The online Bar Steel Fatigue Database has been updated for the fifth time and now contains 134 iterations, or grade/process combinations. It gives automotive design engineers better predictability for designing parts with long-term reliability and durability.
The database is an ongoing project of the Steel Market Development Institute's (SMDI) Long Products Market Development Group. It provides combinations of critical grades and heat treatment for components located in the areas of the vehicle where performance is critical, such as powertrain and chassis component designs.
Examples of steel parts in these areas include those in engines, steering systems, and transmission systems. Engine performance can be improved and efficiency boosted through the use of steel connecting rods, crankshafts, and valves. Steel is often the preferred material in rack and pinion steering systems for its durable and reliable performance at a low cost. In transmission systems, steel can improve power density and torque output, while reducing package size and mass.
SMDI says that, as automakers and their suppliers continue to use finite element analysis (FEA) to develop next-generation vehicles, they need accurate and reliable data on bar steel fatigue, and, to optimize the parts' designs, reliable strain-controlled, axial fatigue testing data are necessary. The bar steel fatigue data in the SMDI database was developed using strain-controlled methods. It provides more accurate and more detailed life predictions of component fatigue than the rudimentary, stress-life method can produce.
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The Long Products Market Development Group (LPMDG) worked with representatives from the steel and ground vehicle industries to determine the specific material and heat treatment combinations in the database. The Bar Steel Fatigue Database project team comprises three LPMDG member companies -- Gerdau, Nucor, and TimkenSteel -- plus eight companies from the ground vehicle industry: American Axle & Manufacturing, Caterpillar, Cummins, Dana Holding, Eaton, Gerdau, FCA US, General Motors, and Meritor.
Members of the LPMDG and design engineers in the ground vehicle industry are the intended users of the database. The data will be immediately available to members and will open up to the general public in two years. You can sign up here.
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Ann R. Thryft is senior technical editor, materials & assembly, for Design News. She's been writing about manufacturing- and electronics-related technologies for 27 years, covering manufacturing materials & processes, alternative energy, and robotics. In the past, she's also written about machine vision and all kinds of communications.
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