotive industry. Automotive designers have a wide range of materials and processes to select from. Steel forgings are in competition with aluminum forgings and castings, cast iron, and sintered powder forgings. The competition is particularly acute in the chassis, and it is not unusual to find a range of different materials and manufacturing technologies employed within modern chassis components.

The objectives of the current study were to compare fatigue performance and assess fatigue life for steering knuckle. first the results of specimen testing of the three materials are presented. MATERIAL FATIGUE BEHAVIOR AND COMPARISONS EXPERIMENTAL PROGRAM Identical flat plate specimens with square cross section and uniform gage section length.iron steering knuckle was the example component of this study. cast aluminum and cast iron steering knuckles. In this paper. Specimens in three geometrical orientations were taken from the forged steel knuckle to investigate the effect of directionality. Details of component testing of the forged steel and cast aluminum knuckles are described. cyclic and fatigue properties are compared. the specimens were taken from the hub and . The correlations of maximum principal strains between the FEA and the experimental results showed average errors of 23% and 27% for lateral and fore/aft loads in elastic range. The methodology combines load-time history file with results from elastic FEA to estimate fatigue lives. Only the forged steel knuckle included the spindle portion. accurate determination of the local equivalent stress or strain.e. Conle and Chu(5) used strain-life results. and the same maximum stressed/strained material volume 2 for both the specimens and the components. cast aluminum ASTM A356-T6 knuckle of front suspension of a 6-cylinder minivan weighing 2. using strength of material and an elastic FEA model combined with a superposition procedure of each load point's service history was proposed.4 kg. first detectable crack).5 kg. To perform fatigue analysis and implement the local stress-strain approach in complex vehicular structures. were preconditions for the transferability of material data obtained from specimens to the component. FEA using shell elements and LEFM calculations were used. in conjunction with the SmithWatson-Topper and J-Integral parameters. These include mean stress effects. made from three materials of different manufacturing processes. simulated 3-D stress-strain models and multiaxial deformation paths to assess fatigue damage. These included forged steel SAE Grade 11V37 knuckle of the rear suspension of a 4-cylinder sedan weighing 2. were machined from the steering knuckles. Savaidis(6) verified the local strain approach for durability evaluation of forged bus axle steering arm. as shown in Figure 2. Knuckles of three vehicles were selected. It was concluded that the same failure criterion (i. a fatigue critical part. S-N curves under constant amplitude loading and strain-life curves under variable amplitude loading for unnotched and notched specimens and components were compared. constant-amplitude loadcontrolled tests at 10 Hz frequency and with R = -0. Beranger et al. and the critical location of the components with respect to the selected boundary conditions are identified. Sonsino et al. the methods to verify the models are described. Figure 1 shows the digitized models of the three components. respectively.5 (typical braking/acceleration cycles measured on vehicle) were considered. Knuckle strain gage measurements were made for elastic as well as inelastic load ranges. respectively. For cast aluminum and cast iron knuckles.(7) discussed the procedure of specimen fatigue data transferability to real components using the example of a randomly loaded truck stub axle. Elastic unit load analysis. It was concluded that the local strain approach. Figure 1: From left to right the digitized models of the forged steel. The minimum value of the safety factor on the part was located in the area where failure occurred on the test rig. Endurance limit was defined at 2x106 cycles.9 and 1. The differences between observed and predicted lives in the inelastic range were found to be factors of 3. The relatively short gage section length was chosen to prevent buckling in compression. and cast iron ASTM A536 Grade 65-45-12 knuckle of the front suspension of a 4cylinder sedan weighing 4. The maximum stressed/strained material volume appeared to be suitable for taking into account the statistical and mechanical size effects in a relatively simple manner.(4) assessed fatigue behavior of a forged suspension arm and investigated the fatigue strength reduction of the "as-forged" surface resulting from the surface roughness in the presence of residual stresses. Then the procedure of finite element analysis is detailed. since the material properties are less dependent on geometrical orientation. After the complex load history was reduced to a uniaxial (elastic) stress history for each critical element. a Neuber plasticity correction method was used to correct for plastic behavior.7 kg.4 at the R50C50 life (the fatigue life with reliability of 50% and confidence level of 50%) for fore/aft and lateral loading tests. and fatigue lives for the three components based on S-N and strain-life predictions are compared. They reported very good correlation between experimental and fatigue life predictions. For component testing. and manufacturing process effects such as surface roughness and residual stresses. are able to represent and estimate many influencing factors explicitly. Monotonic. A multiaxial fatigue model based on a critical plane approach was implemented. load sequence effects above and below the endurance limit.

