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Fatigue life comparisons of the manufacturing processes for a steering knuckle

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  1. Introduction
  2. Finite element analysis
  3. Component fatigue tests
  4. Conclusion
  5. References

The Paper describes a vehicle steering knuckle under time-varying load during its service life.Fatigue behavior is, therefore, a key consideration in its design and performance evaluation. This paper is aimed at assessing 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. The paper envisages that 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.

[...] It was found that except for the case of precise geometries of the three steering knuckles, fixing the bolt holes, for which the value of a Coordinate Measuring Machine (CMM) was stress was lower and the critical location was used, with the resulting digitized models as different, all the other three cases provided presented in Figure 1. approximately similar results. Therefore, the choice of fixing the hub bolt hole-centerlines was selected. For the cast iron knuckle, where the geometry and service conditions are close to the cast aluminum knuckle, similar loading and boundary conditions were applied. [...]


[...] In the high-cycle regime, forged steel resulted in about an order of magnitude longer life than the cast iron, and about a factor of 3 longer life, compared to the cast aluminum The differences between measured and FEA predicted strains obtained for the forged steel and cast aluminum knuckles were found to be reasonable for the complex knuckle geometries considered Component testing results showed the forged steel knuckle to have about two orders of magnitude longer life than the cast aluminum knuckle, for the same stress amplitude level. [...]


[...] first detectable crack), accurate determination of the local equivalent stress or strain, and the same maximum stressed/strained material volume for both the specimens and the components, were preconditions for the transferability of material data obtained from specimens to the component. 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. The objectives of the current study were to compare fatigue performance and assess fatigue life for steering knuckle, a fatigue critical part, made from three materials of different manufacturing processes. [...]

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