You are on page 1of 52


The automobile engine connecting rod is a high volume production, critical
component. It connects reciprocating piston to rotating crankshaft, transmitting the thrust
of the piston to the crankshaft. Every vehicle that use an internal combustion engine
requires at least one connecting rod depending upon the number of cylinders in the
Connecting rods for automotive applications are typically manufactured by
forging from either wrought steel or powdered metal. They could also be cast.
However,castings could have blowholes which are detrimental from durability and
fatigue points of view. The fact that forgings produce blowholefree and better rods gives
them an advantage over cast rods !"upta, #$$%&. 'etween the forging processes, powder
forged or drop forged, each process has its own pros and cons. (owder metal
manufactured blanks have the advantage of being near net shape, reducing material
waste. However, the cost of the blank is high due to the high material cost and
sophisticated manufacturing techniques !)epgen, #$$*&. +ith steel forging, the material
is ine,pensive and the rough part manufacturing process is cost effective. 'ringing the
part to final dimensions under tight tolerance results in high e,penditure for machining,
as the blank usually contains more e,cess material !)epgen, #$$*&. - si.eable portion of
the /0 market for connecting rods is currently consumed by the powder metal forging
industry. - comparison of the European and 1orth -merican connecting rod markets
indicates that according to an unpublished market analysis for the year 2333 !4udenbach,
2332&, 5*6 of the connecting rods in Europe !total annual production7 *3 million
appro,imately& are steel forged as opposed to 8%6 in 1orth -merica !total annual
production7 #33 million appro,imately&, as shown in 9igure #.#. In order to recapture the
/0 market, the steel industry has focused on development of production technology and
new steels. -I0I !-merican Iron and 0teel Institute& funded a research program that had
two aspects to address. The first aspect was to investigate and compare fatigue strength of
steel forged connecting rods with that of the powder forged connecting rods. The second
aspect was to optimi.e the weight and manufacturing cost of the steel forged connecting
rod. The first aspect of this research program has been dealt with in a master:s thesis
entitled ;9atigue 'ehavior and 4ife predictions of 9orged 0teel and (< Connecting
)ods= ! -., 2338&. This current thesis deals with the second aspect of the study, the
optimi.ation part.
>ue to its large volume production,it is only logical that optimi.ation of the
connecting rod for weight or volume will result in largescale savings. It can also achieve
the ob?ective of reducing the weight of the engine component, thus reducing inertia loads,
reducing engine weight and improving engine performance and fuel economy.
The ob?ective of this work was to optimi.e the forged steel connecting rod for its
weight and cost. The optimi.ed forged steel connecting rod is intended to be a more
attractive option for auto manufacturers to consider, as compared with its powderforged
@ptimi.ation begins with identifying the correct load conditions and
magnitudes.@verestimating the loads will simply raise the safety factors. The idea behind is to retain ?ust as much strength as is needed. Commercial softwares such as
()@E and -10A0Biew can be used to obtain the variation of quantities such as
angular velocity,angular acceleration, and load However, usually the worst case load is
considered in the design process. 4iterature review suggests that investigators use
ma,imum inertia load,inertia load, or inertia load of the piston assembly mass as one
e,treme load corresponding to the tensile load, and firing load or compressive gas load
corresponding to ma,imum torque as the other e,treme design load corresponding to the
compressive load. Inertia load is a time varying quantity and can refer to the inertia load
of the piston, or of the connecting rod. In most cases, in the literature the investigators
have not clarified the definition of inertia load whether it means only the inertia of the
piston, or whether it includes the inertia of the connecting rod as well. Cuestions are
raised in light of such comple, structural behavior, such as7 >oes the peak load at the
ends of the connecting rod represent the worst case loadingD /nder the effect of bending
and a,ial loads, can one e,pect higher stresses than that e,perienced under a,ial load
aloneD <oreover, very little information is available in the literature on the bending
stiffness requirements, or on the agnitude of bending stress. 9rom the study of Ishida et
al. !#$$E& reviewed in 0ection #.2, it is clear that the ma,imum stress at the connecting
rod column bottom does not occur at the T>C, and the ma,imum bending stress at the
column center is about 2E6 of the ma,imum stress at that location. However, to obtain
the bending stress variation over the connecting rod length, or to know the stress at
critical locations such as the transition regions of the connecting rod, a detailed analysis
is needed. -s a result, for the forged steel connecting rod investigated, a detailed load
analysis under service operating conditions was performed, followed by a quasidynamic
9E- to capture the stress variation over the cycle of operation.
4ogically, any optimi.ation should be preceded by stress analysis of the e,isting
component, which should be performed at the correct operating loads. >iscusses such
issues as mesh convergence, details of how loads and restraints have been applied, and
validation of the 9E model for three cases static 9E-, quasidynamic 9E-, and test
assembly 9E-. Chapter 8 discusses the stresstime history, ) ratio and multia,iality of
stresses for various locations on the connecting rod under service operating
conditions.This indicates the e,tent of weight reduction to e,pect through optimi.ation,
identifies the regions from which material can be removed, or regions that need to be
redesigned.This chapter also discusses the static 9E- results and makes a comparison
between the static 9E-, quasidynamic 9E-, and results from test assembly 9E-.
@ptimi.ation of the connecting rod is addressed in Chapter E. @ptimi.ation was
performed to reduce the mass and manufacturing cost of the connecting rod, sub?ect to
fatigue life and yielding constraints. The material was changed to C53 fracture splitable
steel to reduce manufacturing cost by elimination of machining of mating surfaces of the
connecting rod and it:s cap. 01 approach was used for the fatigue model during the
optimi.ation, as the connecting rod operates in the elastic range !i.e. high cycle fatigue
life region&. - comparison between the various manufacturing processes and their costs is
also presented.
The connecting rod is sub?ected to a comple, state of loading. It undergoes high
cyclic loads of the order of #3* to #3$ cycles, which range from high compressive loads
due to combustion, to high tensile loads due to inertia. Therefore, durability of this
component is of critical importance. >ue to these factors, the connecting rod has been the
topic of research for different aspects such as production technology,
materials,performance simulation, fatigue, etc. 9or the current study, it was necessary to
investigate finite element modeling techniques, optimi.ation techniques, developments in
production technology, new materials, fatigue modeling, and manufacturing cost analysis.