34 0.59 195 1. The percent elongation.55 0.27 0. For the strain-controlled tests.6 0. c Fatigue strength.97 0.61 122 0.6 0.57 0. According to ASTM Standard E606(8).864 -0.2% offset). E (GPa) Yield strength (0. Strain amplitudes larger than 0. which were conducted in load-control mode.075 407 761 -0. εf (%) Cyclic and Fatigue Properties Cyclic modulus of elasticity. Figure 2: Specimen geometry used for all specimen tests. YS (MPa) Ultimate strength. Strain control was used in all tests.42 0. K (MPa) Strain hardening exponent.125%. σf’ (MPa) Fatigue strength exponent. Sf @ 10 cycles (MPa) 6 Cast Aluminum A356-T6 ratio Cast Iron 65-45-12 ratio 201 556 821 21 37 1. which was fulfilled.117 0. for the cast aluminum and cast iron are 24% and 48% of the forged steel.46 0.66 0. the applied frequencies ranged from 0. εf’ Fatigue ductility exponent.7% were not possible due to specimen buckling limitation.58 1. n True fracture strength.157 -0.03 0. respectively.269 0.063 291 666 -0. E’ (GPa) Cyclic strength coefficient. respectively. All dimensions are in mm.19 0.032 -0.one of the arms.87 0.23 193 300 471 10 25 796 0.37 0.35 169 649 0. the frequency was increased to up to 30 Hz in order to shorten the overall test duration. respectively.42 0.28 0. including the ratios of each property with respect to that of the forged steel.187 219 28 0.44 0. From Table 1 it can be seen that cast aluminum and cast iron reach 42% and 54% of the forged steel yield strength.31 0. Table 1: Summary of mechanical properties and their comparative ratios (forged steel is taken as the base for ratio calculations). Test data were automatically recorded at regular intervals throughout each test. as a measure of ductility. n’ Cyclic yield strength.771 253 0. %EL (%) Percent reduction in area.77 0.92 0.076 0.1 Hz to 2 Hz. All monotonic tension and constant amplitude fatigue tests in this study were performed using test methods specified by ASTM Standard E8(9) and ASTM Standard E606. K’ (MPa) Cyclic strain hardening exponent. Su (MPa) Percent elongation. The degree to which anisotropic behavior may exist depends on the specific casting practice.095 301 10 0.347 0.094 -0. and 37% and 57% of forged steel ultimate tensile strength. σf (MPa) True fracture ductility. The monotonic and cyclic specimen tests were performed by a 50 kN closed-loop servo-hydraulic uniaxial testing machine with computer control and hydraulic-wedge grips. All tests were conducted at room temperature. the maximum bending strains should not exceed 5% of the minimum axial strain range imposed during any test program.7% to 0. Specimens of the three materials were tested at strain amplitudes ranging from 0.96 0. For the loadcontrolled tests including run-out tests. EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS AND COMPARISONS A summary of the monotonic properties for the three materials is provided in Table 1.39 0. %RA (%) Strength coefficient.75 0.791 352 73 430 0.54 0. respectively.157 496 47 78 232 302 5 10 418 0. except for some long-life and run-out tests.24 0.59 1.51 0. Forged Steel 11V37 Monotonic Properties Modulus of elasticity.38 0.137 541 1. b Fatigue ductility coefficient.48 0. YS’ (MPa) Fatigue strength coefficient. respectively.54 0. resulting in fatigue lives between about 102 and 107 (run-out) reversals. Significant effort was put forth to align the load train and minimize bending.68 0. according to ASTM classification. Total strain was controlled using an extensometer rated as class B1.082 3.72 3 . All tests were conducted using a triangular waveform.

