CarboFrac : Analysis and modelling of the failure behavior of carbonitrided parts

Abstract : This work aims at a better understanding and modeling of the failure of gradient metallic materials. It is applied to carbonitrided pinions made out of 20MnB5 steel, inserted in a "recliner", a safety mechanism of automotive seats. Carbonitriding induces high surface hardness while preserving significant core ductility. The experimental analysis of the fracture behavior of seat recliners in an industrial test confirmed the dual failure behavior of the component : brittle external layer, ductile core material. A test bench has been specifically designed for the project: one tooth is submitted to a lateral force until complete failure. In situ observations are performed and the load-displacement curve recorded, showing a variety of behaviors as a function of the teeth engagement depth and of the presence or not of the carbonitrided layer. Experimental tests with various tress states were conducted to measure plastic properties as well as to calibrate fracture criteria, for the carbonitrided layer and for the core steel. Von Mises plasticity and a simple strain hardening curve fit very well all these experiments. As fracture criteria from the literature were unable to predict failure correctly for all the mechanical tests, an adapted criterion has therefore been proposed as an outcome of this extensive mechanical testing campaign. Fracture simulation in LS Dyna has been performed using the element erosion technique, the limitations of which are discussed. Comparison with the experimental tooth fracture measurements allows evaluation of the proposed failure criteria, and enables to stress out and discuss the present limits of the simulation, concluding that it will be necessary in future work to account more finely for the mechanical property gradient together with the compressive residual stresses in the carbonitrided layer.
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Cyprien Karolak. CarboFrac : Analysis and modelling of the failure behavior of carbonitrided parts. Mechanics of materials [physics.class-ph]. PSL Research University, 2016. English. ⟨NNT : 2016PSLEM057⟩. ⟨tel-01699282⟩

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