Structural durability of forged automotive aluminium chassis components submitted to spectrum loading and salt-corrosion by the example of a tension strut
The structural durability design of a tension strut of forged aluminium (EN AW 6082 T6), which is a safety component of the automotive chassis, is described. The first step of the structural durability design is the knowledge of the mechanical and environmental loadings. The mechanical loadings are the spectrum loading for the designated normal driving conditions and unintended special event loadings by e.g. braking over road bumps, which are introduced into the component through the wheels. The local stresses imposed on the component are also influenced by kinematics, stiffness, axle mass, dampers, bearings, bump geometry etc. The environmental loading is the corrosion caused, in winter-time, by salty water on the roads. For design according to the local stress concept, the knowledge of Woehler-curves without and with salt corrosion effects is necessary. On this basis, cumulative fatigue under spectrum loading, which also comprises the special events mentioned, is asse ssed for a standard configuration and for an optimized one. The numerical results are verified by experimental proofs on the component in the laboratory and on the proving ground as well as by field tests with vehicles.