as compared with the other two directions.Figure 3 represents the superimposed plots of monotonic and cyclic curves for all three materials. Comparison of long-life fatigue strength. Since this 4 True Plastic Strain Amplitude (%) 0. With regards to anisotropy influence of the forged steel.4% 0. but slightly hardens at higher strain amplitudes larger than 0. cast aluminum A356-T6. while the cyclic strain hardening exponent of cast aluminum and cast iron were 46% and 55% of the forged steel.001% 1E+2 1E+3 1E+4 1E+5 1E+6 Reversals to Failure. particularly for notched components. These indicate higher resistance of the forged steel to plastic deformation. cast aluminum A356-T6. The fatigue data presented in Table 1 are also for this direction. where plastic deformation can occur. strain hardening is more prominent for forged steel. fatigue strength of cast aluminum and cast iron continuously drops with longer lives (i. Forged steel was found to be superior to cast aluminum and cast iron with respect to low-cycle fatigue (i. while the fatigue strength of forged steel at 106 cycles is expected to remain about constant at longer lives. Cast aluminum and cast iron show cyclic hardening behavior by about 20% and 30%. respectively. As can be seen in this figure. 600 Monotonic Cyclic 400 Monotonic 300 Cyclic 200 Monotonic Cyclic 500 True Stress (MPa) Figure 4: Superimposed true stress amplitude versus reversals to failure for forged steel 11V37. Figure 5 presents a comparison of the plastic strain amplitude versus fatigue life behavior for the three materials. as could be seen in Figure 5. the forged steel has mixedmode cyclic behavior. and cast iron 65-45-12. 700 direction coincides with the primary stressing direction of the forged knuckle.100% 0. 2Nf Figure 5: Superimposed true plastic strain amplitude versus reversals to failure for forged steel 11V37. such as steering knuckle.0% 0 0. Figure 4 indicates that at a given stress amplitude forged steel results in about two orders of magnitude longer life than cast iron. The cyclic deformation curve of the forged steel was found to be independent of the geometrical direction (i. This material cyclically softens at low amplitude.010% Forged Steel 11V37 Cast Iron 65-45-12 Cast Aluminum A356-T6 0.8% 1. The cyclic yield strengths of cast aluminum and cast iron were found to be 54% and 75% of the forged steel.000% 100 Forged Steel 11V37 Cast Iron 65-45-12 Cast Aluminum A356-T6 0. respectively. This is typical of suspension components. In automotive design. In addition. and cast iron 65-45-12. fatigue test results indicated that both the long-life as well as the short-life fatigue in the spindle centerline direction were longer by about a factor of two. it was selected as the basis for comparisons in Figure 4 and subsequent figures. 1. Sf .5%. respectively. isotropic behavior) based on the results of fatigue tests in three geometrical directions.e.6% 0. Figure 4 shows a direct comparison of the three materials with respect to S-N behavior. which is defined as the fatigue strength at 106 cycles. cyclic ductility is a major consideration when designing components subjected to occasional overloads. In addition. and more than four orders of magnitude longer life than cast aluminum.2% 0. and cast iron 65-45-12. shows that fatigue strength of cast aluminum and cast iron are 35% and 72% of the forged steel.0% True Strain (%) Figure 3: Superimposed plots of cyclic and monotonic stress-strain curves for forged steel 11V37. cast aluminum A356-T6. .e. cyclic ductility). beyond 106 cycles).e.

