Development of a Method to Measure Residual Stresses in Cast Components with Complex Geometries

University essay from KTH/Materialvetenskap

Abstract: Cast iron, taking the advantages of the advanced castability forming components of complex geometries and favorable mechanical properties, is employed in engine components in truck industries. Compacted graphite iron (CGI) integrates both merits of lamellar graphite iron (LGI) and spheroidal graphite iron (SGI) such as good machinability and high thermal conductivity from LGI, high ultimate tensile strength (UTS), good fatigue resistance, high elastic modulus, and high ductility from SGI, thus is now becoming a competitive alternative of traditional LGI in cylinder blocks and heads. Due to the shape complexity of cast components, residual stresses arise accordingly. Normal methods for measuring stresses have various practical difficulties that affect accuracy. For example, in strain gauge measurements such as hole drilling and cutting, casting skins need to be polished as the attachment of strain gauge requires a smooth surface condition for precise detection, though any mechanical treatment would change the residual stress state. On the other hand, electropolishing applied in XRD measurement for extracting depth profile causes no release of stresses, nevertheless, there is no dissolution reaction on graphite particles. This would retard further polishing and form a rough surface instead of flat extraction. A visual strain detection system relies on a stable and clean surface condition, therefore, when it is combined with the drilling technique, the drilling chips could be a vital problem for repeatability when they block the view of drilling edges. Ultrasonic measurement, in theory, has lower precision by averaging the stresses within a certain volume beneath surfaces. A number of methods have been developed to measure residual stresses, ranging from destructive to non-destructive according to the removal amount of materials. In this thesis work, several measurement methods are implemented on cylinder heads and the results are compared with simulation to develop a suitable method of measuring residual stresses in cast engine components. It is found that longer shakeout time lowers the tensile stresses and develops more compressive stresses in the surface layer. Cutting is a suitable method compared with others. Incremental center-hole drilling technique is not suitable to measure cast components as the surface grinding before stain gauge mounting causes high deviation. Hole drilling with visual strain detection provided high errors within the first 0.1 mm as the strains were too weak to be visualized at the beginning of drilling. The electropolishing process was also found retarded by graphite particles, and the XRD results are more trustworthy with more tilt angles. Ultrasonic measurement is rather rough due to the influence of graphite on the traveling velocity of ultrasound.

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