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International Journal of Automotive Technology, Vol. 13, No. 4, pp.

687−692 (2012) Copyright © 2012 KSAE/ 065−18

DOI 10.1007/s12239−012−0067−7 pISSN 1229−9138/ eISSN 1976-3832



K. W. LEE* and D. J. YEOM

Hyundai Motor Company, 772-1 Jangdeog-dong, Hwaseong-si, Gyeonggi 445-706, Korea

(Received 10 June 2011; Revised 10 December 2011; Accepted 1 January 2012)

ABSTRACT−Valve seats press-fitted in the cylinder head function to hold exhaust gas inside the ignition chamber and to
transfer heat to the coolant moving in the water jacket of the head. The press-fitting of the valve seats to the head at ambient
temperature has been widely spread out due to its many advantages over pressing with frozen valve seats or with a heated
head. The benefits include lower equipment costs, lower running costs, and fewer installation faults during the press-fitting.
Nevertheless, a systematic approach for pressing at ambient temperature (ATP; ambient temperature press-fitting) has not been
studied and analyzed to date. A technique to check the reliability of the press-fitting by measuring hoop strain inside the valve
seat and the FEM procedure to simulate ATP is developed in this study. The FEM procedure of ATP developed here exhibits
a concurrence with experimental results. Utilizing the DOE (Design of Experiments) technique, we determined the effects of
various geometric parameters and the optimal shapes of the valve seat and cylinder head. The optimal shapes have been
successfully applied in an actual engine and varified in a running-engine test.

KEY WORDS : Valve seat, Head, Interference, Press-fitting, FEM (Finite Element Method)

1. INTRODUCTION minimizing damages to the head during the pressing

process by reducing the resistance under a given
Valve seats function to lock exhaust gas inside the ignition interference.
chamber using valves and to transfer the firing heat of the The common two methods to reduce the damage during
chamber to the coolant passing inside the water jacket of pressing are to minimize the interference using the thermal
the head. The valve seat is press-fitted to the bottom of expansion differences of two materials. One approach uses
cylinder head by pressing with little interference. If the liquefied nitrogen gas to freeze and shrink valve seats and
force due to the press-fitting between the valve seats and the other involves heating the head to cause expansion. The
the head is lessened, the valve seat will drop down from the former is known as freeze pressing and the latter as heat
head causing failure during engine operation. In contrast, if pressing.
the interference is too high, causing significant plastic Both of these approaches require some equipment, such
damage to the head during the press-fitting and resulting in as feeding lines and storage for the liquefied nitrogen gas
reduced holding force, failure will also occur. Therefore, or furnace. Moreover, operation costs and space for such
there are two primary factors to properly fit valve seats into equipment are needed as well. Another disadvantage is that
heads: determining the proper level of press-fitting, and freeze pressing method creates more frequent defects due
to the freezing of jigs holding valve seats rather than being
press-fitted at ambient temperature (hereafter referred to as
ATP: Ambient Temperature Press-fitting). The use of ATP
for assembling the valve seat to the head has been utilized
for years, does not require any additional equipment for
cooling or heating, and has a relatively lower defect
production rate.
ATP definitely has a higher resistance than other
techniques with the same shapes and interference levels.
However, since neither a criterion nor a proper measurement
Figure 1. Press-fitting process of a valve seat to a cylinder
method to check the press-fitting reliability has been clearly
defined, engine operation without ATP-related problems is
yet to be determined (Kim et al., 2006).
*Corresponding author. e-mail: In this study, the measurement technique for the press-

