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MA 207
Science Of Materials/ Manufacturing Processes I LAB

Honey Narang 626/MP/10 Keshav Mohan Katarya 629/MP/10 Mohammad Saad Khan 630/MP/10 Rachit Goel 646/MP/10


Introduction History Crankshafts in action Working of a crankshaft Designing a Crankshaft Manufacturing a Crankshaft Selection of materials Making of prototypes Selection of casting process Solidification of metal Heat treatment of crankshaft Machining Hardening Finishing Bibliography

The crankshaft, sometimes casually abbreviated to crank, is the part of an engine which translates reciprocating linear piston motion into rotation. To convert the reciprocating motion into rotation, the crankshaft has "crank throws" or "crankpins", additional bearing surfaces whose axis is offset from that of the crank, to which the "big ends" of the connecting rods from each cylinder attach. It typically connects to a flywheel, to reduce the pulsation characteristic of the four-stroke cycle, and sometimes a torsional or vibrational damper at the opposite end, to reduce the torsion vibrations often caused along the length of the crankshaft by the cylinders farthest from the output end acting on the torsional elasticity of the metal.

Classical Antiquity
A Roman iron crankshaft of yet unknown purpose dating to the 2nd century AD was excavated in Augusta Raurica, Switzerland. The 82.5 cm long piece has fitted to one end a 15 cm long bronze handle, the other handle being lost.[2][1] The earliest evidence, anywhere in the world, for a crank and connecting rod in a machine appears in the late Roman Hierapolis sawmill from the 3rd century AD and two Roman stone sawmills at Gerasa, Roman Syria, and Ephesus, Asia Minor (both 6th century AD). On the pediment of the Hierapolis mill, a waterwheel fed by a mill race is shown powering via a gear train two frame saws which cut rectangular blocks by the way of some kind of connecting rods and, through mechanical necessity, cranks. The accompanying inscription is in Greek. The crank and connecting rod mechanisms of the other two archaeologically attested sawmills worked without a gear train. In ancient literature, we find a reference to the workings of water-powered marble saws close to Trier, now Germany, by the late 4th century poet Ausonius; about the same time, these mill types seem also to be indicated by the Christian saint Gregory of Nyssa from Anatolia, demonstrating a diversified use of water-power in many parts of the Roman Empire. The three finds push back the date of the invention of the crank and connecting rod back by a full millennium; for the first time, all essential components of the much later steam engine were assembled by one technological culture: With the crank and connecting rod system, all elements for constructing a steam engine (invented in 1712) Hero's aeolipile (generating steam power), the cylinder and piston (in metal force pumps), non-return valves (in water pumps), gearing (in water mills and clocks) were known in Roman times.

Middle Ages
The Italian physician Guido da Vigevano (c. 12801349), planning for a new crusade, made illustrations for a paddle boat and war carriages that were propelled by manually turned compound cranks and gear wheels (center of image). The Luttrell

Psalter, dating to around 1340, describes a grindstone which was rotated by two cranks, one at each end of its axle; the geared hand-mill, operated either with one or two cranks, appeared later in the 15th century;

The first depictions of the compound crank in the carpenter's brace appear between 1420 and 1430 in various northern European artwork. The rapid adoption of the compound crank can be traced in the works of the Anonymous of the Hussite Wars, an unknown German engineer writing on the state of the military technology of his day: first, the connecting-rod, applied to cranks, reappeared, second, double compound cranks also began to be equipped with connecting-rods and third, the flywheel was employed for these cranks to get them over the 'dead-spot'. In Renaissance Italy, the earliest evidence of a compound crank and connecting-rod is found in the sketch books of Taccola, but the device is still mechanically misunderstood. A sound grasp of the crank motion involved demonstrates a little later Pisanello who painted a piston-pump driven by a water-wheel and operated by two simple cranks and two connecting-rods.

Water-raising pump powered by crank and connecting rod mechanism (Georg Andreas Bckler, 1661)

One of the drawings of the Anonymous of the Hussite Wars shows a boat with a pair of paddle-wheels at each end turned by men operating compound cranks (see above). The concept was much improved by the Italian Roberto Valturio in 1463, who devised a boat with five sets, where the parallel cranks are all joined to a single power source by one connecting-rod, an idea also taken up by his compatriot Francesco di Giorgio.

Crankshafts were also described by Konrad Kyeser (d. 1405), Leonardo da Vinci (14521519) and a Dutch "farmer" by the name Cornelis Corneliszoon van Uitgeest in 1592. His wind-powered sawmill used a crankshaft to convert a windmill's circular motion into a back-and-forward motion powering the saw. Corneliszoon was granted a patent for his crankshaft in 1597. From the 16th century onwards, evidence of cranks and connecting rods integrated into machine design becomes abundant in the technological treatises of the period: Agostino Ramelli's The Diverse and Artifactitious Machines of 1588 alone depicts eighteen examples, a number which rises in the Theatrum Machinarum Novum by Georg Andreas Bckler to 45 different machines, one third of the total.

