Titanium has the advantages of lightweight and high strength. When it is used as an internal combustion engine component, it can improve the performance of the machine. Titanium parts were first studied as racing motorcycle parts, but it is difficult to use titanium parts in mass-market applications because of the high price.
In recent years, due to environmental issues, not only four-wheelers (cars), but also two-wheelers (motorcycles or mass-market cars) also had strict rules. People’s requirements for low-emission technology and low-fuel-cost technology of mass-market vehicles are becoming higher and higher. In the past, when referring to low emissions and low noise, the high output problem of the engine has always been involved. From these two perspectives, titanium parts are needed to improve the sports performance and reduce the fuel cost.
When titanium is used as a material for automobile parts, its characteristics are as follows: high tensile and yield strength, high fatigue strength, low density, low elastic modulus, low thermal expansion coefficient, low thermal conductivity, and easy sintering, etc. In addition, the use of titanium in the automotive industry can greatly reduce the weight of cars, reduce their fuel consumption, protect the environment and reduce noise.
In recent years, various automobile companies have been developing inexpensive titanium materials for engine valves, and some of them have reached mass production. The development of low-cost titanium alloys is also active, such as the development of Super-TIX series alloys. The Super-TIX series includes two major alloy systems: Ti-Al-Fe and Ti-Fe-O-N. Most Ti-Al-Fe alloys do not use V and Mo in known alloys and use cheap Fe instead.
For example, Super-TIX51F is actually Ti-5Al-1Fe, and its tensile strength reaches 1000MPa, equivalent to Ti-6Al-4V. The Ti-Fe-O-N series alloy cannot be used in too high-temperature range, but its hot workability is excellent. The representative of Ti-Fe-O-N alloy is Ti-1% Fe-0.35% O-0.01% N (Super-TIX800). Its tensile strength is about 800MPa, and it has excellent hot workability and cold workability. Similar to the above Super-TIX series are alloys specially designed for non-aerospace applications, as well as β titanium alloy TIMETAL @ LCB (Ti-4.5Fe-6.8Mo-1.5Al), which has low Young’s Mo content and high strength Discussion on the application to suspension springs, which has been used on German national car LupoFSI in 2001.
The use of lightweight and high-strength titanium as automotive parts has evolved from small amounts to large quantities. In the future, there are still two major issues in the use of titanium in this field that need to be resolved: first, the significant reduction in the manufacturing cost of titanium; and second, the corrosion resistance under severe conditions caused by heat resistance. Regarding cost reduction, it is not only the material cost but also the processing cost. In order to achieve this goal, raw material manufacturers, component manufacturers, and automobile manufacturers must strengthen collaboration and jointly promote research and development.
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