688 K. W. LEE and D. J. YEOM

fitting reliability is developed by measuring the level of the separation hoop stain. Therefore, the compressive
hoop strain inside the valve seat and utilizing the FEM circumferential hoop strain εθ signifies a reasonable criterion
procedure to simulate ATP process. The optimal designs of for the press-fitting reliability.
the valve seat and cylinder head are obtained with the help of
both the DOE (Design of Experiment) method and the FEM. 2.2. Measurement of the Circumferential Hoop Strain of
The results are verified using actual running-engine tests. the Valve Seat
The HMC (Hyundai Motor Company) has successfully
2. CRITERION FOR PRESS-FITTING used the frozen valve seats in the engine production line,
RELIABILITY thus, guaranteeing the press-fitting reliability of freeze
pressing. Therefore, the level of hoop strain via the freeze
2.1. Theoretical Relationship Between Hoop Strain and pressing method can be treated as a guideline range and it
Press-fitting is expected that there will be no problems when the level of
When the criterion for the press-fitting reliability is hoop strain using ATP is within that range. The value of the
developed, the failure of the valve seat can be anticipated hoop strain via the freezing press method is measured and
and prevented. The direct evaluation is surely the it is set for the criterion for the press-fitting reliability.
experimental measurement of the separation force of the The hoop strains of the valve seat specimens at different
valve seat from the cylinder head. The separation force can interferences are measured by attaching strain gages on the
be measured by the push of the valve bonded with the valve press-fitted valve seat, as seen in Figure 3. Two gages
seat. Unfortunately, this cannot be a standard method since it respectively are attached to each intake and exhaust valve
seldom proves success and the data scattering is too large seat, with the resultant number of 32 gages for the head of
(Kim, 2006). a 4-cylinder engine. The gages are positioned in the intake-
To obtain stable measurement data, an indirect intake and intake-exhaust bridge, as shown in Figure 3(a).
measurement is tried in this study, which uses the level of After the head in the vicinity of the valve seat is removed
compressive circumferential strain of the press-fitted valve and the valve seat is released, as seen in Figure 3(b), the
seat. To date, this method has not been attempted. As shown hoop strain inside the valve seat is measured by the gage.
in Figure 2, when two cylindrical, dissimilar materials are Next, the measurement results of freeze pressing and ATP
assembled, each with a radial interference δ, the hoop strain are compared.
εθ is given as equation (1) on the inner surface of the inner
cylinder (Ugural and Fenster, 1981; Kim et al., 2009).
2b2 -
εθ = ------------- P (1)
a 2 – b2
The radial pressure P on the contact surface between two
materials is given as equation (2).

P = --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- (2)
⎧ [ ( 1 – vA )b2 + ( 1 + vA )a2 ] [( 1 – vB )b2 + ( 1 + vB)c2 ] ⎫
⎨ ----------------------------------------------------- + ---------------------------------------------------- ⎬
⎩ EA ( b 2 – a2 ) EB ( c 2 – b 2 ) ⎭

The εθ is directly proportional not only to the pressure P

at the contact surface, but also to the interference δ. Since
the engine is safe when the P acting outer surface of the
valve seat is high enough to resist the separation force, the
Figure 3. Hoop strain measurement of the valve seat.
engine also will be safe if the hoop strain is higher than the

Figure 4. Guideline for the hoop strain of the valve seat

Figure 2. Press-fitting of two cylindrical materials. after press-fitting.

Table 1. Material properties of the cylinder head and the be used as a guideline.
valve seat.
Cylinder head Valve seat 3. FINITE ELEMENT ANALYSIS
(Aluminum alloy) (Powder metal)
3.1. Behavior of Press-fitting Process
Young’s modulus 72.4 GPa 94.7 GPa The graph in Figure 6 shows the press force during the
Poisson’s ratio 0.33 0.30 process, which is recorded with the load-cell of press
equipment. The typical behavior of a press-fitting process
with interference is shown (Choi et al., 2011; Gervásio et
2.3. Evaluation of Press-fitting Reliability al., 2010). In the beginning stage the peak press force by
The hoop strains for the intake valve seats are measured for ATP is 32% higher than the force by freeze pressing. The
two types of engines. In Figure 4, the measurements are resistance during the press using ATP is much higher than
compared with the theoretical equation (1) and the that with freeze pressing under the same condition;
simulations (to be explained in section 3). The material however, there is no change in the interference or the
properties are listed in Table 1. shapes of the valve seat or head. The reason is that the
The stress-strain curves of the cylinder head and the interference of ATP is larger at the instance of the
valve seat for the simulation are plotted in Figure 5. beginning.
In Figure 4, despite the large data scattering, the An ATP process can be divided into 3 stages: beginning,
theoretical solutions (the blue and black lines) qualitatively ongoing, and ending stages. At the beginning stage, the
agree with the experimental results of the hoop strains by press force increases due to the contact between valve seat
freeze pressing (blue triangles) and by ATP (gray and white and head. The plastic deformations and energy losses are
circles and orange diamonds) in similar positions. It is developed by this contact and they determine the value of
concluded that when there is no severe damage incurred maximum press force. And in the ongoing stage, the
during the press, the hoop strain is the same regardless of friction effect between valve seat and head is the primary
the press method. Although the tendencies for two engines factor and additional plastic deformation does not occur if
vary slightly due to the different interferences, the range of the interference is not too large. Hence, the force decreases
the hoop strains is almost identical. It is shown that a after the maximum value and remains at a steady level in
realistic level of hoop strain assures the reliability of the general. Finally, the force increases dramatically when the
press-fitting in a certain range and the measured level can bottom of the valve seat touches the bottom of the head.