Middle and Far East

Al-Jazari (11361206) described a crank and connecting rod system in a rotating machine in two of his water-raising machines. His twin-cylinder pump incorporated a crankshaft, but the device was unnecessarily complex indicating that he still did not fully understand the concept of power conversion. In China, the potential of the crank of converting circular motion into reciprocal one never seems to have been fully realized, and the crank was typically absent from such machines until the turn of the 20th century.

Crankshafts in Action
As automakers have reduced the overall size and weight of their cars to meet fuel economy and emission standards, their focus often has been on the engine. But as engine size has shrunk and their components converted to lighter weight materials, the stress on each of the structural and moving components has increased. One of the components most affected by increased engine stress is the crankshaft, as it serves as the torque transmitter for the entire automobile drive-train. Simply described, a fuel/air mixture is pushed into the combustion chamber in an engine where it is ignited, forcing the pistons, which are located within each of the engine block cylinders, up and down. These pistons, which are attached to the crankshaft by connecting rods, force the crankshaft to spin. This spinning then is passed to the flywheel, which transfers the energy to the transmission and drive-train to turn the wheels of the automobile. This spinning also is passed to the camshaft, which opens and closes the intake and exhaust manifolds to let the air/fuel mixture in and out of the combustion chamber. The problem for automotive engineers is that as the engine has been forced to shrink, the combustion chamber shrinks. To compensate, engineers have decreased the diameter of the engine block cylinder and increased the distance the piston travels. The result is an increase in the stress on the crankshaft. On average, the crankshaft spins 30 times/sec. in operation. Throughout this spin, the crankshaft has pistons/connecting rods exerting pressure in different directions, depending on the engine design. The goal of automotive engineers is to ensure the integrity of the crankshaft through design, material selection and production.

Working of a Crankshaft
Power from the burnt gases in the combustion chamber is delivered to the crankshaft through the piston,piston pin and connecting rod.The crankshaft (fig.1) changes reciprocating motion of the piston in cylinder to the rotary motion of the flywheel.Conversion of motion is executed by use of the offset in

the crankshaft.Each offset part of the crankshaft has a bearing surface known as a crank pin to which the connecting rod is attached.Crank-through is the offset from the crankshaft centre line. The stroke of the piston is controlled by the throw of the crankshaft. The combustion force is transferred to the crank-throw after the crankshaft has moved past top dead centre to produce turning effort or torque, which rotates the crankshaft. Thus all the engine power is delivered through the crankshaft. The cam-shaft is rotated by the crankshaft through gears using chain driven or belt driven sprockets. The cam-shaft drive is timed for opening of the valves in relation to the piston position. The crankshaft rotates in main bearings, which are split in half for assembly around the crankshaft main bearing journals.

Both the crankshaft and camshaft must be capable of withstanding the intermittent variable loads impressed on them. During transfer of torque to the output shaft, the force deflects the crankshaft. This deflection occurs due to bending and twisting of the crankshaft. Crankshaft deflections are directly related to engine roughness. When deflections of the crankshaft occur at same vibrational or resonant frequency as another engine part, the parts vibrate together. These vibrations may reach the audible level producing a thumping sound. The part may fail if this type of vibration is allowed to continue. Harmful resonant frequencies of the crankshaft are damped using a torsional vibration damper. Torsional stiffness is one of the most important crankshaft design requirements. This can be achieved by using material with the correct physical properties and by minimizing stress concentration.

The crankshaft is located in the crankcase and is supported by main bearings. Figure 3.62 represents schematic view of a typical crankshaft. The angle of the crankshaft throws in relation to each other is selected to provide a smooth power output. V-8 engines use 90 degree and 6 cylinder engines use 120 degree crank throws. The engine firing order is determined from the angles selected. A crankshaft for a four cylinder engine is referred to a five bearing shaft. This means that the shaft has five main bearings, one on each side of every big end which makes the crankshaft very stiff and supports it well. As a result the engine is normally very smooth and long lasting.

Fig. 1 Crankshaft

This Figure describes that how a crankshaft is fitted in a car.Its joining from Cylinders to piston to crankshaft to itself and then to the wheels of the car. Because of the additional internal webs required to support the main bearings, the crank case itself is very stiff. The disadvantages of this type of bearing arrangement are that it is more expensive and engine may have to be slightly longer to accommodate the extra main bearings. Counter weights are used to balance static and dynamic forces that occur during engine operation. Main and rod bearing journal overlap increases crankshaft strength because more of the load is carried through the overlap area rather than through the fillet and crankshaft web. Since the stress concentration takes place at oil holes drilled through the crankshaft journals, these are usually located where the crankshaft loads and stresses are minimal. Lightening holes in the crank throws do not reduce their strength if the hole size is less than half of the bearing journal diameter, rather these holes often increase crankshaft strength by relieving some of the crankshafts natural stress. Automatic transmission pressure and clutch release forces tend to push the crankshaft towards the front of the engine.