as well as gross yielding in some cases.0 0. known as Neuber plot. the choice of fixing the hub bolt hole-centerlines was selected. a Neuber plot considers the combined effects of both stress and strain amplitudes. Therefore. and the four suspension and strut holes were restrained.1 1E+2 1E+3 1E+4 1E+5 1E+6 1E+7 1E+8 Reversals to Failure. While defining a solid mesh for the components. It was found that except for the case of fixing the bolt holes. to ensure the critical locations remained the same. Therefore. is shown in Figure 7.254 mm for the forged steel and 0. The boundary conditions and loading were selected to represent the component service and testing conditions. other alternatives were analyzed by switching the loading and boundary conditions. with global element sizes of 3. respectively. only fixing the pair of bolt holes away from the load application point. free meshing feature of the software was employed since it has no geometry restrictions and it could be defined on complicated volumes.635 mm for the cast aluminum and cast iron knuckles were considered at the critical locations (i. a Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM) was used. fixing the centerline of the hub bolt holes. 2Nf Figure 7: Neuber curves for forged steel 11V37. 2Nf Figure 6: Superimposed true strain amplitude versus reversals to failure for forged steel 11V37. Nonlinear analysis was necessary due to local yielding in most cases. for which the value of stress was lower and the critical location was different. demonstrates that the forged steel provides about a factor of 20 and 4 longer lives in the short-life regime compared to the cast aluminum and cast iron. For the cast iron knuckle. For the forged steel knuckle. Local element sizes of 0. In the high-cycle regime. 5 True Strain Amplitude (%) 0. . In order to generate precise geometries of the three steering knuckles. while the loading is applied to the strut joints through struts. were assumed for the nonlinear analysis. all the other three cases provided approximately similar results. cast aluminum A356-T6. 1. These mesh sizes were obtained based on the convergence of stress and strain energy at certain geometry locations. with the resulting digitized models as presented in Figure 1. and cast iron 65-45-12. The analysis showed that changing the location in the spindle length at which the load is applied does not affect the location and magnitude of the stresses at the critical point. where the geometry and service conditions are close to the cast aluminum knuckle. This plot is useful when analyzing component geometries with stress concentrations. To verify the model.0 Forged Steel 11V37 Cast Iron 65-45-12 Cast Aluminum A356-T6 ε aσ a (MPa) 1. von Mises yield criterion and a kinematic hardening rule that used a bilinear stress-strain curve. For the cast aluminum knuckle in service. forged steel results in about an order of magnitude longer life than the cast iron. 10.10% 1E+2 1E+3 1E+4 1E+5 1E+6 1E+7 1E+8 Reversals to Failure. rather than considering the individual effects of stress amplitude (Figure 4) or strain amplitude (Figure 6).00% Forged Steel 11V37 Cast Aluminum A356 Cast Iron 65-45-12 FINITE ELEMENT ANALYSIS Linear and nonlinear static finite element analyses employing IDEAS-8 software were conducted on each knuckle. 3-D linear tetrahedral solid elements. as shown in Figure 6. The product of strain and stress amplitudes versus life. and also by releasing any one of the fixed points. Material cyclic properties were used for the analysis. including fixing the whole area of the four hub bolt holes. the four hub bolt holes are connected to the wheel assembly. where the notch root fatigue behavior is a function of both local stress and strain. and fixing two points at the middle area of the hub. as mentioned previously.08 mm for the cast aluminum knuckle were used.e. and about a factor of 3 longer life than the cast aluminum. and cast iron 65-45-12. adequately representing the material cyclic deformation behavior.81 mm for the forged steel and cast iron knuckles and 5. Several trials for boundary conditions were analyzed.Comparisons of strain-life fatigue behavior of the three materials. cast aluminum A356-T6. and hub bolt holes for cast aluminum and cast iron knuckles). spindle fillets for forged steel knuckle. similar loading and boundary conditions were applied. The free mesh generator used an algorithm that minimizes element distortion. the primary loading was applied to the spindle.