3.2. Finite Element Analysis of ATP

A commercial FEM software ABAQUS is used for the
analysis. Due to a ring-shaped valve seat, axisymmetric,
first order elements are used. The element size is 0.1 mm
and a meshed model and boundary conditions are shown in
Figure 7. The friction coefficient between the valve seat
and the head is 0.004. In order to simulate the damage of
the head during ATP process, an elasto-plastic FE analysis
is carried out with the material properties shown in Table 1
and Figure 5. A displacement control is used for ATP
simulation and a dynamic effect is ignored. The distribution

Figure 6. Comparison of measured press forces of ATP and

Figure 5. Stress-strain data used for simulation. freeze pressing (Kwon, 2004).
690 K. W. LEE and D. J. YEOM

Figure 7. FEM meshes and boundary conditions for

simulation of ATP (ambient temperature press-fitting).

Figure 9. Results of press force and hoop strain.

An irregular press condition, such as a misalignment of

the valve seat to the head, an unwanted machining error, or
interference change due to temperature variations in the
engine production line (e.g. summer and winter), can cause
a higher resistance than that resulting from normal
conditions. Incidentally, the increase of friction between
valve seat and head will yield the same results; thus, the
noise is chosen as a 10% increase of friction coefficients
from the normal friction. Additionally, the minimum and
Figure 8. Plastic strain distribution during ATP. maximum interferences are selected as another type of

Table 2. Control factors.

of equivalent plastic strains is found for each stage in
Control factor
Figure 8. The press force is recorded from the reaction
force during ATP. A Seat height
As plotted in Figure 9, the press force and the hoop Valve
B Seat side edge start position
strain during pressing vary and their behaviors are as seat
C Seat side edge angle(θ)
qualitatively similar as the experimental three stages
explained in Figure 6 and section 3.1. D Head tooling height
E Head edge distance
4. SHAPE OPTIMIZATION FOR ATP F Head tooling radius (R)
4.1. Orthogonal Table and Parameters G Seat roughness
With the help of the FE analysis procedure developed in H Head roughness
section 3 and the DOE method, shape optimizations of the
valve seat and the head are performed to minimize the
damage to the head during ATP. An L18 (21×37) table is
chosen and the parameters are listed in Table 2. All
parameters have 3 levels except parameter A (seat height).
The levels are selected within usual ranges currently used
by the HMC and they are arranged in ascending order. Each
friction of the combination of parameters G and H is
measured with special specimens for this study.

noise factor to improve the S/N performance.

The friction coefficients between the valve seat and the
head are measured according to their roughness
combinations. The test conditions of the pressure and the
frequency were respectively 30 N and 5 Hz. The measured
data are listed in Table 3 and the data are used in the DOE

4.2. Optimal Design and Verification

For the optimum design, a DOE analysis is performed
(Park and Jang, 2010). The press force results by L18 table
are shown in Figure 10. From the results of the DOE
analysis for the press force and S/N ratio (Figure 11), the
parameters most affected are found to be C (seat side edge

Table 3. Friction coefficients between the cylinder head Figure 11. Press force and S/N results of the DOE.
and the valve seat.
Friction coefficient
Cylinder head Valve seat
1.6 Ra 3.2 Rt 0.004
1.6 Ra 6.4 Rt 0.036
1.6 Ra 12.5 Rt 0.048
6.4 Ra 3.2 Rt 0.020
6.4 Ra 6.4 Rt 0.040 Figure 12. Comparison of experimental results.
6.4 Ra 12.5 Rt 0.058
12.5 Ra 3.2 Rt 0.024 angle) and G (seat roughness). The optimal design obtained
12.5 Ra 6.4 Rt 0.052 from the DOE is then made into a real product. Using the
12.5 Ra 12.5 Rt 0.073 same method explained in the previous sections, the hoop
strain and the press force are measured and compared with
the initial design to various interferences (Figure 12). As
expected, the hoop strain and the press force show linear
relations with the interferences. The hoop strain of optimal
design satisfies the guideline measured in section 2.3. The
maximum press force has been reduced approximately
13% below at the maximum interference condition,
averaging approximately 5% below. The design was
verified in the real engine dynamo-test and conclusively
passed without any problems.


A simulation procedure for press tight-fitting at ambient

temperature has been developed based on the FEM
method, and it exhibits a concurrence with experimental
results. The effects of each geometric parameter were
revealed and the shapes of the valve seat and cylinder head
were optimized using the DOE (Design of Experiment)
technique. The optimal shape was successfully applied in a
real engine and the results of this study have been
transferred to other gasoline and diesel engines of the
Figure 10. Maximum press force results of the DOE. HMC.
692 K. W. LEE and D. J. YEOM

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS−The authors are thankful to Mr. J. design study of ambient assembly of head valve seat.
W. Yi and Mr. C. U. Kim of Hyundai Motor Company for Fall Conf. Proc., Korean Society of Automotive
valuable discussions and the technical assistance. Engineers, KSAE06-F0005, 29−35.
Kim, T. J., Kim, H. Y., Hwang, B. C., Kang, H. J. and Kim, C.
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