AbstractGKN have been delivering carbon composite propeller shafts to production car applications since 1988. The technical drivers for use of composite material in this application are very powerful; the weight saving in particular can be considerable. Despite this, the overwhelming majority of automotive propshafts continue to be produced from steel. This paper presents a review of GKN’s experience of some important commercial and technical issues (weight analysis, crash performance, NVH, joint connections, recycling) applicable to composite propshafts. GKN remain committed to the benefits of composites in driveline applications and are actively developing new technologies to strengthen the commercial potential. The paper presents a description of such developments, including work on composite couplings for propeller shafts, which bring a further weight saving. An ultimate lean weight propshaft has been demonstrated with a mass of 2.7kg for the complete system; the steel alternative had a mass of 10kg.
CitationPollard, A. (1999) Polymer matrix composites in driveline applications. 3rd International Conference on Materials for Lean weight Vehicles, 10th-11th November 1999, Warwick.
DescriptionThis is an accepted manuscript of a paper delivered at 3rd International Conference on Materials for Lean weight Vehicles, Warwick in November 1999.
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