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Features and functions

A connecting rod is one of the most mechanically stressed components in internal combustion engines. Connecting
rods, placed between piston and crankshaft converts the linear reciprocating motion of piston to a rotary motion for engine
power transmission. They are subject to extremely high mechanical impacts, rotational moments and high temperatures.

One end of the connecting rod is connected to piston through piston pin while the other is connected to crank through crank
pin. It transmits the reciprocatory motion of piston to rotary crank. There are two end of connecting rod one is known as
big end and other as small end. Big end is connected to the crankshaft and the small end is connected to the piston by use
of piston pin.

A connecting rod in a high performance engine is subjected to inertial forces and bearing loads. It should be able
to withstand these forces for a large number of cycles. In order to reduce the forces exerted during operation, the
connecting rod should weigh as little as possible and should have very high fatigue strength. The connecting rod
undergoes cyclic tension, compression as well as bending. The connecting rod is subjected to a combination of
axial and bending stresses. Furthermore the connecting rod is subjected to a large compressive load so that it is
imperative that buckling does not occur. To mitigate this problem, I- section is commonly used. A further
consideration involves the shape of the cross-section. When a structural member is subjected to an axial tension
the area of the cross-section is important but the shape is not. All sections with the same area will carry the same
load. For bending, an I-section is better than a solid section of the same cross-sectional area.
Materials selection
In order to select the proper manufacturing process, the economic, technical and quality constraints are employed.
The economic constraints involve raw material cost and batch size used in production. The technical constraints
consist of estimated connecting rod mass and a minimum section of the connecting rod. The quality constraints
involve manufacturing tolerance and surface roughness. Generally there are a few materials that are commonly
used in the creation of connection rods. Like steel alloy, aluminium and titanium.

Comparison between steel and titanium connecting rod:

Some of the reason for steel remaining popular is the price of the raw material is because it remains markedly
cheaper than titanium. Another important reason is the familiarity of the suppliers with steel con rods. Many
have a great deal of expertise with making steel con rods and have no wish to put their hard-earned reputation at
risk whilst developing a reliable design for titanium con rods.
There are some advantages to using steel, and these are not to be underestimated. The stiffness of steel is much
higher than that of titanium and this can be of use when designing the con rod. The disadvantage of steel, in
comparison to all of the other main contenders, is its density. With a density of 7.85 g/cc, it is almost 80% more
dense than a typical titanium con rod alloy. This is a serious deficit in most circumstances. However, in an attempt
to calm power delivery, some race engine developers have started to look seriously at steel because it offers a
way to increase the inertia of the engine. People have been putting steel con rods into engines originally equipped
with titanium rods purely for reasons of controlling power delivery.
The connecting rods are usually made of steel alloys like 42CrMo4, 43CrMo4, 44csr4, C-70, EN-8D, SAE1141,
etc. Connecting rods are usually drop forged out of a steel alloy. Most aftermarket performance rods are made
using 4340 billet or forged steel. This is a chrome molly alloy with high tensile and compressive strength. That
all 4340 steel alloys are not necessarily the same. Heat treatments can vary, and this will affect the properties of
the steel.
Aluminium and titanium are both materials that are also used in the manufacturing of connecting rods for
performance vehicles. Sometimes mixtures of materials are used to prepare connecting rod. Such as aluminium
and titanium. It is directly taken out from casting by bending, twisting and shaping. Connecting rods are made
with balancing bosses so that their weight can be adjusted to specifications.