This brief literature survey reviews some of these aspects.
+ebster et al. !#$*%& performed three dimensional finite element analysis of a
highspeed diesel engine connecting rod. 9or this analysis they used the ma,imum
compressive load which was measured e,perimentally, and the ma,imum tensile load
which is essentially the inertia load of the piston assembly mass. The load distributions
on the piston pin end and crank end were determined e,perimentally. They modeled the
connecting rod cap separately, and also modeled the bolt pretension using beam elements
and multi point constraint equations.
In a study reported by )epgen !#$$*&, based on fatigue tests carried out on
identical components made of powder metal and C53 steel !fracture splitting steel&, he
notes that the fatigue strength of the forged steel part is 2#6 higher than that of the
powder metal component. He also notes that using the fracture splitting technology
results in a 2E6 cost reduction over the conventional steel forging process. These factors
suggest that a fracture splitting material would be the material of choice for steel forged
connecting rods. He also mentions two other steels that are being tested, a modified
microalloyed steel and a modified carbon steel. @ther issues discussed by )epgen are the
necessity to avoid ?ig spots along the parting line of the rod and the cap, need of
consistency in the chemical composition and manufacturing process to reduce variance in
microstructure and production of near net shape rough part.
(ark et al. !233%& investigated microstructural behavior at various forging
conditions and recommend fast cooling for finer grain si.e and lower network ferrite
content. 9rom their research they concluded that laser notching e,hibited best fracture
splitting results, when compared with broached and wire cut notches. They optimi.ed the
fracture splitting parameters such as, applied hydraulic pressure, ?ig set up and geometry
of cracking cylinder based on delay time, difference in cracking forces and
roundness.They compared fracture splitting high carbon microalloyed steel !3.56 C&
with carbon steel !3.8*6 C& using rotary bending fatigue test and concluded that the
former has the same or better fatigue strength than the later. 9rom a comparison of the
fracture splitting high carbon microalloyed steel and powder metal, based on tension
compression fatigue test they noticed that fatigue strength of the former is #*6 higher
than the later.
0arihan and 0ong !#$$3&, for the optimi.ation of the wrist pin end, used a fatigue
load cycle consisting of compressive gas load corresponding to ma,imum torque and
tensile load corresponding to ma,imum inertia load. Evidently, they used the ma,imum
loads in the whole operating range of the engine. To design for fatigue, modified
"oodman equation with alternating octahedral shear stress and mean octahedral shear
stress was used. 9or optimi.ation, they generated an appro,imate design surface, and
performed optimi.ation of this design surface. The ob?ective and constraint functions
were updated to obtain precise values. This process was repeated till convergence was
achieved. They also included constraints to avoid fretting fatigue. The mean and the
alternating components of the stress were calculated using ma,imum and minimumvalues
of octahedral shear stress. Their e,ercise reduced the connecting rod weight by
nearly 256.
Aoo et al. !#$*8& used variational equations of elasticity, material derivative idea of
continuum mechanics and an ad?oint variable technique to calculate shape design
sensitivities of stress. The results were used in an iterative optimi.ation
algorithm,steepest descent algorithm, to numerically solve an optimal design problem.
The focus was on shape design sensitivity analysis with application to the e,ample of a
connecting rod. The stress constraints were imposed on principal stresses of inertia and
firing loads.'ut fatigue strength was not addressed. The other constraint was the one on
thickness to bound it away from .ero. They could obtain 236 weight reduction in the
neck region of the connecting rod.
Hippoliti !#$$%& reported design methodology in use at (iaggio for connecting
rod design, which incorporates an optimi.ation session. However, neither the details of
optimi.ation nor the load under which optimi.ation was performed were discussed. Two
parametric 9E procedures using 2> plane stress and %> approach developed by the
author were compared with e,perimental results and shown to have good agreements.
The optimi.ation procedure they developed was based on the 2> approach.
El0ayed and 4und !#$$3& presented a method to consider fatigue life as a
constraint in optimal design of structures. They also demonstrated the concept on a 0-E
key hole specimen. In this approach a routine calculates the life and in addition to the
stress limit, limits are imposed on the life of the component as calculated using 9E-
(ai !#$$F& presented an approach to optimi.e shape of connecting rod sub?ected
to a load cycle, consisting of the inertia load deducted from gas load as one e,treme and
peak inertia load e,erted by the piston assembly mass as the other e,treme, with fatigue
life constraint. 9atigue life defined as the sum of the crack initiation and crack growth
lives, was obtained using fracture mechanics principles. The approach used finite element
routine to first calculate the displacements and stresses in the rodG these were then used in
a separate routine to calculate the total life. The stresses and the life were used in an
optimi.ation routine to evaluate the ob?ective function and constraints. The new search
direction was determined using finite difference appro,imation with design sensitivity
analysis. The author was able to reduce the weight by 2*6, when compared with the
original component.
0onsino and Esper !#$$8& have discussed the fatigue design of sintered
connecting rods. They did not perform optimi.ation of the connecting rod. They designed
a connecting rod with a load amplitude 9a H #$.2 k1 and with different regions being
designed for different load ratios !)&, such as, in the stem 9m H 2.2 k1 and ) H #.2F, at
the piston pin end 9m H E.E k1 and ) H #.*2, at the crank end 9m H 5.* k1 and ) H
3.82. They performed preliminary 9E- followed by production of a prototype. 9atigue
tests and e,perimental stress analysis were performed on this prototype based on the
results of which they proposed a final shape, shown in 9igure #.8. In order to verify that
the design was sufficient for fatigue, they computed the allowable stress amplitude at
critical locations, taking the )ratio, the stress concentration, and statistical safety factors
into account, and ensured that ma,imum stress amplitudes were below the allowable
stress amplitude.
9or their optimi.ation study, 0erag et al. !#$*$& developed appro,imate
mathematical formulae to define connecting rod weight and cost as ob?ective functions
and also the constraints. The optimi.ation was achieved using a "eometric (rogramming
technique. Constraints were imposed on the compression stress, the bearing pressure at
the crank and the piston pin ends. 9atigue was not addressed. The cost function was
e,pressed in some e,ponential form with the geometric parameters.