Thrust bearings in the engine support this thrust load as well maintain the crankshaft position. Thrust bearings may be located on any one of the main bearing journals. Experience shows that the bearing lasts much longer when the journal is polished against the direction of normal rotation than if polished in the direction of normal rotation. Most crankshaft balancing is done during manufacture by drilling holes in the counterweight to lighten them. Sometimes these holes are drilled after the crankshaft is installed in the engine.

Designing a Crankshaft
In the world of component design, there are competing criteria, which require the engineers to achieve a perceived optimal compromise to satisfy the requirements of their particular efforts. Discussions with various recognized experts in the crankshaft field make it abundantly clear that there is no right answer, and opinions about the priorities of design criteria vary considerably. In contemporary racing crankshaft design, the requirements for bending and torsional stiffness (see the Stiffness vs. Strength sidebar) compete with the need for low mass moment of inertia (MMOI). Several crankshaft experts emphasized the fact that exotic metallurgy is no substitute for proper design, and there's little point in switching to exotics if there is no fatigue problem to be solved. High stiffness is a benefit because it increases the torsional resonant frequency of the crankshaft, and because it reduces bending deflection of the bearing journals. Journal deflection can cause increased friction by disturbing the hydrodynamic film at critical points, and can cause loss of lubrication because of increased leakage through the greater radial clearances that occur when a journal's axis is not parallel to the bearing axis. At this point, it is important to digress and emphasize the often-misunderstood difference between STIFFNESS and STRENGTH. Metal parts are not rigid. When a load is applied to a metal part, the part deflects in response to the load. The deflection can be very small (crankshaft, conrod, etc.) or it can be quite large (valvesprings, etc). But to one degree or another, all parts behave like springs in response to a load. The ultimate strength of a material is a measure of the stress level which can be applied to a lab sample of the material before it fractures. The degree to which a given part resists deflection in response to a given loading is called stiffness. It is important to understand that the ultimate strength of a material has nothing whatever to do with stiffness. Stiffness is the result of two

properties of a part: (1) the Young's Modulus of the material (sometimes called Modulus of Elasticity, but more appropriately named Modulus of Rigidity) and the cross-sectional properties of the part to which the load is applied. For example, suppose you have two components which are identical in all respects (same material, same dimensions) except the tensile strength to which those components have been heat-treated. If you apply an increasing load to each component, both will deflect the same amount for each load value, until the component with the lower strength permanently deforms (and breaks if it is loaded and constrained in a certain way) at a relatively low stress level. The component with the higher strength will continue to deform with increasing load until its yield stress is reached, at which point it too will permanently deform. Since the current crankshaft materials are alloy steels, the Young's Modulus is fairly constant. That means that altering the section properties of the highly-stressed portions of the crankshaft is the only way to increase stiffness. Of course, adding material works at cross-purposes to maintaining low MMOI. Three major parameters which affect crank stiffness are length, journal diameter and crankpin overlap. The torsional rate of a cylindrical section varies directly with length and with the fourth power of diameter. Crankpin overlap is a measurement of how much crankpin material is horizontally aligned with the material of the adjacent main journals, as illustrated in Figure 2, showing a CPO of 0.225 with a 4.250" stroke crank having 2.100 rod journals and 2.600 main journals. CPO = (main diameter + crankpin diameter - stroke) / 2

Figure 2

There is a continuing emphasis on research and design among F1 and Cup teams to increase stiffness with minimal impact on MMOI. However, all the experts I spoke with were understandably reluctant to discuss the specifics of where and how they are adding material and how effective their changes are. From examining some available pictures and gathering data on other engine parameters, I would hazard a guess that the conrod bearing widths are being reduced to make room for thicker webs. It is also possible that main bearing journals are being undercut to produce the required fillet radii at the intersection with the web, again making more room for thicker webs. Undercutting the journals increases the stress levels and locally reduces the section properties. However, the immense fatigue strengths of the contemporary materials and the relative lack of crank failure at the highest levels of racing suggest that the endurance limits can be pushed a bit further. It is apparent that a great deal of FEA work is essential at the top. One stiffness area where most two-plane V8 engine people agree is the use of center counterweights. It has been known for some time that there are significant power gains available in two-plane crank V8s from the use of counterweights around the center main bearing (Figure 3).

