Influence of Forging Process on Fatigue Properties of AISI 4140 Steel Axle Component

[+] Author and Article Information
Venkateswaran Perumal1

 Metallurgy Division, Engineering Research and Development Centre, Tata Motors Ltd., Pune 411018, India

Sivakumar Palanivelu2 n3

Siba Prasad Mookherjee, Ajit Kumar Jindal

 Light and Medium Vehicle Design Division, Engineering Research and Development Centre, Tata Motors Ltd., Pune 411018, India


Present address: Materials Characterization and Joining Group, R&D Division, Tata Steel, Jamshedpur 831001, India.


Present address: Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Ghent University, 9000 Gent, Belgium.


Corresponding author.

J. Eng. Mater. Technol 134(1), 010909 (Dec 21, 2011) (6 pages) doi:10.1115/1.4005405 History: Received February 21, 2011; Revised October 24, 2011; Published December 21, 2011; Online December 21, 2011

The present paper investigates the microstructure and mechanical properties’ aspects of AISI 4140 steel front axle beams developed by roll and hot-die forging processes. Microstructure of the processed beams exhibited tempered martensite, and nonmartensitic products, such as retained austenite and ferrite at the case and core, respectively. Fatigue testing results indicate that roll forged beams have demonstrated 37% higher fatigue lives (Weibull B50 life) compared to hot-die forged beams, despite similar quasi-static tensile properties. The improved fatigue performance of the roll forged beams over hot-die forged beams is attributed to the fine, close texture and rationalized material flow in the beams processed by the roll forging process. Finite element analysis and experimental strain measurements of subject component indicate that the stress levels due to fatigue loads are well below the static yield strength and endurance limit of AISI 4140 steel; however, the notches present in the form of flash or partition lines of the forged beams have initiated the fatigue failures of the beams.

Copyright © 2012 by American Society of Mechanical Engineers
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Figure 1

Finite element modelling of front axle with stub axle assembly

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Figure 2

Loading and end support points of FA beam fatigue testing

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Figure 3

Forged beam mounted with strain gauges

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Figure 4

Typical hot-die forged beam I section representing the case (A) and core (B)

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Figure 5

Hardenability data of AISI 4140 steel

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Figure 6

Optical micrographs of case and core microstructures of hot-die forged (a and c) roll forged (b and d) beams

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Figure 7

(a and b)—Stress distribution on the front axle beam

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Figure 8

(a) Fatigue cracking at center of hot-die forged beam (b) roll forged beam center, and (c) roll forged beam king pin bore

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Figure 9

Weibull plots of total fatigue cycles for (a) hot die and (b) roll forged beams

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Figure 10

Flow lines in (a) hot-die forging and (b) roll forged beam cross sections



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