9olgar et al. !#$*5& developed a fiber 9(I<etal matri, composite connecting rod
with the aid of 9E-, and loads obtained from kinematic analysis. 9atigue was not
addressed at the design stage. However, prototypes were fatigue tested. The investigators
identified design loads in terms of ma,imum engine speed, and loads at the crank and
piston pin ends. They performed static tests in which the crank end and the piston pin end
failed at different loads. Clearly, the two ends were designed to withstand different loads.
'alasubramaniam et al. !#$$#& reported computational strategy used in <ercedes'en.
using e,amples of engine components. In their opinion, 2> 9E models can be used to
obtain rapid trend statements, and %> 9E models for more accurate investigation. The
various individual loads acting on the connecting rod were used for performing
simulation and actual stress distribution was obtained by superposition. The loads
included inertia load, firing load, the press fit of the bearing shell, and the bolt forces. 1o
discussions on the optimi.ation or fatigue, in particular, were presented.
Ishida et al. !#$$E& measured the stress variation at the column center and column
bottom of the connecting rod, as well as the bending stress at the column center. The
plots, shown in 9igures #.E and #.F indicate that at the higher engine speeds, the peak
tensile stress does not occur at %F3o crank angle or top dead center. It was also observed
that the ) ratio varies with location, and at a given location it also varies with the engine
speed. The ma,imum bending stress magnitude over the entire cycle !3o to 523o crank
angle& at #2333 revImin, at the column center was found to be about 2E6 of the peak
tensile stress over the same cycle.
-thavale and 0a?anpawar !#$$#& modeled the inertia load in their finite element
model. -n interface software was developed to apply the acceleration load to elements on
the connecting rod depending upon their location, since acceleration varies in magnitude
and direction with location on the connecting rod. They fi,ed the ends of the connecting
rod, to determine the deflection and stresses. This, however, may not be representative of
the pin ?oints that e,ist in the connecting rod. The results of the detailed analysis were not
discussed, rather, only the modeling technique was discussed. The connecting rod was
separately analy.ed for the tensile load due to the piston assembly mass !piston
inertia&,and for the compressive load due to the gas pressure. The effect of inertia load
due to the connecting rod, mentioned above, was analy.ed separately.
+hile investigating a connecting rod failure that led to a disastrous failure of an
engine, )abb !#$$F& performed a detailed 9E- of the connecting rod. He modeled the
threads of the connecting rod, the threads of connecting rod screws, the prestress in the
screws, the diametral interference between the bearing sleeve and the crank end of the
connecting rod, the diametral clearance between the crank and the crank bearing, the
inertia load acting on the connecting rod, and the combustion pressure. The analysis
clearly indicated the failure location at the thread root of the connecting rod, caused by
improper screw thread profile. The connecting rod failed at the location indicated by the
9E-. -n a,isymmetric model was initially used to obtain the stress concentration
factorsat the thread root. These were used to obtain nominal mean and alternating stresses
in the screw. - detailed 9E- including all the factors mentioned above was performed by
also including a plasticity model and strain hardening. 'ased on the comparison of the
stress and stress amplitude at the threads obtained from this analysis with the
endurance limits obtained from specimen fatigue tests, the adequacy of a new design was
checked.4oad cycling was also used in inelastic 9E- to obtain steady state situation.
In a published 0-E case study !#$$5&, a replacement connecting rod with #86
weight savings was designed by removing material from areas that showed high factor of
safety. 9actor of safety with respect to fatigue strength was obtained by performing 9E-
with applied loads including bolt tightening load, piston pin interference load,
compressive gas load and tensile inertia load. The study lays down certain guidelines
regarding the use of the fatigue limit of the material and its reduction by a certain factor
to account for the asforged surface. The study also indicates that buckling and bending
stiffness are important design factors that must be taken into account during the design
process. @n the basis of the stress and strain measurements performed on the connecting
rod, close agreement was found with loads predicted by inertia theory. The study also
concludes that stresses due to bending loads are substantial and should always be taken
into account during any design e,ercise.
The main function of the connecting rod is to convert the pistons reciprocating
motion into rotary motion with the crank shaft.The connecting rod acts as the link
between the crosshead and crank shaft of the engine.
+hen doing a force balance of the piston motion,the mass of all the parts which are
considered to reciprocate with the piston must taken into account.These include the
piston,the piston rings,the piston pin and the equivalent mass of the upper end of the
connecting rod.

%.#.# <ECH-1I0<
- mechanism is a constrained kinematic chain.<otion of any one link in the
kinematic chain will give a define and predicable motion relative to each of the
others./sally one of the links of the kinematic chain is fi,ed in a mechanism.
- mechanism is the skelton outline of the machine to produce definite motion
between various links.The various link involving a mechanism are connected using the
different kind of connecting rods in available .
-lmost all mechanism are equipped with a connecting rod.0ome of the various
mechanism are ,
#. 0lider crank mechanism
2. +hitworth quick return mechanism
%. Crank and slotted lever mechanism
8. >ouble slider crank mechanism
%.2 <@TI@10 I1 C@11ECTI1" )@>
%.2.# 04I>E) C)-1J <ECH-1I0<
The slidercrank mechanism, which has a wellknown application in engines, is a
special case of the crankrocker mechanism. 1otice that if rocker is very long, it can be
replaced by a block sliding in a curved slot or guide as shown. If the length of the rocker
is infinite, the guide and block are no longer curved. )ather, they are apparently straight
and the linkage takes the form of the ordinary slidercrank mechanism.
The kinematic structure of a mechanism refers to the identification of the ?oint
connection etween its links. Kust as chemical compounds can be represented by an
abstract formula and electric circuits by schematic diagrams, the kinematic structure of
mechanisms can be usefully represented by abstract diagrams. The structure of
mechanisms for which each ?oint connects two links can be represented by a structural
diagram, or graph, in which links are denoted by vertices, ?oints by edges, and in which
the edge connection of vertices corresponds to the ?oint connection.
%.2.2 C)-1J -1> 04@TTE> L 4EBE) C/ICJ )ET/)1 <@TI@1 <ECH-1I0<
This mechanism is mainly used in shaping and slotting machines.crank
shapers generally use a bull gear which has an offset pin which can be ad?usted to vary
the radius of the throw and therefore alter the stroke. Cuickreturn !C)& mechanisms
feature different input durations for their working and return strokes. The time ratio !T)&
of a C) mechanism is the ratio of the change in input displacement during the working
stroke to its change during the return stroke. C) mechanisms are used in shapers, power
driven saws, and many other applications requiring a loadintensive working stroke in
comparison to a lowload return stroke.
