Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 13

Japan Foundry Society, Inc.

Precision castings as Automotive


Turbocharger component
Motoki Ebisu
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd.

13th WORLD CONFERENCE ON


INVESTMENT CASTING
Paper: U1

Copyright reserved:
Neither the Japan Foundry Society, Inc. nor its officers accept legal responsibility for information, advice given or
opinions expressed.

Precision castings as Automotive Turbocharger component


Motoki EbisuHiroshi SuzukiAtsushi Hagita
Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd.
Abstract
The market requirements to reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) from automobiles have been
increasing, and at the same time, the reduction of fuel consumption in eco-cars including
hybrid vehicle (HV), plug-in hybrid vehicle (PHV) and clean diesel cars becomes a severe
competition. The regulations of CO2, 130 g/km from 2012 and in 2020 95 g/km of average
emission of an automobile company are said to the target in EU countries. And a company
which can not satisfy the regulation limit will be liable to a fine. The improvement of fuel
consumption is the absolute must for the automobile company, and the fuel consumption
value is the most important factor to decide the sales of automobiles with the enhancing
environmental consciousness in the world.
The turbocharger was originally an indispensable tool to reduce the fuel consumption
and improve the exhaust gas of diesel engines. Recently it has been attracting attention
to be a very important component for a better fuel consumption of gasoline engines. As
the turbocharger has become to show a great improvement of fuel consumption by
downsizing of the engine, while keeping the torque and output power. The installation
rate of turbochargers on gasoline engines has been increasing year by year, and the
requirements of technology, cost and quality have become demanding accordingly. The
precision casting parts such as turbine wheel is an important component to meet these
requirements and they have become indispensable parts in the turbocharger. In this
report the design, function and quality of turbine wheel, which is an important
component to support the performance and durability of turbocharger, and future tasks
are described.
2. What is the turbocharger?
2.1. Construction and working principle
The turbocharger recovers energy in exhaust gas from reciprocal engines such as diesel
and gasoline engines. The turbine in turbocharger, which is rotated by exhaust gas,
drives the coaxial compressor to supply compressed air to the engine. And increase of
power and torque, clean exhaust gas and reduction of fuel consumptions are attained. Fig.
1 shows the turbocharger working principle and Fig.2 shows the consisting parts with
waste gate.

Generally speaking the exhaust gas temperature of a passenger car is approximately


850

C
a
t
t
h
e
m
a
x
i
m
u
m
i
n
t
h
e
c
a
s
e
o
f
d
i
e
sel engine. And in the case of gasoline engine it
s
o
m
e
t
i
m
e
s
r
e
a
c
h
e
s
1
0
50

C
.
F
o
r
t
h
i
s
r
e
a
s
o
n
t
h
e
c
o
n
s
i
s
t
i
n
g
p
a
r
t
s
o
n
t
u
r
b
i
n
e
s
i
d
e
s
u
c
h
a
s
the turbine housing, turbine wheel and waste gate valve are usually casting parts made
of heat-resistant cast iron, cast steel and nickel alloy. Among them, the turbine wheel is
generally made by precision casting to meet the high form accuracy, strength and quality
as one of the important parts which dominate the aerodynamic performance of
turbocharger.
Recently, the turbocharger with the flow rate characteristics optimization by variable
nozzle, which is called a variable geometry (VG) turbocharger, has become widely used for
diesel engines.
The VG turbocharger allows an efficient supercharging from a low-speed to a high-speed
of engine, and provides effects of not only the improvement of torque and power but also
the significant reduction of particulate matter (PM) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) by
increasing the exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) rate.
Fig.3 shows the VG turbocharger working principle, and Fig.4 shows a VG turbocharger
construction using a nozzle link mechanism. The nozzle link mechanism, which is a
typical variable mechanism of VG turbocharger, must be operated without lubrication in
a high-temperature exhaust gas environment. For this reason, high accuracy is required
in each part, and the nozzle vane, which effects the aerodynamic performance, is usually
made by precision casting.

Bearing Housing

Lever Plate
Drive Ring
Mount

Support
Ring

Actuator
Crank
Lever

Turbine Housing

Fig.4

VG turbocharger structure

2.2. Market trend


The turbocharger is indispensable for diesel engines to comply with the exhaust gas
regulations. And almost of all passenger car diesel engines are equipped with
turbochargers. Contrarily, gasoline engines do not need turbochargers from a viewpoint of
exhaust gas emission. And the installation rate is approximately 30% even in Europe
where the rate is relatively high.
Although the diesel engine is superior to gasoline engine in fuel consumption, it must be
equipped with expensive devices such as Low Pressure Loop EGR (LPL-EGR), Diesel
Particulate Filter (DPF), Urea Selective Catalytic Reduction (Urea SCR) and NOx
storage and reduction catalysis to comply with the exhaust gas regulations. As a result
the price of the diesel engine is much higher than that of the gasoline engine. On the
other hand, the gasoline engine is inferior to diesel engine in fuel consumption, but it can
be said to be superior in cost because it can purify the exhaust gas using a three-way
catalyst.
Recently, the fuel consumption reduction of a vehicle by replacing a large naturally
aspirated engine with a turbocharged small engine, so called the downsizing with
turbocharger, has become popular mainly in Europe. And the installation rate of