and FEA (%) 8 4 10 7 Forged Steel 1 2 3 4 542 -527 1561 -1489 575 -557 1571 -1536 Cast Aluminum 1 2 3 4 455 534 228 289 434 470 268 320 5 12 18 11 Figure 8: Contours of von Mises stress showing the critical locations for the forged steel (left). and strut arm root and hub bolt hole for cast iron knuckle) are the highest stressed locations. Therefore validating the FEA models was critical to this study. The component testing was only conducted for forged steel and cast aluminum knuckles. The spindle 1st step fillet area for the forged steel knuckle. As can be seen. Depending on the location of the gage. These locations are identified in Table 2.2 kN static load. Table 2: Measured and predicted strain values at 2. and cast iron (right) knuckles. results of strain calculations from analytical mechanics of materials equation are also listed in Table 2. Gage Number Measured Strain (µstrain) P Mc + A I (µstrain) Predicted Strain from FEA (µstrain) 583 -546 1716 -1590 Diff. and for the cast aluminum knuckle two gages were positioned at the goose neck of the strut arm and two at the hub bolt holes where the crack initiation was observed during component testing. To validate the models. these results are mostly in between the measured and FEA-predicted strains. von Mises equivalent stresses and strains are used for subsequent fatigue life analysis and comparisons.A potential source of significant error in fatigue analysis is inaccuracy of stress and strain predictions. The strain gages for the forged steel knuckle were positioned at the vicinity of the spindle root and the first step fillets. and the strut arm root and hub bolt hole for the cast iron knuckle. 6 . Locations of the gages are also shown. therefore no data is presented for the cast iron knuckle. Meas. It should be noted that the position of the strain gages and the magnitudes of the applied loads were such that all measured strains were in the elastic range. cast aluminum (middle). For the forged steel knuckle. the hub bolt holes for the cast aluminum knuckle. hub bolt hole for the cast aluminum. at the highest experimental load level yielding occurred both gross (in the spindle) and locally (at the fillet). For the forged steel knuckle. The differences between measured and predicted strains obtained for the two knuckles were considered reasonable for the complex knuckle geometries. The results of the finite element analysis were also checked with regards to symmetry and linearity of the loading in the elastic range. the proper component of the strain obtained from the FE analysis was selected for comparison. were found to be the areas of high stresses. The equivalent von Mises stress contours and critical locations for a typical load value are presented for the three models in Figure 8. spindle 1st step for the forged steel. The darker areas (from left to right. whereas for the cast aluminum knuckle at the highest experimental load only local yielding (at the hub bolt hole) occurred. values of strains as measured by strain gages in component testing and as predicted using the finite element analysis were compared and are listed in Table 2. which has a relatively simpler geometry.

COMPONENT FATIGUE TESTS To obtain stress-life behavior of the components and to be able to compare the fatigue behavior of the knuckles. as shown in Figure 11. the spindle was fixed by a 2-piece block where threaded rods tightened the block to the spindle. a two-strut-attachment test was conducted. In this arrangement. The critical points of highest stress in the component were obtained from the stress analysis. Figure 10: Schematic drawing for forged steel knuckle test arrangement. as described previously. For the cast aluminum knuckle. respectively. and arm fixturing close up (bottom). The strut mounts on one side of this component and on the other side the spindle attaches to the wheel hub assembly. specific test fixtures for each one of the two knuckles were designed and machined. schematic (top). Similar procedure was followed for the aluminum steering knuckle. . A pair of Lshaped moment arms transferred the load from the testing machine loading actuator to the spindle blocks in the form of a bending load. The strut and suspension connections on the knuckle body were fixed to the bench using round and square blocks. . EXPERIMENTAL PROGRAM The suspension system of each vehicle that the component belongs to was identified and the loading and attachment conditions of the knuckle in each vehicle were investigated. the strut attachment of the arm was connected from both sides to 7 Figure 11: Cast aluminum knuckle test arrangement showing details of fixturing. Figure 9: The forged steel knuckle within the suspension system. A typical drawing for the suspension system of the vehicle with the forged steel knuckle is shown in Figure 9. constant-amplitude load-control fatigue tests were performed for forged steel and cast aluminum knuckles. This arrangement drawing was used to determine loading and boundary conditions. As shown in Figure 10 for the forged steel knuckle. Accordingly. These attachments were considered as the primary restraint and loading conditions of the test.