Figure3 8-Counterweight V8 Crank (Courtesy of Bryant Racing)

Traditionally, many two-plane V8 crankshafts had been produced without center counterweights because of economies and difficulties forging the blanks, because the six-counterweight crank typically has a slightly lower MMOI, and because the benefits

of an eight-counterweight crank in a short-stroke application were not fully appreciated. However, the bending deflection across the center main at high loadings and high speeds causes measurable losses, so many areas of racing which use twoplane V8 cranks are moving (or have already moved) to eight-counterweight cranks. From an overall engine design perspective, the relocation of the thrust bearing from the rear main to the center main also helps reduce center-main bending deflection. There are varying opinions about whether high stiffness or low MMOI is more important. Low MMOI is most important at high engine acceleration rates. Roadcourse racing typically involves greater vehicle speed variation per lap, which implies greater requirements for quick acceleration through several gear ratios. In certain classes, the low weight of the vehicle and the high power of the engine can yield very high engine acceleration rates. At the higher-speed Cup racing circuits, the engine acceleration rates at speed are often less than 100 RPM per second, while at some of the shorter tracks, they can exceed 500 RPM per second. Of course, there are restarts and pit stops to be dealt with at all tracks, so it is easy to see how there can be varying approaches to this issue. Reducing MMOI involves removing material, especially from places which are a long distance from the main bearing axis. However, these are also some of the most highly loaded areas as well, so reducing cross sectional properties necessarily increases the cyclic stress levels. Pushing the cyclic stress levels up impinges on the fatigue life of the component, which is especially important in classes where an engine must, by regulation, survive more than one meeting. Determining acceptable levels of cyclic stresses vs. expected life is not an exact science. Endurance limit testing of materials produces a highly statistical array of results data . There has been quite a bit of discussion about the use of bolt-on counterweights in an attempt to reduce MMOI values. An example of this technology is shown in Figure 4. These detachable counterweights are made from variants of the heavy metal used to balance crankshafts. This heavy metal is a tungsten-based alloy with several different chemistries (W-Ni-Cu; W-Ni-Fe; W-Ni-C) depending on the required properties. These alloys have nearly 2.5 times the density of steel, and are extremely expensive.

Figure4 Bolt-On Counterweights

Another benefit of bolt-on counterweights is that several of the machining operations are much simpler to accomplish without having to deal with the integral counterweights getting in the way. If journal coatings are used, the more complete access to the journals provided by the absence of integral counterweights could also be a benefit. There were some initial problems with bolt-on counterweights, which resulted (as one Formula One designer told me) in "several deep holes being dug in the surface of a few racetracks". There are tensile and fatigue stress issues, as well as the inevitable fretting between contact surfaces and the requirement for highly developed fastener technology. Usage in Formula One suggests that those issues have been resolved. There is a variance of opinion as to whether bolt on counterweights are being investigated in Cup. One person told me they are explicitly illegal, while two others told me they know of a certain amount of investigation and development going on in that regard. In the world of two-plane V8 cranks, the traditional calculation for the balancebobweight value is 100% of the rotating weight (big end, inserts and oil) plus 50% of the reciprocating weight (small end, wristpin, retainers, piston, rings and oil). However, there are differing approaches to the question of overbalance or underbalance. . Some experts stick with the 100% + 50% distribution, while others opt for a 46-47% underbalance (100% + 47%). Others prefer a 52-53% overbalance, while others add an arbitrary 100 grams to the 50% reciprocating calculation. There was a general reluctance to discuss the expected or observed effects of these strategies. There has been an interesting development regarding two-plane V8 crankshaft lubrication drillings. Traditionally, each rod bearing was fed oil by a single angled hole from the loaded-during-compression side of the rod journal to the less-loaded side of the adjacent main journal, sometimes called straight-shot oiling, shown in Figure 5. That strategy reduced the effect of centrifugal-force starvation at high RPM and assured the availability of sufficient oil to provide the dynamic film strength for the combustion loading.

Figure5 "Straight-Shot" Oiling

The problem with this scheme is that the intersection of the angled hole with the rod journal produces a large elliptical interruption in the journal surface. Add the chamfering usually done around that hole, and what results is a significant interruption of the hydrodynamic surface area. Coupled with the reduced bearing widths, that divot creates a substantial leakage path for the oil to escape. The new approach rearranges the drillings so the holes in the rod journal can be perpendicular to the surface. One method is to drill a perpendicular oil hole into the rod journal, and drill an intersecting parallel hole partially through the rod journal and plug the open end. Next, an angled drilling from an adjacent main journal is made to intersect the parallel drilling. Another method involves horizontal drillings through the main journal, through the CPO into the rod journal, with perpendicular feeds into both journals. This rearrangement enables the lubrication of both rods on the same crankpin from a single main journal. That can be an advantage in view of data showing that two-plane V8 main journals numbers two and four are the most highly loaded, so the rods can be oiled from one, three and five while the oil delivered to mains two and four can do a better job because of reduced leakage and no surface interruptions. Figures 3 and 4 show examples of this approach. An interesting byproduct of this new drilling strategy is the creation of internal sharp corners and edges where the drillings intersect. These sharp corners introduce the flow-restricting effect of sharp-edged orifices into the lube system at a critical point. Further, sharp corners and machining marks introduce stress concentrations due to of the surface discontinuities. One major crank manufacturer (Bryant Racing) has developed a proprietary extrudehoning system in which an abrasive slurry is pumped through these drillings at high pressure. This abrasive treatment removes the sharp edges and surface flaws which cause flow restrictions and stress concentrations, leaving the inside surfaces of the holes with a mirror finish and nicely rounded intersections, which adds substantially to the fatigue life of the part.

