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Application of Titanium Alloy in Automotive Lightweight Manufacturing

Titanium and titanium alloys with low density, excellent mechanical properties, good biocompatibility, corrosion resistance, high temperature resistance, low temperature toughness and other characteristics, has been widely used in the field of automotive manufacturing.

Titanium alloy density is only 60% of steel, and the strength can reach more than 800MPa, at 500℃ or so still maintain good mechanical properties, and welding and forming performance are good, more than 20 years ago has been applied to the manufacturing of racing cars, greatly reducing the quality of racing engines, and improve the engine performance.

At present, the titanium alloy parts used in automobile manufacturing are mainly distributed in automobile exhaust system, engine system, transmission and vibration damping system and car body frame.

1. Exhaust system

Automotive exhaust system materials are required to have good high temperature mechanical properties and corrosion resistance of S and Cl elements. Traditional exhaust valve assemblies are made of stainless steel, but titanium alloys have been found to be more suitable for use as exhaust valve materials in terms of performance.

Titanium return tubes used on the new Chevrolet Corvette Z206 effectively avoid pitting and weld corrosion problems on stainless steel tubes, while improving fuel combustion efficiency and acceleration and reducing braking distance.

Timet, the largest titanium manufacturer in the United States, has been working on a titanium exhaust system. Several companies in Japan have also been working on it, and Fuji Heavy Industries is currently producing a limited number of 440 titanium tailpipes.

2. Engine system

Automotive engine system is the most used parts of titanium alloy in the automotive field. The application of titanium alloy in engine system mainly includes valves, connecting rods, crankshafts, valve seats and other parts.

Honda of Japan used forged titanium rods in the NSX racing V-6 engine; Titanium valve springs are used in high-capacity, four-cylinder engines made by Mitsubishi Motors Corp. and titanium rods are used in Porsche cars.

(1) the valve

In terms of titanium alloy valves, the United States and Japan have done a lot of research work. At present, the United States generally uses Ti-6Al-4V alloy to manufacture the intake valve and Ti-6Al-2Sn-4Zr-2M O alloy to manufacture the exhaust valve. While Toyota in Japan uses Ti-6Al-4V/Ti B alloy to prepare the intake valve and Ti-Al-Zr-Sn-Mo-Nb-Si/Ti B alloy to prepare the exhaust valve. These titanium alloys have good high temperature mechanical properties, oxidation resistance and creep resistance, which can effectively improve the engine performance and increase the automobile speed.

(2) the valve seat

Titanium alloy valve seat in racing and sports car has been widely applied, each year more than 250000 sets of production, mainly adopts Ti 6 al 4 v and Ti - 5 al fe cr - 1-2 alloy preparation, due to the shape of valve seat is simpler, so in terms of mechanical processing requirement is not high, and don't need special surface treatment, cost cheaper, obvious effects in terms of vehicle weight.

(3) the connecting rod

The use of titanium alloy connecting rod can effectively reduce the quality of the engine and improve the performance of the vehicle. At present, the main preparation material is Ti-6Al-4V alloy. At present, a two-phase titanium alloy Ti-3Al-2V-0.2Si-0.47Ce-0.27La is being developed by Japan Daione Co., Ltd. This alloy has good machability, excellent mechanical properties, fatigue properties and corrosion resistance, and is expected to be used in the connecting rod parts of the engine for rapid acceleration and rapid deceleration.

(4) of the crankshaft

Titanium alloy crankshaft is not widely used at present, but the specially developed Ti-3Al-2.5V alloy in Japan has been verified in Honda racing car, effectively reducing the mass at the same time, the engine speed increased by 700r/min, proving the superiority of titanium alloy crankshaft. Meanwhile, Japan is already trial-producing Ti-5Al-2Cr-Fe alloy crankshafts, with the expectation that titanium alloy will be used more widely in crankshaft components.