a needle roller bearing was installed on each side of the pin of the bearing. EXPERIMENTAL RESULTS Displacement amplitude versus cycle data of the component during each test was monitored in order to record macro-crack nucleation (i. 0.5. allowing the moment arm to roll horizontally to minimize friction force. Care was taken to ensure symmetry of the bending load transferred from the two moment arms. the crack growth portion of the life was significant. As can be seen. Therefore.e. On the other hand.9.6 0. The load levels were determined based on stress analysis results and the true stress-true strain curve of the materials. The lives to failure used in latter comparisons for the cast aluminum knuckle were considered to be those of macro-crack nucleation. and a total of 6 tests at four load levels with amplitudes between 1550 N and 3000 N for the cast aluminum knuckle were conducted. 1. where crack grew with an approximately 8 linear trend versus number of cycles. Due to relative rigidity of the fixtures. and a sudden increase as the final fracture. The calibration of the system was verified prior to the beginning of the tests. The moment arms transferred the bending load from the loading actuator to the knuckle. Figure 13: Superimposed stress amplitude versus life curves for forged steel and cast aluminum knuckles. This figure also shows that the forged steel knuckle . The frequency of the tests ranged from 0.8 1 Normalized Number of Cycles. The stress amplitude versus life curves of the two knuckles are superimposed in Figure 13. Variations of displacement amplitude versus cycles for two typical tests of forged steel and cast aluminum knuckles are shown in Figure 12. growth. As can be observed from this figure. the locations of crack initiation could not be reached to enable detecting crack nucleation. in order to avoid any out of plane bending. A closed-loop servo-controlled hydraulic 100 kN axial load frame was used to conduct the tests.5 Hz for higher load levels. The load levels chosen resulted in fatigue lives between 104 and 2x106 cycles.a pair of moment arms. 20 mm and 27 mm at N/Nf equal to 0. the crack lengths were 8 mm. For the typical cast aluminum knuckle data in Figure 12. All fixture bolts and nuts were tightened with identical torque values to maintain consistency. Therefore. A total of 7 tests at four load levels with amplitudes between 1100 N and 2350 N for the forged steel knuckle. For the cast aluminum knuckle S-N lines based on failure defined as either macro-crack nucleation or fracture are shown. A rod end bearing joint was used to apply the load from the actuator to the moment arms. This indicates that the time lag between macro-crack nucleation and fracture was a small fraction of the total life. corresponding to an R-ratio (Pmin/Pmax) of less than 0. The crack lengths of the cast aluminum knuckles were also visually observed and recorded.7 and 0. N/Nf Figure 12: Displacement amplitude versus normalized cycles for typical forged steel and cast aluminum knuckles. and fracture stages. 13 mm. Due to the nature of the loading and restraints on both knuckles.2 0.5 Displacement Amplitude (mm) Forged Steel Knuckle Cast Aluminum Knuckle crack nucleates 0.5 0 0. on the average.3. 0. the effect of horizontal friction force was found to be significant at the jointfixture contact point. to 5 Hz for lower load levels.4 0. a crack on the order of several mm). A minimum load of 220 N was used in all tests. respectively. for the cast aluminum knuckle. The four hub bolt holes were fixed to the bench.07. for the forged steel knuckle the displacement amplitude was nearly constant until about the end of the test. about 50% of the cast aluminum knuckle life is spent on macro-crack growth. a marked displacement amplitude increase during the test was considered as the crack nucleation point.

due to the nature of the casting materials and the fact that the defects of a casting material is uniform internally and externally. Figure 14 indicates that predictions based on the S-N approach are overly conservative for both the forged steel and cast aluminum knuckles. at both short as well as long lives. mean stress. σm and Su are alternating stress in the presence of mean stress. the modified Goodman equation was used to account for the effect of mean stress: σa σm + =1 σ Nf S u (1) 1000 σ Nf = σ ′f (2 N f ) b (2) Normally. therefore forged .Prediction Cast Aluminum Knuckle . σNf. σ max ε a E = (σ ′f ) 2 (2 N f ) 2b + σ ′f ε ′f E (2 N f ) b +c (3) where σmax is the maximum stress (σmax = σa + σm) and εa is the strain amplitude. respectively. cast aluminum and cast iron knuckles. According to Sonsino et al.Prediction 100 