<echanism analysis techniques taught in a Mrst course on the theory of
mechanisms can be applied to evaluate the performance of C) mechanisms. >esign of a
mechanism, on the other hand, requires determining a mechanism to perform a desired
task. 9or e,ample, synthesis of a reciprocating C) device requires determination of a
mechanism to produce a desired T) and a necessary stroke. 1ote that there is not
necessarily a unique mechanism design for a particular task7 many mechanism types
!e.g., offset slidercrank, +hitworth, draglink, etc.& may be capable of performing it.
Even within one mechanism type, many different linklength combinations may perform
the required task.

%.2.%+HIT+@)TH C/ICJ )ET/)1 <ECH-1I0<
The whitworth quick return mechanism converts rotary motion into reciprocating
motion,but unlike the crank and slider ,the forward reciprocating motion is at a different
rate than the backward stroke.-t the bottom of the drive arm,the pin only has to move
through a few degrees to sweep the arm left to right,but it takes the remainder of the
revolution to bring the arm back.the mechanism is most commonly seen as the drive for a
shaping machine.

-ny body !normally rigid&which has motion relative to another is called link or
#. 'inary link
2. Ternary link
%. Cuaternary link
%.% 4@->I1" @9 C@11ECTI1" )@>
There are different types of loads acting on the connecting which virtually lead
to its failure.
Connectn! "o#$ %"e $&'(ecte# to
#. Inertia forces due to mass
2. 9orces generated from the combustion process
%. 9orces due to wearing of forging flashes
T)e$e *o"ce$ +"o#&ce
#. Cyclic a,ial forces and stress
2. Cyclic bending moment and stress !perpendicular to the crankshaft a,is&
%. Cyclic bending moment and stress !parallel to the crankshaft a,is&
-n e.%$tc /o#&.&$, or /o#&.&$ o* e.%$tct0, is the mathematical
description of an ob?ect or substanceNs tendency to be deformed elastically !i.e., non
permanently& when a force is applied to it. The elastic modulus of an ob?ect is defined as
the slope of its stressstrain curve in the elastic deformation region.
Hardness is the measure of how resistant solid matter is to various kinds of
permanent shape change when a force is applied. <acroscopic hardness is generally
characteri.ed by trong intermolecular bonds, however the behavior of solid materials
under force is comple,, therefore there are different measurements of hardness7 scratch
hardness, indentation hardness, and rebound hardness.
>eformation is a change in the shape or si.e of an ob?ect due to an applied force.

Aoung:s modulus !E& is a measure of the stifness of a given material.
E H 0T)E00 I 0T)-I1
3.,.4 STIFFNESS 253
0tiffness is the resistance offered by an elastic body to deflection or
deformation by an applied force.It is an e,tensive material property.
Thermal e,pansion is the tendency of matter to change in volume in response
to a change in temperature. <aterials which contract with increasing temperature are
rareG this effect is limited in si.e, and only occurs within limited temperature ranges. The
degree of e,pansion divided by the change in temperature is called the
materialNs coefficient of thermal e,pansion.
T)e"/%. e8+%n$on O H
<elting temperature is the temperature at which a sibstance changes from
solid to liquid state.
The boiling point of an element or a substance is the temperature at which
the vapor pressure of the liquid equals the environmental pressure surrounding the liquid.
- liquid in a vacuum environment has a lower boiling point than when the liquid is
at atmospheric pressure. - liquid in a high pressureenvironment has a higher boiling point
than when the liquid is at atmospheric pressure. In other words, the boiling point of a
liquid varies dependent upon the surrounding environmental pressure !which tends to
vary with elevation&. >ifferent liquids !at a given pressure& boil at different temperatures.
The critical temperature of a substance is the temperature at and above
which vapor of the substance cannot be liquefied, no matter how much pressure is
applied.-s the critical temperature is approached,the properties of the gas and liquid
phases become the same resulting in only one phase the supercritical fluid.
>ensity is mass !<& per unit volume !B&

Thermal conductivity, k, is the property of a materialNs ability to conduct heat.
It appears primarily in 9ourierNs 4aw for heat conduction.Heat transfer across materials of
high thermal conductivity occurs at a faster rate than across materials of low thermal
conductivity. Co
The specific heat is the amount of heat per unit mass required to raise
thetemperature by one degree Celsius. The relationship between heat and temperature
change is usually e,pressed in the form shown below where c is the specific heat.

9ig %.#
Connecting )od
#. I L 'E-< )@>0
2. H 'E-< )@>0
%. -4/<I1/< )@>0
8. (@+E)E> <ET-4 )@>0
E. TIT-1I/< )@>0
3.4.1 I=BEA- RODS
Ibeams are commonly made of structural steel but may also be formed
fromaluminium or other materials. - common type of Ibeam is the rolled steel
joist !)0K& sometimes incorrectly rendered as reinforced steel
?oist. 'ritish and European standards also specify /niversal 'eams !/'s& and /niversal
Columns !/Cs&. These sections have parallel flanges, as opposed to the varying thickness
of )0K flanges. /Cs have equal or nearequal width and depth, while /'s are
significantly deeper than they are wide.
Ibeams engineered from wood with fiberboard and or laminated veneer
lumber are also becoming increasingly popular in construction, especially residential, as
they are both lighter and less prone to warping than solid wooden ?oists. However there
has been some concern as to their rapid loss of strength in a fire if unprotected.
3.4.2 H=BEA- RODS
Hbeam connecting rods comes up every once in awhile, and it:s a fun topic for
bench racing. 'ut one thing I:ve noticed is that many enthusiasts have the mistaken
impression that cylinder pressure loads, such as from superchargers or turbochargers, is
what fails connecting rods. This tends to be reinforced by many connecting rod
companies that rate connecting rods by horsepower. -ll connecting rods are designed to
withstand incredibly high compressive loads. This is not what typically will cause a rod
to fail. +hat tends to damage or fail a connecting rod is the change in direction,
especially at bottom dead center !'>C& when the rod is sub?ected to tension and the rod
bolts are strained to prevent the cap from pulling apart from the rod. This makes engine
speed, rpm, the real connecting rod killer. +eight is another big factor, which is usually a
bedfellow to strength. 'ut the reality is that a lighter rod is most often better in an rpm
application since the lighter rod presents less of a gforce load on the cap and rod bolts.