Manufacturing a Crankshaft
Crankshafts can be monolithic (made in a single piece) or assembled from several pieces. Monolithic crankshafts are most common, but some smaller and larger engines use assembled crankshafts. They can be produced either by casting or forging but today they are mostly produced by casting . The entire manufacturing process involved is as shown in the flow diagram below :

Figure 6 Basic Manufacturing Processes for a Crankshaft

Selection of Material
The design engineer must determine the material for the crankshaft. Historically, crankshafts have either been made of gray or ductile iron (ductile iron since the 1970s) or steel, depending on the stress that it must endure. The decision on the material also relates to the decision on the manufacturing method (historically either metal casting or forging) to produce the component. In addition, as with any component being manufactured today, the largest determining factor is cost. In their design, engineers must weigh the cost benefits (of one manufacturing process or material) against the mechanical property benefits (of another process or material) to determine which ones they should use to manufacture the crankshaft. The three key considerations for a crankshaft in terms of mechanical properties are modulus of elasticity (the amount of stress it can take before failure), hardness (how rapidly it will wear) and noise dampening capabilities. Following is a look at the four material options for crankshafts: Cast ductile ironGM casts 99% of its crankshafts in ductile iron (which has a higher modulus than gray iron). The main reason for this is cost. The finished, cast ductile iron crankshaft for a 4-cylinder engine costs $25 less than a forged steel one (the only other process/material combination used to manufacture crankshafts); for a V6, it costs $35 less; and for a V8, it costs $50 less. This cost savings is due primarily to reduced machining and material costs. In general, steel is more difficult to machine than iron, but also, according to GM engineers, cast crankshafts hold tighter tolerances with less finish stock than forged ones. In the future, however, as engines are further compacted, the stresses on the crankshaft will grow beyond what can be handled by ductile iron. As a result, there may be a shift to more forged steel crankshafts. Cast austempered ductile iron (ADI)Although this option has only been tried in low volume applications, the austempering process (a form of heat treating) increases the mechanical properties of ductile iron to that of cast or forged steel. Although the modulus of ADI is the same as ductile iron, the increased mechanical properties may allow casting to remain a viable option for crankshafts at higher stress levels than available with just ductile iron. Cast steelIn the case of crankshafts, cast steel isnt an option for high volume due to the manufacturing issues with the components design. To

ensure the directional solidification of the molten steel that results in a defectfree casting with the necessary mechanical properties, extra gating and risers (for feeding of the molten metal into the mold) are required beyond that used for cast iron. As a result, the machining cost (which is already higher for steel due to the materials modulus) for the cast steel component will be higher than a forged steel component. Forged steelThis is the default option for automobile designers when the stress levels are too high for the cast ductile iron crankshaft. However, this is becoming an increasing popular option for automobile engineers because the stress on crankshafts is increasing with every new design. With a modulus 20% higher than that of iron, as well as increased hardness and noise dampening, steel is often a better option for mechanical property regulations. As a high-enough level, certain iron will not pass the safety-critical tests related to engine stress, so the jump has to be made to forged steel regardless of cost concerns.

Making of Prototypes
Once the material has been chosen, the solid model is ready to undergo finite element, structure, and thermal analysis. In addition, a casting and gating system model can be created (by the design engineer or foundry) for casting process modeling (mold filling solidification). Then, a pattern and tooling model is created (by the design engineer, foundry or tooling shop) to generate rapid tooling and rapid prototypes.

Each of these models and analyses are vital to the successful design of the cast component because they predict with very high confidence that the proper physical and mechanical properties will be achieved. Once production-intent tooling is produced, it is costly to return to the design board for changes. Before material reaches the manufacture of hard tooling stage, it often has manufactured several rapid prototypes of the crankshaft (in metal, plastic and woodlike materials) and tooling for test runs. Due to the size of its production runs, the speed and accuracy at which prototypes can be produced (within days) makes them a critical step to casting design. In addition, many rapid prototype techniques for casting can provide soft tooling for small production runs (in the hundreds) while hard tooling for high-production sand casting is made. In terms of the production of hard tooling for a cast component, GM typically builds in a 12-week lead time.