turbochargers on gasoline engines is in an upward trend. Fig.5 shows the automobile


engine trend in each region. The turbocharged gasoline engines will increase in number
especially in Europe, and the number will be doubled or more in 2016 compared to the
year 2011. The turbocharger installation rate including diesel engines is supposed to be
rise to approximately 76%.
[mil

Natural aspirated

EV/HV

Europe

turbo ratio

25

64%

61%

20

76%

75%

72%

69%

30
25
20
15
10
5
0

2 .
8
2010
2
4

3
8
2011
.5
0

4 .
8
68
2012
5
8
%

5
9
2013
71%
.
8
5

1
6
2014
74%
0
.
9
.
0

1
7
2015
74%
0
..
4
4

25

76%

1
20
7
75%
0
.
16
7
.
6

Diesel
turbo

15
10
5

8.4

8.5

2.3

3.0

2010

2011

30

10.1

9.5

8.8

10.7

10.5

20
15
10
5

4.4

5.8

6.9

2012

2013

2014

7.7

7.4
2015

Gasoline
turbo

2016

25

20

20
30
25
20
15
10
5

8
61%
.
4

8
.5

8 .
8

9
71%
.
5

2 .
2010
2

3
2011
.0

4 .
2012
5

5 .
2013
8

1
74%
0 .
0

6 .
2014
9

1
74%
0
.4

7
2015
.4

1
75%
0
.
6

8
61%
.
4

8
.5

8 .
8

9
71%
.
5

2 .
2010
2

3
2011
.0

4 .
2012
5

5 .
2013
8

1
74%
0 .
0

6 .
2014
9

1
74%
0
.4

7
2015
.4

1
75%
0
.
6

30
25
20
15
10
5
0

2 .
8
2010
2
4

3
8
2011
.5
0

4 .
8
68
2012
5
8
%

18%

0.4

0.6

0.9

1.3

1.6

2.0

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

Greater China

30

Japan and Korea

30
25
20
15
10
5

16%

8%

13%

6%

11%

4%

25

15

5
9
2013
71%
.
8
5

1
6
2014
74%
0
.
9
.
0

1
7
2015
74%
0
..
4
4

1
20
7
75%
0
.
16
7
.
6

30
25
20
15
10
5

20
7 .
16
7

8
61%
.
4

8
.5

8 .
8

9
71%
.
5

2 .
2010
2

3
2011
.0

4 .
2012
5

5 .
2013
8

1
74%
0 .
0

1
74%
0
.4

6 .
2014
9

7
2015
.4

1
75%
0
.
6

20
7 .
16
7

15

20
7 .
16
7

10

10
16%

16%

16%

16%

5
0

13%

14%

15%

1.5
0.5

1.5
0.6

1.6
0.7

1.7
0.9

1.6
1.0

1.6
1.1

1.6
1.1

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

18%

10%

12%

16%

9%

14%

7%

0.6

1.0

1.4

1.8

2.3

2.8

3.3

2010

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

5
0

North America

30

30

(Copyright IHS, Inc., 2012 Database on Jul., 2010)

Fig.5 Worldwide turbocharger demand forecast

3. Technological requirements to turbine wheel


3.1.1 Operational environment
The exhaust gas temperature of a pas
s
e
n
g
e
r
c
a
r
i
s
a
p
p
r
o
x
i
m
a
t
e
l
y
850

C
a
t
t
h
e
maximum in the case of diesel engine. And in the case of gasoline engine it sometimes
r
e
a
c
h
e
s
u
p
t
o
1
0
50

C
.
T
h
e
r
o
t
a
t
i
o
n
a
l
s
p
e
e
d
o
f
s
o
m
e
h
i
g
h
-speed turbine wheels is 250,000
rpm or higher in such a high-temperature condition. The required boost pressure is in an
uprising trend in accordance with the rising torque and output power. The turbocharger
rotational speed is rising accordingly, and the centrifugal force generated in the turbine
wheel is also increasing. In the case of gasoline engine, the exhaust gas temperature
tends to rise for the fuel consumption reduction in high-speed and high-load operation.
From these points, the operational environment of turbine wheel has been becoming
increasingly severe.
3.2. Point of strength design
The items below must be considered for the strength design of turbine wheel. This
chapter describes the theory of strength design.
(1) Fatigue strength
(2) Creep strength
(3) Resonance
3.2.1 Fatigue strength
The turbocharger rotational speed changes according to the engine speed and load. The
rotational speed of turbocharger in a vehicle changes time to time from starting and