3. Vibration reduction system

Suspension spring is the core component of automobile suspension system. Compared with the steel used for automobile spring, titanium alloy has higher specific strength, lower shear modulus and higher fatigue strength, so it is more suitable for the manufacture of automobile shock absorber spring. Because the deflection of the spring is proportional to the number of turns, and the shear modulus of the material is inversely proportional, therefore, the titanium alloy spring in the same spring reaction, than the steel spring needs less turns, effectively reduce the quality of the spring, save space.

At the same time, the titanium alloy spring can also effectively improve the resonance frequency of the spring, improve its service life. At present, most of the titanium alloy springs are prepared with single-phase β titanium alloy. Volkswagen has used Lupo FSI titanium gear springs in some of its cars, about 3,500 of them.

4. Car body frame

The high specific strength, low density and good corrosion resistance of titanium alloy indicate that it is a good material for car body frame preparation. At present, there are already car companies in the car gear bracket, brake caliper piston and other parts of the use of titanium alloy. Among transmission components, Japan is currently developing a high spin molding process to produce titanium alloy housing, which is better than steel housing to reduce the impact of the flywheel, better buffer effect.

In addition, titanium alloy is also used in automotive fasteners and other parts, with the continuous development of titanium alloy preparation technology and automotive industry, titanium alloy will be more and more used in automotive parts.

5. The significance of titanium alloy for automobile lightweight

According to the calculation of foreign research institutions, the fuel consumption can be reduced by 6%~8% when the quality of vehicle trim is reduced by 10%. Other studies have shown that every 91kg of weight lost by a car can increase the average fuel mileage by 0.43km per litre. Therefore, with the continuous development of China's economy and the continuous increase of car ownership, car lightweight has become one of the important ways to reduce energy consumption and air pollution.

Titanium and titanium alloy materials have been widely used in automotive parts due to their excellent physical and chemical properties. The use of titanium material not only effectively improves the performance and safety factor of the vehicle, but also plays an important role in the lightweight of the vehicle, which effectively reduces the quality of the vehicle preparation and reduces the fuel consumption.

The titanium nozzle-return assembly for the exhaust system saves an estimated 8.2kg of weight compared to a conventional stainless steel system. In the engine parts such as valves and connecting rods, the use of titanium alloy products instead of traditional steel and cast iron materials can effectively reduce the quality of the engine.

According to the research of the Japanese automobile industry, the effect achieved by the use of about 0.8kg titanium parts of the automobile power valve is equivalent to that achieved by 20kg steel parts; Each titanium valve seat is about 10g lighter than the steel valve seat; Connecting rods and crankshafts are used in titanium alloys and are most effective in reducing engine mass.

On the damping system, each titanium alloy spring can reduce more than 60% of the mass of the steel spring, and the weight of each car can be reduced by 9~13.6kg after replacing the titanium alloy spring with 4 suspension springs. In addition, the mass of titanium silencers is only 5 to 6kg, 40% lighter than stainless steel silencers.

In ordinary midsize sedan, for example, if the use of the existing automobile parts to replace the traditional titanium alloy parts, auto servicing quality will be made by the original to 1000 kg, 1500 kg weight loss weight loss rate can reach 30%, integrated fuel consumption can reduce more than 20%, which will greatly reduce the fuel consumption, effectively alleviate the problems of energy shortage and environmental pollution.

The above data show that the use of titanium alloy in the automotive lightweight effect is obvious, in the modern automotive industry, should continue to develop titanium and titanium alloy in the automotive parts of the application technology, improve the proportion of titanium alloy in the automotive application.

At present, the application of titanium alloy in China's automobile industry is just in the trial stage. The main problems are high cost of titanium alloy material and difficult processing of parts.

Therefore, the main task in the future should be to reduce the price of titanium alloy parts and improve the processing efficiency of titanium alloy parts by developing cheap titanium alloy materials and reducing the production cost of titanium alloy raw materials.

Foreign experience shows that only the combination of automobile design and manufacture and titanium alloy research and development can provide better titanium alloy materials for automobiles.

It is believed that with the deepening of research and development work, titanium and titanium alloy will play an increasingly important role in China's modern automobile industry and promote the continuous development of the automobile industry.