Selection of Casting Process

Generally crankshafts are being cast in three moulding processesgreen sand, shell and lost foam. But how does an end-user choose the process or supplier? At this point, the decision must be based on discussions with various foundries that determine which plant can provide the most optimized cast component (including all post-casting processing) at the lowest system cost. If the sourcing decisions were based only on the cost of producing the casting itself, then the process decision would be: 1. green sand; 2. shell; and 3. lost foam. This decision, however, would only focus on the unit cost. The molten metal that solidifies in the mould at a foundry is a casting; however, in most cases, this alone is not what is being supplied to the customer. Many castings require heat treatment, grinding, machining, polishing, painting, assembly and other value-added services after they leave the mold. It is vital for casting designers and buyers to incorporate all of these services (and their costs) into their final decision on part design and where to source a component (whether the foundry performs all these operations or not) because this is the only accurate method to determining if one manufacturing method (green sand casting, lost foam casting, forging, welding, etc.) is more cost-effective than another. Green sandThe majority of ductile iron crankshafts are cast in green

sand molds. In this process, sand, clay, water and other stabilizing materials are compacted around two halves of a pattern to form a mold for pouring. Due to the high-production nature of the process , it is the most economical casting

process to produce the component. However, according to engineers, in comparison to the identified two competitive techniques of shell and lost foam, green sand process capability may require more finish stock on the casting for machining later in production. Because no as-cast internal cavities are required in most crankshafts, the production and insertion of sand cores in the mold is generally avoided on each of the processes described. There are six steps in this process: 1. Place a pattern in sand to create a mold. 2. Incorporate the pattern and sand in a gating system. 3. Remove the pattern. 4. Fill the mold cavity with molten metal. 5. Allow the metal to cool.

Break away the sand mold and remove the casting.

ShellShell mold casting holds tighter tolerances and tooling draft angles than green sand by allowing the production of a mold that is narrower with deeper pockets, reducing the machining cost and increasing dimensional accuracy. The reason is that this process cures the sand around the pattern

with heat to glue the grains together. In addition, its surface fini sh is superior to green sand molding. However, its unit cost is higher because it uses resincoated sand that is then heated to form the molds.The process of creating a shell mold consists of six steps: 1. Fine silica sand that is covered in a thin (36%)thermosetting phenolic resin and liquid catalyst is dumped, blown, or shot onto a hot pattern. The pattern is usually made from cast iron and is heated to 230 to 315 C (450 to 600 F). The sand is allowed to sit on the pattern for a few minutes to allow the sand to partially cure. 2. The pattern and sand are then inverted so the excess sand drops free of the pattern, leaving just the "shell". Depending on the time and temperature of the pattern the thickness of the shell is 10 to 20 mm (0.4 to 0.8 in). 3. The pattern and shell together are placed in an oven to finish curing the sand. The shell now has a tensile strength of 350 to 450 psi (2.4 to 3.1 MPa). 4. The hardened shell is then stripped from the pattern. 5. Two or more shells are then combined, via clamping or gluing using a thermoset adhesive, to form a mold. This finished mold can then be used immediately or stored almost indefinitely. 6. For casting the shell mold is placed inside a flask and surrounded with shot, sand, or gravel to reinforce the shell.[4] The machine that is used for this process is called a shell molding machine. It heats the pattern, applies the sand mixture, and bakes the shell.

Lost foamThe third process is lost foam casting. Although it has the highest unit cost of the three processes, lost foams advantages are recognized after the component has been cast. This loose-sand process, which replaces polystyrene patterns with molten metal, has the best dimensional repeatability (in terms of tolerances) of the three processes, reducing machining time. It also alloys designers to cast-in holes and passageways for improved functionality or the reduction of mass that otherwise would require machining or additional cores. In the case of the lost foam crankshaft, holes can be cast-in at the bearings to reduce mass. The basic processes involved in this process are :


Pattern creation - The wax patterns are typically injection molded into a metal die and are formed as one piece. Cores may be used to form any internal features on the pattern. Several of these patterns are attached to a central wax gating system (sprue, runners, and risers), to form a tree-like assembly. The

gating system forms the channels through which the molten metal will flow to the mold cavity. 2. Mold creation - This "pattern tree" is dipped into a slurry of fine ceramic particles, coated with more coarse particles, and then dried to form a ceramic shell around the patterns and gating system. This process is repeated until the shell is thick enough to withstand the molten metal it will encounter. The shell is then placed into an oven and the wax is melted out leaving a hollow ceramic shell that acts as a one-piece mold, hence the name "lost wax" casting. Pouring - The mold is preheated in a furnace to approximately 1000C (1832F) and the molten metal is poured from a ladle into the gating system of the mold, filling the mold cavity. Pouring is typically achieved manually under the force of gravity, but other methods such as vacuum or pressure are sometimes used. Cooling - After the mold has been filled, the molten metal is allowed to cool and solidify into the shape of the final casting. Cooling time depends on the thickness of the part, thickness of the mold, and the material used. Casting removal - After the molten metal has cooled, the mold can be broken and the casting removed. The ceramic mold is typically broken using water jets, but several other methods exist. Once removed, the parts are separated from the gating system by either sawing or cold breaking (using liquid nitrogen). Finishing - Often times, finishing operations such as grinding or sandblasting are used to smooth the part at the gates. Heat treatment is also sometimes used to harden the final part.