various running conditions in urban area, high-way, hill-climbing and others. The
centrifugal force generated in the turbine wheel changes when the rotational speed
changes. Fig.6 shows an example of turbocharger rotational speed change in urban area
running. The turbocharger rotational speed and centrifugal force deviations are
calculated from the number of load fluctuation cycles. And the fatigue life of turbine
wheel can be attained by the material fatigue strength diagram. The material fatigue
strength diagram of 713C alloy as a representative example of turbine wheel material is
shown in Fig.7. (Aerospace Structural Metals Handbook) In the strength design, the
average level of centrifugal stress which satisfies the required value of fatigue life is
defined as the strength criteria. The shape parameters such as the blade thickness are
decided within the range not to exceed the criteria stress. Fig.8 shows a calculation result
example of stress distribution.

Turbo Speed [rpm]

100000
80000
60000
40000
20000
0
0

500

1000

1500

2000

2500

Time [sec]

Fig.6

a calculation result example of stress distribution

High

Low

Fig.8 Turbocharger speed fluctuation in urban district

3.2.2 Creep strength


The turbine wheel changes its rotational speed with the running conditions, and the
fluctuating stress and steady state stress are applied to the wheel. The fluctuating stress
affects the fatigue life, and the steady state stress affects the creep life. The consideration
of creep life is important in the case of turbocharger for a gasoline engine with high
exhaust temperature. The creep strength of material is studied by using a summarized
diagram using the Larson-Miller Parameter. Fig.9 shows the creep curb of 713C alloy.
With this curb the life to the creep rupture can be calculated under a certain temperature
and stress.

3.2.3. Resonance
The turbine wheel is at the down stream of the turbine scroll, and the turbine blade is
subjected to a pressure fluctuation as the pressure is not uniformly distributed at the
outlet port of the turbine scroll. The pressure fluctuation is especially significant at the
tongue portion of scroll, and the scroll must be designed to provide a pressure distribution

as smooth as possible in the circumferential direction at the outlet port. Fig. 10 shows the
outline of the turbine scroll, and the pressure distribution measured at the scroll outlet
port. When turbine blades pass through the pressure distribution, the turbine is
subjected to multiple number of repeating forces (excitation force) at every rotation.
When the force cycle coincides with the blade natural frequency, the blade resonates and
breaks in a short period. When the blade resonates with N-time excitation force in one
rotation, it is called an Nth harmonics resonance. Fig.11 shows the measured results of
resonance stress on the Campbell diagram.

Fig.10 Turbine Scroll Static Pressure Disribution

3.3. Exhaust gas temperature rise and material


Al
t
h
o
u
g
h
t
h
e
a
i
r
f
u
e
l
r
a
t
i
o
o
f
a
g
a
s
o
l
i
n
e
e
n
g
i
n
e
i
s
g
e
n
e
r
a
l
l
y
t
h
e
s
t
o
i
c
h
i
o
m
e
t
r
i
c
r
a
t
i
o
n
(

=
1), the excessive fuel supply to lower the combustion temperature has been a common
practice to protect engine parts in a raised combustion temperature at full-load and
high-speed operational ranges. In recent years, however, the excessive fuel supply is not

allowed to attain a better fuel consumption ratio, and the exhaust temperature tends to
be raised. For this reason, a material with higher creep strength is required. Generally
speaking, the 713C alloy is usually used as a turbine wheel material, the MarM alloy
having better high-temperature strength has become frequently used to cope with the
raised exhaust temperature. Fig.12 shows the comparison of 713C and MarM alloy creep
strength.
Although the MarM alloy has higher creep strength than 713C alloy, its lower castability
(fluidity) tends to cause the micro shrinkage. Fig.13 shows the micro shrinkage of MarM
alloy. The Hot Isostatic Pressing (HIP) treatment is sometimes applied to the MarM alloy
to remove casting defects.
Creep strain
= (creep elongation) / (initial exit blade height)

Fig.12 Comparison of the creep strain

Cut Section

Fig.13 Micro shrinkages of MarM turbine wheel

3.4. Reduction of inertia moment and improvement of transient response


The transient response improvement of turbocharger is indispensable to promote the
engine downsizing without a degradation of drivability. The improvement of transient
response is to shorten the time of turbocharger rotational speed rise. The reduction of
inertia moment of rotational parts such as the turbine wheel, shaft, sleeve and
compressor wheel as well as the reduction of each parts loss such as the frictional
resistance are effective to reduce the inertia moment. The turbine wheel is the heaviest
part in the rotational parts, and the inertia moment reduction of turbine wheel is very
effective to improve the turbocharger transient response. The shape optimization of
turbine wheel such as the size reduction and the lowering of material density are two
approaches to reduce the inertia moment. The use of ceramics and titanium-aluminum
(TiAl) alloy are generally the means to reduce the turbine wheel material density. The
ceramics has a high-temperature strength, but it breaks when a foreign subject flies in as
it is a brittle material. Then the blade must be thick for the strength and also for the
manufacturing reason, and it is disadvantageous from the viewpoint of performance.
Recently TiAl is often used for this reason.
The specific gravity of 713C alloy is 7.9, and the TiAl alloy is 4.2, which reduces the
inertia moment by approximately 47%. The transient response of turbocharger is
improved by reducing the turbine inertia moment, which results in a shorter response
time of torque rise. Fig.14 shows the comparison of transient performances of engine
torque rise.

