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Title: Simulation of Distortion and Residual Stress Development During Heat Treatment of Steel Castings

Heat treatment and associated processing, such as quenching, are critical during high strength steel casting production. These processes must be managed closely to prevent thermal and residual stresses that may result in distortion, cracking (particularly after machining), re-work, and weld repair. The risk of casting distortion limits aggressive quenching that can be beneficial to the process and yield an improved outcome. As a result of these distortions, adjustments must be made to the casting or pattern design, or tie bars must be added. Straightening castings after heat treatments can be both time-consuming and expensive. Residual stresses may reduce a casting's overall service performance, possibly resulting in catastrophic failure. Stress relieving may help, but expends additional energy in the process. Casting software is very limited in predicting distortions during heat treatment, so corrective measures most often involve a tedious trial-and-error procedure. An extensive review of existing heat treatment residual stress and distortion modeling revealed that it is vital to predict the phase transformations and microstructure of the steel along with the thermal stress development during heat treatment. After reviewing the state-of-the-art in heat treatment residual stress and distortion modeling, an existing commercial code was selected because of its advanced capabilities inmore » predicting phase transformations, the evolving microstructure and related properties along with thermal stress development during heat treatment. However, this software was developed for small parts created from forgings or machined stock, and not for steel castings. Therefore, its predictive capabilities for heat treatment of steel castings were investigated. Available experimental steel casting heat treatment data was determined to be of insufficient detail and breadth, and so new heat treatment experiments were designed and performed, casting and heat treating modified versions of the Navy-C ring (a classical test shape for heat treatment experiments) for several carbon and low alloy steels in order to generate data necessary to validate the code. The predicted distortions were in reasonable agreement with the experimentally measured values. However, the final distortions in the castings were small, making it difficult to determine how accurate the predictions truly are. It is recommended that further validation of the software be performed with the aid of additional experiments with large production steel castings that experience significant heat treatment distortions. It is apparent from this research that the mechanical properties of the bonded sand used for cores and sand molds are key in producing accurate stress simulation results. Because of this, experiments were performed to determine the temperature-dependent elastic modulus of a resin-bonded sand commonly utilized in the steel casting industry. The elastic modulus was seen to vary significantly with heating and cooling rates. Also, the retained room temperature elastic modulus after heating was seen to degrade significantly when the sand was heated above 125°C. The elastic modulus curves developed in this work can readily be utilized in casting simulation software. Additional experiments with higher heating rates are recommended to determine the behavior of the elastic modulus in the sand close to the mold-metal interface. The commercial heat treatment residual stress and distortion code, once fully validated, is expected to result in an estimated energy savings of 2.15 trillion BTU's/year. Along with these energy savings, reduction of scrap and improvement in casting yield will result in a reduction of the environmental emissions associated with the melting and pouring of the metal which will be saved as a result of this technology.« less
Authors:
;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
1022073
Report Number(s):
NA
TRN: US201118%%307
DOE Contract Number:
FC36-04GO14230
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Research Org:
Advanced technology Institute
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE; USDOE EE Office of Technology Development (EE-20)
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
32 ENERGY CONSERVATION, CONSUMPTION, AND UTILIZATION; AFTER-HEAT; CARBON; CASTING; CASTINGS; DATA; HEAT TREATMENTS; HEATING; HEATING RATE; LOW ALLOY STEELS; MACHINING; MECHANICAL PROPERTIES; MELTING; MICROSTRUCTURE; PHASE TRANSFORMATIONS; QUENCHING; RESIDUAL STRESSES; SAND; STEELS; STRESS RELAXATION; VALIDATION Casting; metalcasting; manufacturing; heat treatment; steel casting; modeling and simulation