1E+3 1E+4 1E+5 1E+6 1E+7 Cycles to Failure. and ultimate tensile strength. such as forging or casting. The predictions based on the SWT parameter are closer to the experimental results. as indicated by Berger et al. Component test data for the forged steel and cast aluminum knuckles are also superimposed in these figures for comparison with predictions. This is partly due to the conservative nature of the modified Goodman equation. Comparison of the forged steel and cast iron knuckle prediction curves in Figure 15 demonstrates that the forged steel knuckle offers more than an order of magnitude longer life than the cast iron knuckle. for the same stress amplitude level.Test Data Cast Aluminum Knuckle -Test Data Forged Steel Knuckle . The strain-life properties in this equation are defined and their values for each material are listed in Table 1. the local equivalent stresses and strains corresponding to the experimental loading conditions were obtained by applying equivalent loads to the simulated finite element models. alternating stress for equivalent completely reversed loading. the local values of stress and strain at the critical location were used to find fatigue life. The Basquin equation was then used to obtain the fatigue life using the material properties listed in Table 1: Forged Steel Knuckle . but the geometry can suppress the influence of the material. To obtain stress unit in Figure 15. transferability of material test data could be performed only through local equivalent stresses or strains in the failure critical areas. Nf Figure 14: Superimposed stress amplitude versus life curves based on the stress-life approach for the forged steel. It could also be seen from this figure that the highest load levels provided life in the range of 104 to 5x104 cycles. Superimposed stress amplitude versus life curves based on stress-life approach. COMPARISONS OF COMPONENT FATIGUE BEHAVIORS AND LIFE PREDICTIONS Manufacturing process. respectively. no surface finish factor was implemented either. However. the predicted lives for the forged steel knuckle are longer by about three orders of magnitude. In the forging process. hot working refines grain pattern and imparts high strength and ductility. generally determines the strength level and scatter of mechanical properties.results in about two orders of magnitude longer life than the cast aluminum knuckle. In the strain-life approach. as shown in Figure 15. This occurs at both short as well as long lives. Load levels corresponding to this life range are considered to be representative of overload conditions for suspension components. for a complex component geometry where no notch factors could be defined.(7). Since the tests were conducted with a mean load. according to the Smith-Watson-Topper (SWT) parameter that considers the mean stress effect: 9 Stress Amplitude (MPa) where σa.Prediction Cast Iron Knuckle . a surface finish reduction factor is applied to the fatigue strength of a component. therefore. due to the run-out data points for the forged steel knuckle. such as a steering knuckle in service. As compared with the cast aluminum knuckle. Note that that the difference can be even larger at long lives. For the two cast knuckles. and SWT parameter versus life based on the strain-life approach for the three knuckles are presented in Figures 14 and 15. In this study. the fillet of the forged steel knuckle was machined and polished and. no surface finish factor was applied.(10). square root of the left side of Equation 3 is plotted as the SWT parameter.

Comparisons of strain-life fatigue behavior of the three materials indicated that the forged steel provides about a factor of 20 and 4 longer lives in the short-life regime compared to the cast aluminum and cast iron. and about a factor of 3 longer life. In the high-cycle regime. Better S-N fatigue resistance of the forged steel was observed. respectively. Based on the experimental results and analyses presented. 1987.. whereas strain-life predictions were relatively close to component experimental results.. while the cyclic strain hardening exponent of cast aluminum and cast iron were 46% and 55% of the forged steel. 6. respectively. forged steel resulted in about an order of magnitude longer life than the cast iron. and therefore better low cycle fatigue behavior. The differences between measured and FEApredicted strains obtained for the forged steel and cast aluminum knuckles were found to be reasonable for the complex knuckle geometries considered. whereas castings are weaker in this respect. respectively. 