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Acta Metall Sin  2017, Vol. 53 Issue (6): 733-742    DOI: 10.11900/0412.1961.2016.00509
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Finite Element Simulation and Experimental Verification of Quenching Stress in Fully Through-Hardened Cylinders
Yu LIU1,Shengwei QIN1,Xunwei ZUO1,Nailu CHEN2(),Yonghua RONG1
1 School of Materials Science and Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China
2 Shanghai Key Laboratory of Materials Laser Processing and Modification, School of Materials Science and Engineering, Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai 200240, China
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Abstract  

Quenching is one of the most important heat-treatment processes for improving the mechanical properties of steel components in manufacture industry. The quenching stress is a source of cracking, which is frequently detrimental to steel properties. Therefore, the investigation of quenching stress is very important for the control of distortion, cracking and residual stress distributions of components. In the study of quenching stress, the measurement of stress distribution is necessary to the stress analysis and design of quenching process. However, in most cases, the cracking of a quenched component is caused by transient stress during quenching, while experiment can only measures the final internal stress (residual stress), rather than transient stress. As a result, the measurement of residual stress associated with finite element simulation (FES) has been a mainstream direction in the investigation of quenching stress. In this work, a full through-hardened 40CrNiMo cylinder with 60 mm diameter was water-quenched, and cooling curves at three positions along the radius of cylinder were measured. Then, an optimized heat transfer coefficient as a function of surface temperature was obtained by fitting with the measured cooling curves using the trial and error method. Based on an exponent-modified (Ex-Modified) normalized function describing transformation plasticity kinetics proposed, the thermo-elasto-plastic constitutive equations were deduced. The commercial finite element software, Abaqus/Standard, was used to solve the coupled temperature field, microstructure field and stress (strain) field. The results indicate that the quenching stress and its distribution predicted by FES is well consistent with those measured by XRD, which verified that the models employed in coupling of thermal field, phase transformation field and stress field including transformation plasticity function proposed are correct. Meanwhile, the features of residual stress distribution were revealed that compressive stress exists in the core and surface of cylinder and the maximum tensile stress exists at subsurface. The separated calculation of thermal stress and phase transformation stress by FES reveals the origin of residual stress distribution feature in quenched cylinders, that is, the relative higher phase transformation compressive stress and lower tensile thermal stress at the core of cylinder make the residual stress to be compressive, while at the surface of cylinder the compressive stress is predominantly from thermal stress, because it is much larger than the tensile stress caused by phase transformation stress. The tangential residual stress distributions in cylinders with several diameters from 3 mm to 100 mm were predicted by FES, and the results indicate that when diameter is less than 5 mm, the tensile stress at the surface increases with increasing diameter until to 5 mm, then decreases with increasing diameter to 20 mm, finally the tensile stress becomes compressive stress. Besides, with the increase of diameter, maximum tensile stress shifts from the surface to the location of 0.6 radius. The effects of different quenching media on quenching stress were also investigated by FES. The results demonstrated that although there is compressive stress at surface of cylinder quenched in water or salt solution, the maximum stress locates the subsurface, meaning that cracking easily occurs at the subsurface, which is consistent with cracking in practical components. This work is helpful for the analysis of cracking from quenching stress in components with different sizes and under different quenching media.

Key words:  fully through-hardened cylinder      quenching stress      thermal stress      phase transformation stress      finite element simulation     
Received:  14 November 2016     
ZTFLH:     
Fund: Supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (No.51371117)

Cite this article: 

Yu LIU, Shengwei QIN, Xunwei ZUO, Nailu CHEN, Yonghua RONG. Finite Element Simulation and Experimental Verification of Quenching Stress in Fully Through-Hardened Cylinders. Acta Metall Sin, 2017, 53(6): 733-742.

URL: 

https://www.ams.org.cn/EN/10.11900/0412.1961.2016.00509     OR     https://www.ams.org.cn/EN/Y2017/V53/I6/733

Fig.1  Simplified coupling of quenching process
Fig.2  Comparison of measured and calculated cooling curves (a), and comparison of the modified heat transfer coefficient and data from Reference[32] (b) (R0—diameter of cylinder, T—temperature, t—time)
Fig.3  Thermal expansion curves of austenite, bainite and martensite
Fig.4  OM images of the 60 mm diameter 40CrNiMo cylinder bar after water quenching at the location of 1/2R0 (a) and core (b), respectively
Fig.5  Comparison between the calculated and measured microstructure fraction distribution, and measured hardness distribution along radius of 40CrNiMo bar after water quenching
Fig.6  Axial and tangential stress distribution curves of 60 mm diameter 40CrNiMo cylinder bar after water quenching
Fig.7  Evolution of tangential stress with time at the location of core, surface and 10 mm below surface of 60 mm diameter 40CrNiMo cylinder bar during water quenching
Fig.8  Thermal stress, transformation stress and residual stress of 60 mm diameter 40CrNiMo cylinder bar after water quenching (Transformation plasticity was included during all the calculations)
Fig.9  Distributions of residual tangential stress (a), thermal stress (b), phase transformation stress (c) of the fully harden cylinders bars with various diameters after water quenching (R—diameter of cross section)
Fig.10  Distributions of tangential residual stress (a), thermal stress and phase transformation stress (b) of 50 mm diameter fully hardening cylinders bar after quenching in air, 80 ℃ oil, water and 10%NaCl solution
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