This also makes the selection of a connecting rod bolt as important as the rod itself.
-nother point worth considering is that the big end of an Hbeam rod tends to take up
more space than an Ibeam, which makes clearance an issue when it comes to stroker
cranks. -ll this places the selection of Ibeam versus Hbeam far down on the list of
important selection criteria.
3.4.3 ALU-IU- RODS
-luminium rods are popular among high rpm race engines. They are very light
and strong, but they a short fatigue lift. In a limitied use situation, they can last a long
time and usually those types of engines see frequent tear downs anyway. They do not last
many miles in a street car. They are not out of the question for a street car, is rpm is kept
down to about 5333 rpm or under and doesn:t see that rpm often, they can last quite a
while. Even then, #E23,333 miles will be about ma,imum.
They also need more piston to head clearence due to more rod stretch, a typical
aluminuim rod in a high rpm aplication. 0ince aluminium atrengths more than steel,
bearing retention is also a problem. The usual tangs are not enogh to be reliable.
-luminium rods must use a dowel pin to keep the bearings from spinning.
<etaldyne offers the latest technology in connecting rods, supplying finished,
machined and assembled fracturesplit powder metal connecting rods. This eliminates
significant investment costs for the @E< while delivering a lighter, stronger, superior
quality forging. <etaldyne provides powder metal connecting rods for more programs
worldwide than any other supplier.
"asoline and diesel engine applications available
'eam geometry designed to ma,imi.e stiffness and bending ratio, strengthtoweight ratio
)educed reciprocating and rotating mass, improving engine fuel efficiency
1et shape forming improves material utili.ation by 836 vs. conventional
forged steel
/p to 87# increase in machining tool life
3.4.6 TI-T1I/< )@>0
Titanium connecting rods are one of the automotive components that were
designed and created specifically for the high stress factors and the need of ma,imum
performance that is encountered in the automotive racing industry. They haven:t left the
racing arena insofar, with the possible e,ception of the perfectionist amateurs and of
some highprofile, highpriced, highspeed street cars such as the -cura 10P, Corvette or
(orsche "T% that were reported of using titanium connecting rods.
C-)'@1 0TEE4
9@)"E> 0TEE4
-44@A 0TEE4
0T-I14E00 0TEE4
T@@4 0TEE4
-4/<I1/< 1IT)I>E
,.1.1 STEEL
0teel is an alloy that consists mostly of iron and has a carbon content
between 3.26 and 2.#6 by weight, depending on the grade. Carbon is the most common
alloying material for iron, but various other alloying elements are used, such
as manganese, chromium, vanadium, andtungsten. Carbon and other elements act as a
hardening agent, preventing dislocations in the iron atom crystal lattice from sliding past
one another. Barying the amount of alloying elements and the form of their presence in
the steel !solute elements, precipitated phase& controls qualities such as
the hardness, ductility, and tensile strength of the resulting steel. 0teel with increased
carbon content can be made harder and stronger than iron, but such steel is also
less ductile than iron.
-lloys with a higher than 2.#6 carbon content are known as cast iron because of their
lowermelting point and castability. 0teel is also distinguishable from wrought iron, which
can contain a small amount of carbon, but it is included in the form of slag inclusions.
Two distinguishing factors are steelNs increased rust resistance and better weldability.
Carbon steel, also called plaincarbon steel, is steel where the
main alloying constituent iscarbon. The -merican Iron and 0teel Institute !-I0I& defines
carbon steel as7 Q0teel is considered to be carbon steel when no minimum content is
specified or required
chromium,cobalt, columbium, molybdenum, nickel, titanium, tungsten, vanadium or .irc
onium, or any other element to be added to obtain a desired alloying effectG when the
specified minimum for copper does not e,ceed 3.83 percentG or when the ma,imum
content specified for any of the following elements does not e,ceed the percentages
noted7 manganese #.FE, silicon 3.F3,copper 3.F3.Q
The term Qcarbon steelQ may also be used in reference to steel which is not stainless steelG
in this use carbon steel may include alloy steels.
-s the carbon content rises, steel has the ability to
become harder and stronger through heat treating, but this also makes it less ductile.
)egardless of the heat treatment, a higher carbon content reduces weldability. In carbon
steels, the higher carbon content lowers the melting point.
-lloy steel is steel alloyed with a variety of elements in total amounts of
between #.36 and E36 by weight to improve its mechanical properties. -lloy steels are
broken down into two groups7 low alloy steels and high alloy steels. The difference
between the two is somewhat arbitrary7 0mith and Hashemi define the difference at 8.36,
while >egarmo, et al., define it at *.3 6. <ost commonly, the phrase Qalloy steelQ refers
to Qlow alloyQ steels.
stainless steel, is defined as a steel alloy with a minimum of #3.Eor
##6 chromium content by mass. 0tainless steel does not stain, corrode, or rust as easily
as ordinary steel, but it is not stainproof. It is also called corrosionresistant
steel or C)E0 when the alloy type and grade are not detailed, particularly in the aviation
industry. There are different grades and surface finishes of stainless steel to suit the
environment the alloy must endure. 0tainless steel is used where both the properties of
steel and resistance to corrosion are required.
0tainless steel differs from carbon steel by the amount of chromium present. /nprotected
carbon steel rusts readily when e,posed to air and moisture. This iron o,ide film !the
rust& is active and accelerates corrosion by forming more iron o,ide. 0tainless steels
contain sufficient chromium to form a passive film of chromium o,ide, which prevents
further surface corrosion and blocks corrosion from spreading into the metalNs internal
Tool steel refers to a variety of carbon and alloy steels that are particularly
wellsuited to be made into tools. Their suitability comes from their distinctive hardness,
resistance to abrasion, their ability to hold a cutting edge, andIor their resistance to
deformation at elevated temperatures !redhardness&. Tool steel is generally used in
a heattreated state.+ith a carbon content between 3.56 and #.E6, tool steels are
manufactured under carefully controlled conditions to produce the required quality.
