Titanium for Automotive engine applications

High strength, low density and excellent corrosion resistance makes Titanium an excellent choice for lightweight Automotive application. Despite its advantages Titanium could not find a widespread use because the Automotive industry is very price sensitive. Cost of Titanium is comparable higher than for Steel or Aluminum alloys. However for some application Titanium is from great interest. New processing routes, engine downsizing with turbo-charging and increased general requirements makes Titanium become more attractive.

Titanium is an excellent material for high performance conrods. With the same strength and half the weight of Steel, Titanium is very effective for designing lightweight conrods. However the comparable low elastic modulus makes it difficult to substitute Steels without redesigning. Because of Titanium’s low wear resistance and bad friction behavior coatings are necessary for some application. New Titanium alloys could solve these problems. They could also be more easily introduced in existing production lines. Conrods made of these new Titanium alloys could split with the Laser-cracking process.

Conrod made of Ti-SB62, Laser-cracked (AMT)
Titanium-MMC (Ti-6Al-4V+12%TiC) Conrod (AMT).

Both Conrods do not require any coating. Elastic modulus is about 140 GPa for Titanium-Boron-SB2 and 132 GPa for the Titanium-MMC alloy. This is up to 35 % higher than for conventional Titanium alloys.

The aim is to manufacture reasonably priced high performance Titanium Conrods that fit into current production routes. With these Conrods further weight reductions could be realized for the new generation of “Downsizing” engines.

Titanium valves

Intake valve made of third generation gamma TiAl (AMT)

Titanium valves are in use for high performance engines since the sixties. High price and insufficient high temperature strength especially for exhaust valves are the major reason why they have not found a widespread use. New third generation intermetallic and new conventional high temperature Titanium alloys show significantly better properties and some potential for cost reduction. The class of intermetallic orthorhombic Titanium alloys is also from interest for some special application for extreme performance.

AMT has tested the latest available Titanium alloys for Intake and Exhaust since many years. For this reason we can offer Today the best available Titanium alloys on the market. They show excellent high temperature fatigue and creep resistance. Dependent on the required specification intermetallic or conventional alloys.

Titanium valves are also from interest for new “Downsize” engine and low fuel consumption cars. They help to reduce the translating mass of valve-tappet, finger-follower or rocker arm high performance engines effectively.

Feasibility Study

Crankshaft made of Titanium-Composite (Ti-MMC)

Even if a Titanium crankshaft is an extreme application regarding cost, it allows to study new manufacturing  and machining processes. The feasibility of making large near-net-shape components was another reason for this project. This crankshaft shows full functionality with a 40% weight reduction. Within this study we have made extensive machining studies of Titanium-MMC alloys to reduce tool wear and cost. New machining strategies were developed that makes it possible to produce large Titanium-MMC parts economically. The alloy used for this project was a powder processed Titanium-MMC alloy, Ti-6Al-4V+12%TiC. This alloy shows high strength, high modulus and excellent wear resistance.

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