Foam pattern

Solidification of Metal
With all of these processes, metal solidification time is another factor to consider. A foundry that is able to control the solidification and cooling times of its castings through its molding and shakeout (separation of the solidified casting from the mold) processes can aid in the development of the specified components mechanical properties and eliminate the need for subsequent heat treatment. Casting is a solidification process, which means the solidification phenomenon controls most of the properties of the casting. Moreover, most of the casting defects occur during solidification, such as gas porosity and solidification shrinkage. Once shaken out, the cast components undergo rough finishing and grinding in anticipation for any valueadded services or operations. If a cast component is to undergo heat treatment, machining, painting, etc., this should be specified to the foundry up front. The old days of foundries being the producers of just castings have disappeared as producers of cast components offer many of these value-added services in-house or through sub-contracts. In regard to the crankshafts, some undergo heat treatment to improve mechanical properties or ensure property consistency (especially hardness and noise and vibration dampening) throughout the component. Every crankshaft undergoes machining to achieve the required tolerances and features that are cost prohibitive to achieve in casting.

Heat Treatment of Crankshaft

Regarding the steel alloys typically used in high-grade crankshafts, the desired ultimate (and hence yield and fatigue) strength of the material is produced by a series of processes, known in aggregate as heat treatment. The typical heat-treating process for carbon-steel alloys is first to transform the structure of the rough-machined part into the face-centered-cubic austenite crystalline structure (austenitize) by heating the part in an oven until the temperature throughout the part stabilizes in the neighbourhood of 1550F to 1650F (depending on the specific material). Next, the part is removed from the heating oven and rapidly cooled ("quenched") to extract heat from the part at a rate sufficient to transform a large percentage of the austenitic structure into fine-grained martensite. The desired martensitic post-quench crystalline structure of the steel is the high-strength, highhardness, form of the iron-carbon solution. The rate of cooling required to achieve

maximum transformation varies with the hardenability of the material, determined by the combination of alloying elements. Distortion and induced residual stress are two of the biggest problems involved in heat-treating. Less severe quenching methods tend to reduce residual stresses and distortion. Some alloys (EN-30B and certain tool steels, for example) can reach full hardness by quenching in air. Other alloys having less hardenability can be quenched in a bath of 400F molten salt. Still others require quenching in a polymer-based oil, and the least hardenable alloys need to be quenched in water. The shock of waterquenching is often severe enough to crack the part or induce severe residual stresses and distortions. As the hardenability of a material decreases, the hardness (thus strength) varies more drastically from the surface to the core of the material. High hardenability materials can reach much more homogeneous post-quench hardness. Cryogenic treatment, if used, directly follows quenching. The body of belief-based and empirical evidence supporting cryo is now supported by scientific data from a recent NASA study confirming that a properly-done cryo process does transform most of the retained austenite to martensite, relaxes the crystalline distortions, and produces helpful ("eta") particles at the grain boundaries. The resulting material is almost fully martensitic, has reduced residual stress, more homogeneous structure and therefore greater fatigue strength. After quenching (and cryo if used), the alloy steel material has reached a very high strength and hardness, but at that hardness level, it lacks sufficient ductility and impact resistance for most applications. In order to produce the combination of material properties deemed suitable for a given application, the part is placed in a tempering oven and soaked for a specific amount of time at a specific temperature (for that alloy) in order to reduce the hardness to the desired level, hence producing

the desired strength, ductility, impact resistance and other desired mechanical properties. In the case of certain alloys, a double-tempering process can further improve fatigue strength and notch toughness. The tempering temperature and time must be carefully determined for each specific steel alloy, because in mid-range temperature bands, martensitic steels exhibit a property known as temper embrittlement, in which the steel, while having high strength, loses a great deal of its toughness and impact resistance. Typically, the post-temper hardness which results in the best ductility and impact properties is not sufficient for the wear surfaces of the crank journals. In addition, the fatigue strength of the material at that hardness is insufficient for suitable life. The currently-favoured process which provides both the hard journal surfaces and dramatic improvements in fatigue life is nitriding (not nitrating - nitrates are oxygen-bearing compounds of nitrogen). Nitriding is the process of diffusing elemental nitrogen into the surface of a steel, producing iron nitrides (FeNx). The result is a hard, high strength case along with residual surface compressive stresses. The part gains a

high-strength, high hardness surface with high wear resistance, and greatly improved fatigue performance due to both the high strength of the case and the residual compressive stress. These effects occur without the need for quenching from the nitriding temperature. The case thickness is usually quite thin (0.10 to 0.20 mm), although at least one crankshaft manufacturer has developed a way to achieve nitride layer thickness approaching 1.0 mm. There are three common nitriding processes: gas nitriding (typically ammonia), molten salt-bath nitriding (cyanide salts) and the more precise plasma-ion nitriding. All three occur at approximately the same temperatures (925 - 1050F) which, of course, becomes the ultimate tempering temperature of the part. The effectiveness of nitriding varies with the chemistry of the steel alloy. The best results occur when the alloy contains one of more of the nitride-forming elements, including chromium, molybdenum and vanadium. Older crankshaft technology involved heat-treating to a higher core hardness and shotpeening the fillet radii for fatigue improvement. Figure 6 shows the relative fatigue strength of 4340 material from heat treating alone, heat-treating plus shotpeening, and heat treating plus nitriding.