The manganese content is often kept low to minimi.e the possibility of cracking during
water quenching. However, proper heat treatingof these steels is important for adequate
performance, and there are many suppliers who provide tooling blanks intended for oil


Properties Carbon
Density (1000 kg/m
) 7.85 7.85 7.75-8.1 7.72-8.0
Elastic Modulus (!a) 1"0-210 1"0-210 1"0-210 1"0-210
!oisson#s $atio 0.27-0.3 0.27-0.3 0.27-0.3 0.27-0.3
%&e'mal E()ansion (10
/+) 11-1*.* ".0-15 ".0-20.7 ".,-15.1
Melting !oint (-.) 1371-1,5,
%&e'mal .onducti/ity (0/m-+) 2,.3-*5.2 2*-,8.* 11.2-3*.7 1"."-,8.3
1)eci2ic 3eat (4/kg-+) ,50-2081 ,52-1,"" ,20-500
%ensile 1t'engt& (M!a) 27*-1882 758-1882 515-827 *,0-2000
5ield 1t'engt& (M!a) 18*-758 3**-17"3 207-552 380-,,0
!e'cent Elongation (6) 10-32 ,-31 12-,0 5-25
3a'dness (7'inell 3000kg) 8*-388 1,"-*27 137-5"5 210-*20
,.1.9 ALU-INIU-
-luminium silvery white member of the boron group ofchemical elements. It
has the symbol A. and its atomic number is #%. It is not soluble in water under normal
circumstances. -luminium is the most abundant metal in the EarthNs crust, and the third
most abundant element, after o,ygen and silicon. It makes up about *6 by weight of the
EarthNs solid surface. -luminium is too reactive chemically to occur in nature as a free
metal. Instead, it is found combined in over 253 different minerals. The chief source of
aluminium is bau,ite ore.
-luminium is remarkable for the metalNs low density and for its ability to
resist corrosion due to the phenomenon of passivation. 0tructural components made from
aluminium and its alloys are vital to the aerospace industry and are very important in
other areas of transportation and building. Its reactive nature makes it useful as
a catalyst or additive in chemical mi,tures, including ammonium nitrate e,plosives, to
enhance blast power.
-luminium nitride !-l1& is a nitride of aluminium. Its wurt.ite phase !w
-l1& is a wide band gap !F.2 eB& semiconductor material, giving it potential application
for deep ultravioletoptoelectronics. -luminium nitride is stable at high temperatures in
inert atmospheres and melts at 2*33 RC. In a vacuum, -l1 decomposes at S#*33 RC. In
the air, surface o,idation occurs above 533RC, and even at room temperature, surface
o,ide layers of E#3 nm have been detected. This o,ide layer protects the material up to
#%53RC. -bove this temperature bulk o,idation occurs. -luminium nitride is stable in
hydrogen and carbon dio,ide atmospheres up to $*3RC.
-pplications of -l1 are
dielectric layers in optical storage media,
electronic substrates, chip carriers where high thermal conductivity is essential,
military applications,
,.1.; COPPER
Copper is a chemical element with the symbol C& and atomic number 2$.
It is a ductile metal, with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. (ure copper is
rather soft and malleable, and a freshly e,posed surface has a reddishorange color. It is
used as a thermal conductor, an electrical conductor, a building material, and a
constituent of various metal alloys
Mechanical Units of Measure SI/Metric (Imperial)
gm/cc (lb/ft
) 3.26 (203.5)
% (%) 0 (0)
Flexral !trengt"
#Pa (lb/in
) 320 (%6.%)
&lastic #o'ls
(Pa (lb/in
) 330 (%).*)
!"ear #o'ls
(Pa (lb/in
+l, #o'ls
(Pa (lb/in
Poisson-s .atio
0.2% (0.2%)
Com/ressi0e !trengt"
#Pa (lb/in
) 2$00 (30%.5)
Fractre 3og"ness 24C
#aximm 6se 3em/eratre
7C (7F)
3"ermal Con'cti0ity
8/m572 (+365in/ft
5"r57F) $%09$*0 (:)09$250)
Coefficient of 3"ermal
/7C ($0
/7F) %.5 (2.5)
!/ecific 1eat
;/2g572 (+t/lb57F) )%0 (0.$*)
S+ec*c P"o+e"te$ o* Co++e"?
U Chemical 0ymbol7 Cu
U -tomic 1umber7 2$
U -tomic +eight7 F%.E8
U >ensity7 *$F3 kg m!%&
U <elting (oint7 #%EFJ
U 0pecific Heat at 2$%J7 3.%*%kKkg!#&J!#&
U Thermal Conductivity7 %$8+ m!#& J!#&
U Electrical Conductivity !6International -nnealed Copper 0tandard&7 #336
U Electrical )esistivity7 #.F5%,#3!*& ohmm
U Crystal 0tructure7 9ace Centered Cubic
T-'4E 8.8 0(ECI9IC-TI@1 @9 C@11ECTI1" )@>
0.1@. (-)-<ETE)0 >I<E10I@10
#. 4E1"TH 2E*<<
2. +I>TH 23mm
%. Crank radius 2Emm
8. (iston radius #*mm
E. 4ength of mind section #F*mm
F. Thisckness of <id section 28mm
5. +eight !9orged steel& E*3gm
4.3 COMPUTE!"I#E# #ESI$%
Computeraided design !C->&, also known as computeraided design and
drafting !C->>& , is the use of computer technology for the process of design and
designdocumentation. Computer -ided >rafting describes the process of drafting with a
computer. C->> software, or environments, provides the user with inputtools for the
purpose of streamlining design processesG drafting, documentation, and manufacturing
processes. C->> output is often in the form of electronic files for print or machining
operations. The development of C->>based software is in direct correlation with the
processes it seeks to economi.eG industrybased software !construction, manufacturing,
etc.& typically uses vectorbased !linear& environments whereas graphicbased software rasterbased !pi,elated& environments.
C->> environments often involve more than ?ust shapes. -s in the
manual drafting of technical andengineering drawings, the output of C-> must convey
information, such as materials, processes,dimensions, and tolerances, according to
applicationspecific conventions.
C-> may be used to design curves and figures in twodimensional !2>& spaceG or
curves, surfaces, and solids in threedimensional !%>& ob?ects.
C-> is an important industrial art e,tensively used in many applications,
including automotive, shipbuilding, and aerospace industries, industrial and architectural
design, prosthetics, and many more. C-> is also widely used to produce computer
animation for special effects in movies,advertising and technical manuals. The modern
ubiquity and power of computers means that even perfume bottles and shampoo
dispensers are designed using techniques unheard of by engineers of the #$F3s. 'ecause
of its enormous economic importance, C-> has been a ma?or driving force for research
in computational geometry, computer graphics !both hardware and software&, and
discrete differential geometry.