4. REGUIRE QUALITY OF TURBINE WHEEL


4.1 MATERIAL STRENGTH DEVITION
The turbine wheel is a product of precision investment casting by the lost-wax method.
The consideration of material strength deviation must be sufficient to cope with the very
severe operational environment. Fig.15 shows the material strength deviation of each
casting lot. To minimize the material strength deviation and to ensure the minimum
strength, the process control of temperature, humidity and others are important from the
base metal control to wax, tree shape, size, mould, dewaxing/burning process, casting and
knock-out. So, the sufficient assessment is necessary at every process change.

4.2. Defects
Although the product without any defect is ideal, the defect exists even in the precision
molding. Minute defects can be ignored, but a relatively large defect or aggregated defects
are not allowed. The consideration is made to avoid an excessive quality by specifying
standards according to the positions of turbine wheel. And casting appearance limit
samples for relatively easy judgments are made for the control.
4.3. Structure
The microscopic structure changes according to the casting condition, and the
optimization of structure is required for the turbocharger characteristic. The fatigue
strength and creep strength are conflicting characteristics, and a tuning is sometimes
required for some applications. The grain size miniaturization is effective for an
application that requires a long fatigue life. Contrarily, the grain size adjustment is
sometimes required to maintain the creep strength for gasoline engines in which the
exhaust gas temperature is rising.
4.4. Balance
The balance of machining stock of turbine wheel used in a turbocharger is required for a
high-speed rotation. The turbocharger unbalancing noise for a high-power vehicle was
allowed as a proof of high-performance in 1980s. However the noise indicating the
presence of turbocharger is no more allowed these days. The reduction of imbalance in the
machining stock contributes to a better yield and noise reduction. The counter measures
for deviation of each blade, hub bulge, mould mismatch and others are required according
to the necessity. The machining stock imbalance can be measured these days, and the
further quality improvement is expected.
5. Failure examples
5.1. Cause of breakage
Refer to the FTA diagram in Fig.16 for the cause of turbocharger breakage.

T/W breakage

foreign objectdamage
excess centrifugal stress

over revolution
high centrifugal stress design

creep
1st natural frequency
2nd natural frequency
high pressure fluctuation

resonance

interfere with T/H


Cast problem

material problem
casting defect
macro structure problem

stress concentration
Fig.16 Turbine Scroll Static Pressure Distribution

5.2. Fragment and its cause


Failure examples are introduced as below: The most frequent trouble is the sucking of
foreign substances, then defective casting, over speeding, resonance and interference
with casing.
Fig.17 to Fig.25 show the breakage examples.

Fig.17 Cast problem

Fig.18 Cast problem

Fig.20 Foreign object damage Fig.21 Excess centrifugal

Fig.23

Resonance

Fig.24

Resonance

Fig.19 Cast problem

Fig.22

Fig.25

Interfere

with

6. Introduction of precision casting parts for turbocharger


The precision casting parts other than the turbine wheel are used in the turbocharger.
For example, a nozzle vane for a variable geometry turbocharger, insert turbine, flow
control valve, waste gate valve and connecting lever.

Nozzle Vane for passenger car

Nozzle Vane for commercial


car

W/G Valve

Other Parts

7. Conclusion
The precision casting, which can mass-produce a high-quality product of sophisticated
form at a moderate price, is an essential technology for the turbocharger which is
subjected to demanding quality, accuracy and cost. As well as for diesel engines, the
turbocharger is becoming an indispensable device for gasoline engines in the trend of less
fuel consumption of passenger cars. The quality of investment casting parts are
considered to be relatively in a high level compared to other casting methods. However,
many problems are still remaining. The turbocharger is in an increasing demand.
Accordingly the requirements of supply and quality stabilization of precision casting
parts such as the turbine wheel are thought to increase. We would like to proceed with
the development and supply of products, which can fulfill the demand of performance,
quality and cost from automobile companies in cooperative engineering works with
casting part manufactures.
Reference
(1) S.Ibaraki, D.Watanabe, T.Yokoyama, T.Arai, M.Ebisu, M.Tojo : 13th Supercharging
Conference 2008, Dresden, 7 (2008)