Crankshafts can also be machined out of a billet, often using a bar of high quality vacuum remelted steel. Even though the fiber flow (local inhomogeneities of the material's chemical composition generated during casting) doesnt follow the shape of the crankshaft (which is undesirable), this is usually not a problem since higher quality steels which normally are difficult to forge can be used. These crankshafts tend to be very expensive due to the large amount of material removal which needs to be done by using lathes and milling machines, the high material cost and the additional heat treatment required. However, since no expensive tooling is required, this production method allows small production runs of crankshafts to be made without high costs.

Billet Crankshaft Machining (Courtesy of Bryant Racing)

Machining operations on crankshaft

Before machining operations tolerances are needed to be provided.

Although the tolerances that customers supply to foundries differ from component to component, it is important that end-users do not overspecify the tolerances required. On crankshafts, general profile tolerance for the casting is measured to millimeters. For machining crankshafts, it will specify tolerances one-tenth of the casting tolerances. For polishing it will specify tolerances at a thousandth of the casting tolerances. Components must be designed A Crankshaft weighs about 26 and toleranced for the process in which they will be kg before machining and about 18 kg after machining manufactured. As a result, engineers must know what a process can achieve. Too strict a tolerance at any step of the manufacturing process will increase the overall costs of the component.

Most production crankshafts use induction hardened bearing surfaces since that method gives good results with low costs. It also allows the crankshaft to be reground without having to redo the hardening. But high performance crankshafts, billet crankshafts in particular, tend to use nitridization instead. Nitridization is slower and thereby more costly, and in addition it puts certain demands on the alloying metals in the steel, in order to be able to create stable nitrides. The advantage with nitridization is that it can be done at low temperatures, it produces a very hard surface and the process will leave some compressive residual stress in the surface which is good for the fatigue properties of the crankshaft. The low temperature during treatment is advantageous in that it doesnt have any negative effects on the steel, such as annealing. With crankshafts that operate on roller bearings, the use of carburization tends to be favored due to the high Hertzian contact stresses in such an application. Like nitriding, carburization also leaves some compressive residual stresses in the surface. The final operation is finishing.

In the gasoline or diesel internal combustion engine the surfaces which the crankshaft presents to the connecting rod and the main bearings are very important in determining the wear rate of the bearings. Nodular iron crankshafts, which are now used almost exclusively in automotive gasoline and diesel engines, are particularly sensitive to variations in finishing technique. The microstructure of the nodular iron crankshaft contains spherical graphite nodules surrounded by ferrite. When improperly finished, the ferrite can form a burr which protrudes above the surrounding surface. The prevalence, size and directionality of these ferrite burrs have a marked influence on the wear rate of the bearings. A large burr lying in the unfavorable direction can act as a file on the soft bearing material. Burrs can also impede formation of a suitable oil film, causing high bearing wear rates and reduced service life. Journals on highly loaded crankshafts such as diesel engines or high performance racing engines require a finish of 10 micro inches Ra or better. The above is a simple straight forward specification which can be measured with special equipment. However, there is more to generating a ground and polished surface than just meeting the roughness specification. To prevent rapid, premature wear of the crankshaft bearings and to aid in the formation of an oil film, journal surfaces must be ground opposite to engine rotation and polished in the direction of rotation. Metal removal tends to raise burrs. Grinding and polishing produces burrs that are so small that we cant see or feel them but they are there and can damage bearings if the shaft surface is not generated in the proper way. This microscopic fuzz has a grain or lay to it like the hair on a dogs back. Figure 1 is an illustration depicting the lay of this fuzz on a journal. (Note: All figures are viewed from nose end of crankshaft.) The direction in which a grinding wheel or polishing belt passes over the journal surface will determine the lay direction of the so-called, micro fuzz. In order to remove this fuzz from the surface, each successive operation should pass over the journal in the opposite direction so that the fuzz will be bent over backward and removed. Polishing in the same direction as grinding would not effectively remove this fuzz because it would merely lay down and then spring up again. Polishing must, therefore, be done opposite to grinding in order to improve the surface. In order to arrive at how a shaft should be ground and polished, we must first determine the desired end result and then work backwards to establish how to achieve it.

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