-10A0 is a general purpose finite element modeling package for numerically solving a
wide variety of mechanical problems. These problems include7 staticIdynamic structural
analysis !both linear and nonlinear&, heat transfer and fluid problems, as well as acoustic
and electromagnetic problems.
In general, a finite element solution may be broken into the following three stages. This is
a general guideline that can be used for setting up any finite element analysis.
#. (reprocessing7 defining the problemG the ma?or steps in preprocessing are given
o >efine keypointsIlinesIareasIvolumes
o >efine element type and materialIgeometric properties
o <esh linesIareasIvolumes as required
The amount of detail required will depend on the dimensionality of the analysis
!i.e. #>, 2>, a,isymmetric, %>&.
#. "ive e,ample a Title
/tility <enu V 9ile V Change Title ...
Ititle, >esign @ptimi.ation
2. Enter initial estimates for variables
To solve an optimi.ation problem in -10A0, parameters need to be defined for
all design variables.
o 0elect7 /tility <enu V (arameters V 0calar (arameters...
o In the window that appears !shown below&, type +H23 in the W0election:
o Click W-ccept:. The N0calar (arametersN window will stay open.
o 1ow type HH23 in the W0election: section
o Click W-cceptN
o Click WClose: in the W0calar (arameters: window.
1@TE7 1one of the variables defined in -10A0 are allowed to have negative
%. >efine Jeypoints
(reprocessor V <odeling V Create V Jeypoints V In -ctive C0...
+e are going to define 2 Jeypoints for this beam as given in the following
Jeypoints Coordinates !,,y&
# !3,3&
2 !#333,3&
8. Create 4ines
(reprocessor V <odeling V Create V 4ines V 4ines V In -ctive Coord
Create a line ?oining Jeypoints # and 2
E. Create Hard Jeypoints
Hardpoints are often used when you need to apply a constraint or load at a
location where a keypoint does not e,ist. 9or this case, we want to apply a force
%I8 of the way down the beam. 0ince there are not any keypoints here and we
canNt be certain that one of the nodes will be here we will need to specify a
o 0elect (reprocessor V <odeling V Create V Jeypoints V Hard (T on line V
Hard (T by ratio. This will allow us to create a hardpoint on the line by
defining the ratio of the location of the point to the si.e of the line
o 0elect the line when prompted
o Enter a ratio of 3.5E in the NCreate Hard(T by )atio window which
Aou have now created a keypoint labelled NJeypoint %N %I8 of the way down the
F. >efine Element Types
(reprocessor V Element Type V -ddIEditI>elete...
9or this problem we will use the 'E-<% !'eam 2> elastic& element. This
element has % degrees of freedom !translation along the P and A a,es, and
rotation about the Y a,is&.
5. >efine )eal Constants
(reprocessor V )eal Constants... V -dd...
In the N)eal Constants for 'E-<%N window, enter the following geometric
properties7 !1ote that NZZN is used instead N[N for e,ponents&
i. Crosssectional area -)E-7 +ZH
ii. -rea moment of inertia IYY7 !+ZHZZ%&I#2
iii. Thickness along A a,is7 H
1@TE7 It is important to use independent variables to define dependent
variables such as the moment of inertia. >uring the optimi.ation, the
width and height will change for each iteration. -s a result, the other
variables must be defined in relation to the width and height.
2. >efine Element <aterial (roperties
(reprocessor V <aterial (rops V <aterial <odels V 0tructural V 4inear V
Elastic V Isotropic
In the window that appears, enter the following geometric properties for
i. AoungNs modulus EP7 233333
ii. (oissonNs )atio ()PA7 3.%
%. >efine <esh 0i.e
(reprocessor V <eshing V 0i.e Cntrls V <anual0i.e V 4ines V -ll 4ines...
9or this e,ample we will specify an element edge length of #33 mm !#3
element divisions along the line&.
8. <esh the frame
(reprocessor V <eshing V <esh V 4ines V click N(ick -llN
0olution (hase7 -ssigning 4oads and 0olving
#. >efine -nalysis Type
0olution V -nalysis Type V 1ew -nalysis V 0tatic
2. -pply Constraints
0olution V >efine 4oads V -pply V 0tructural V >isplacement V @n
(in Jeypoint # !ie /P, /A constrained& and constrain Jeypoint 2 in the A
%. -pply 4oads
0olution V >efine 4oads V -pply V 0tructural V 9orceI<oment V @n
-pply a vertical !9A& point load of 23331 at Jeypoint %
The applied loads and constraints should now appear as shown in the figure
8. 0olve the 0ystem
0olution V 0olve V Current 40
(ostprocessing7 Biewing the )esults
E,tracting Information as (arameters7
To perform an optimi.ation, we must e,tract the required information.
In this problem, we would like to find the ma,imum stress in the beam and the volume as
a result of the width and height variables.
#. >efine the volume
o 0elect "eneral (ostproc V Element Table V >efine Table... V -dd...
o The following window will appear. 9ill it in as shown to obtain the volume
of the beam.
1ote that this is the volume of each element. If you were to list the
element table you would get a volume for each element. Therefore, you
have to sum the element values together to obtain the total volume of the
beam. 9ollow the instructions below to do this.
o 0elect "eneral (ostproc V Element Table V 0um of Each Item...
o - little window will appear notifying you that the tabular sum of each
element table will be calculated. Click N@JN
Aou will obtain a window notifying you that the EBolume is now 833333
2. 0tore the data !Bolume& as a parameter
o 0elect /tility <enu V (arameters V "et 0calar >ata...
o In the window which appears select N)esults >ataN and NElem table sumsN
o the following window will appear. 0elect the items shown to store the
Bolume as a parameter.
1ow if you view the parameters !/tility <enu V (arameters V 0calar
(arameters...& you will see that Bolume has been added.
%. >efine the ma,imum stress at the i node of each element in the beam
o 0elect "eneral (ostproc V Element Table V >efine Table... V -dd...
o The following window will appear. 9ill it in as shown to obtain the
ma,imum stress at the i node of each element and store it as N0<-P\IN.
