Development of a Light Weight Passenger Car Wheel Using Conventional Steels and Fabrication Techniques 1999-01-0782
This paper describes the design development of a new steel wheel which utilizes spokes to provide either weight or strength benefits over a conventional dish center wheel. The spokes are designed to be deep along the axis of the wheel and thin in the plan view of the wheel to provide improved strength and fatigue resistance. This unique patented approach uses spoke pairs to help achieve those advantages. Wheel designs utilizing this type of spoke are analyzed using classical methods as well as the finite element method. Results of the traditional analyses are presented in the form of maximum apparent stress calculations for wheels of various sizes. Corresponding finite element results are presented in the form of stress distributions plotted on solid model representations of wheels with magnitudes and locations of stresses shown. Test performance of prototype wheels fabricated according to this technology is presented in the form of traditional cornering fatigue tests and radial fatigue tests. The test results are compared with analytical predictions. Finally, a practical method of low cost production is described and the resulting wheel is compared with a conventional dish center wheel. Comparisons include weight, stiffness, material requirements, vent area, cost and appearance.