9. and therefore shortening their fatigue lives. Metallurgical Society of AIME. Proceedings. C. CONCLUSIONS Specimen tests. Residual stresses at the critical locations of the component generated during the manufacturing process could be a significant source of strengthening (if compressive) or weakening (if tensile). the following conclusions can be made: 1. and component tests were conducted in this study to assess and compare fatigue behavior of forged steel. compared to the cast aluminum. finite element analyses. Ravenshorst.components have lower possibility of internal defects.” Fundamentals of Microalloying Forging Steels. 3. respectively. Based on the component testing observations. 325-338. 7. and Bergstorm. cast aluminum and cast iron knuckles. The cyclic yield strength of cast aluminum and cast iron were found to be 54% and 75% of forged steel. These 10 REFERENCES 1. 8. pp. . Comparison of the plastic strain amplitude versus fatigue life behavior for the three materials showed higher capacity of the forged steel for cyclic plastic deformation. The percent elongation of cast aluminum and cast iron were found to be 24% and 48% of the forged steel. This occurred at both short as well as long lives.. S. Component testing results showed the forged steel knuckle to have about two orders of magnitude longer life than the cast aluminum knuckle. 5. indicate higher resistance of the forged steel to cyclic plastic deformation. for the same stress amplitude level. as compared with cast aluminum and cast iron. lower ductility of castings limits their capacity for cyclic plastic deformation which often occurs at stress concentrations and at overloads. “Experience with Forged Automotive Components in Precipitation Hardened PearliticFerritic Steels. crack growth life was found to be a significant portion of the cast aluminum knuckle fatigue life. and cast iron steering knuckles. From tensile tests and monotonic deformation curves it was concluded that cast aluminum and cast iron reached 37% and 57% of forged steel ultimate tensile strength. H. In addition. in terms of fatigue life. 2. while crack growth life was an insignificant portion of the forged steel knuckle fatigue life. M. respectively. The S-N predictions were overly conservative. as compared with the two cast materials. Gunnarson. Figure 15: Superimposed SWT parameter versus life curves based on the strain-life approach for the forged steel. cast aluminum. Comparison of the strain-life prediction curves of the components demonstrated that the forged steel knuckle offers more than an order of magnitude longer life than the cast iron knuckle. 4. respectively. Long-life fatigue strengths of cast aluminum and cast iron are only 35% and 72% of the forged steel.

B. 1995. C.. M. pp." Annual Book of ASTM Standards. and Chu..” International Journal of Fatigue. Y.. International Conference and Exposition on Fatigue. Eulitz. M. 8.” Material wissenschaft und Werkstoff technik. Conle.. 6.” Journal of Testing and Evaluation. American Society of Metals. K. Vol. V. Bonnen... 2001. 1995. C. Ed.. 1997. Naundorf. Solin. “Durability Design Process of a Vehicle Suspension Component. 3. Lee.” SAE Technical Paper No. N. Eds. S317-S323. Kaufmann. 1997. and Villaire. Schuetz. 1725.01. Recent Developments in Fatigue Technology. No. Vol. pp.. S. 11 ... V. Wimmer A. J. Vol. and Grubisic.. 5. No.. R. “Transferability of Material Data for the Example of a Randomly Loaded Forged Truck Stub Axle.. W. M. C. Marquis.” International Journal of Fatigue.. 2002." Annual Book of ASTM Standards. J.. G.. 23. Helsinki. ESIS Publication 22. Y. P. 9.. H. and Vittori. 5-8 September. 1997. Berger. Society of Automotive Engineers... A.01. Vol. G. Savaidis. 10. 362. pp. pp. Beranger. Sonsino. M.. “A Fatigue Life Assessment Methodology for Automotive Components.. Lee. 19. 03. K. Chernenkoff. pp. 368. F. “Betriebsfestigkeit in Germany — An Overview. L. “Analysis of Fatigue Behavior of a Vehicle Axle Steering Arm Based on Local Stresses and Strains. J. Kotte. 603-625. L.2. and Zenner. Proceedings. “Fatigue Analysis and the Local Stress-Strain Approach in Complex Vehicular Structures. F. Raymond. Eds. H. Vol.” Fatigue Design of Components. 7. 2003. ASTM Standard E606-92. J. C. S. 1986.. ASTM Standard E8-03. A. 177-186. Heuler. "Standard Practice for Strain-Controlled Fatigue Testing. C.. A. Sonsino. S.. G. 354-363. 1998.. 4.. 1. H. 24.. Vol. A.. J.. "Standard Test Methods for Tension Testing of Metallic Materials. “Structural Fatigue Tests of Automobile Components under Constant Amplitude Loadings. FD’95. 970708 in SAE PT-67. Proceedings of the Second International Symposium on Fatigue Design. Goel. pp.” Fatigue Life Analysis and Prediction. 03. Berard. 32. Finland. 4.

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