1ote that nmisc,# is the ma,imum stress. 9or further information
type Help beam% into the command line
1ow we will need to sort the stresses in descending order to find the
ma,imum stress
o 0elect "eneral (ostproc V 4ist )esults V 0orted 4isting V 0ort Elems
o Complete the window as shown below to sort the data from N0<-P\IN in
descending order
8. 0tore the data !<a, 0tress& as a parameter
o 0elect /tility <enu V (arameters V "et 0calar >ata...
o In the window which appears select N)esults >ataN and N@ther operationsN
o In the that appears, fill it in as shown to obtain the ma,imum value.
E. >efine ma,imum stress at the ? node of each element for the beam
o 0elect "eneral (ostproc V Element Table V >efine Table... V -dd...
o 9ill this table as done previously, however make the following changes7
save the data as N0<-P\KN !instead of N0<-P\IN&
The element table data enter 1<I0C,% !instead of 1<I0C,#&. This
will give you the ma, stress at the ? node.
o 0elect "eneral (ostproc V 4ist )esults V 0orted 4isting V 0ort Elems to
sort the stresses in descending order.
o However, select N0<-P\KN in the Item, Comp selection bo,
F. 0tore the data !<a, 0tress& as a parameter
o 0elect /tility <enu V (arameters V "et 0calar >ata...
o In the window which appears select N)esults >ataN and N@ther operationsN
o In the that appears, fill it in as shown previously , however, name the
parameter N0<a,KN.
5. 0elect the largest of 0<-PK and 0<-PI
o Type 0<-PH0<-PIV0<-PK into the command line
This will set the largest of the 2 values equal to 0<-P. In this case the
ma,imum values for each are the same. However, this is not always the
*. Biew the parametric data
/tility <enu V (arameters V 0calar (arameters 1ote that the ma,imum
stress is 2*#.2E which is much larger than the allowable stress of 233<pa


>E9E4ECTI@1 !y& H !EI%*8& P !+4
I H '>
'ending 0tress H !a4
- H ##t
-rea of crank section H %.#8 )
H %.#8 P 2*
H #2%#mm
-rea of piston section H %.#8 r
H %.#8 P #E
H %E%.8mm
-rea of mid section, a H ##t
H ## P #3
H ##33mm
H #2%#^%E%.8^##33
H 2F*8mm
>eflection!y& H!EI%*8&P!+4
I H '>
H 23P#3
H %%%%.%%mm
>eflection!y& H !EI%*8&P!E*3P#*
H .33#258Emm
'ending stress H !a4
H #$*.8E$1Imm
>eflection !y& H !EI%*8& P !+4
H 8E2%.%% mm
>eflection!y& H !EI%*8& P E*3P#*
H 3.333*5#E8mm
'ending 0tress H !a4
H #$%.2E1Imm
Table no 8.E !comparison of results&
(-)-<ETE)0 9@)"E> 0TEE4 -4/<I1/< 1IT)I>E
0< -10A0 0< -10A0
4@->!J1& E3 E3 E3 E3
3.33#2 3.33#8 3.33*5 3.33$3
#$*.8EF #$F.8EF #$%.2E #$8.2E#
+EI"HT !"<& E*3 E*3 82E 82E
#E6 #E6
There is considerable reduction in weight, cost, stress and deflection by switching
over from forged steel to aluminum nitride !as the above table shows it in parameters&
- detailed study on the material properties of the connecting rod was done to find
the various factors affecting its life this pro?ect investigated weight and cost reduction
opportunities that connecting rods offers. The connecting rod chosen for this pro?ect
belonged to a light weight diesel engine optimi.ation was performed to reduce weight
and manufacturing cost. Cost was reduced by changing the material of the current forged
steel connecting rod to aluminum nitride. +hile reducing the weight, the static account,
fatigue strength, and the basking load factor were taken into account. The connecting rod
was optimi.ed under 8 different loading conditions. This connecting rod satisfied all the
constraints defined and was found to be satisfactory. The optimi.ed connecting rod is
#36 lighter and connecting rod, in spite of lower strength aluminum nitride compared to
the e,isting forged steel.
REFERENCE, -., 2338, ;9atigue 'ehavior and 4ife prediction of 9orged 0teel and (<
Connecting )ods,= <aster:s Thesis, /niversity of Toledo.
-thavale, 0. and 0a?anpawar, (. )., #$$#, ;0tudies on 0ome <odelling -spects in
the 9inite Element -nalysis of 0mall "asoline Engine Components,= Small
Engine Technology Conference Proceedings, 0ociety of -utomotive Engineers of
Kapan, Tokyo, pp. %5$%*$.
'alasubramaniam, '., 0voboda, <., and 'auer, +., #$$#, ;0tructural
optimi.ation of I.C. engines sub?ected to mechanical and thermal loads,=
Computer Methods in Applied Mechanics and Engineering, Bol. *$, pp. %%5%F3.
'handari, B. '., #$$8, ;Design of Machine Elements,= Tata <c"rawHill. Clark,
K. (., 9ield III, 9. )., and 1allicheri, 1. B., #$*$, ;Engine stateoftheart a
competitive assessment of steel, cost estimates and performance analysis,=
research eport ! "#$%, -utomotive -pplications Committee, -merican Iron
and 0teel Institute.
El0ayed, <. E. <., and 4und, E. H., #$$3, ;0tructural optimi.ation with fatigue
life constraints,= Engineering &racture Mechanics, Bol. %5, 1o. F, pp. ##8$##EF.
9olgar, 9., +ldrig, K. E., and Hunt, K. +., #$*5, ;>esign, 9abrication and
performance of 9iber 9(I<etal <atri, Composite Connecting )ods,= SAE
technical Paper Series %#"'( (aper 1o. *5383F.
9erguson, C. )., #$*F, ;)nternal Com*ustion Engines( Applied Thermosciences,=
Kohn +iley and 0ons, Inc. "oenka, (. J. and @h, J. (., #$*F, ;-n @ptimum
Connecting )od >esign 0tudy L -
4ubrication Biewpoint,= +ournal of Tri*ology, Transactions of -0<E, Kuly #$*F,
Bol. #3*. "upta, ). J., #$$%, ;)ecent >evelopments in <aterials and (rocesses
for -utomotive Connecting rods,= SAE Technical Paper Series( (aper 1o.