Development of Light Weight Pressure Plate for Automotive Application 2007-26-064
The automakers are continuously fighting for ways to reduce vehicle weight, increase fuel efficiency, build brand image, and reduce cost. Customised engineering design, and materials are becoming more widespread on all fronts. Also, vehicle emission norms are getting stringent day by day and there is increasing pressure to reduce fuel consumption. One important method of achieving the fuel economy and improve vehicle performance is to reduce vehicle weight.
In view of the above Al -SiC composite was used for the manufacturing of Pressure Plate.
The pressure plate in clutch assemblies of vehicles are generally made of grey cast iron. Therefore an attempt has been made to replace the Cast Iron by tailor made MMCs (Metal Matrix Composites) to reduce the weight. MMC is an engineered mixture of SiC as a reinforcement in the matrix of Aluminium. A MMC with 20% weight fraction of SiC in LM-9 Aluminium melt was prepared and cast into pressure plate of one of light passenger vehicles.
This paper illustrates a comparative study of MMC pressure plate developed for passenger vehicle with the conventional cast iron pressure plate. The use of Al-SiC MMC leads to the reduction of weight of the pressure plate by about 35 percent. The effect of the decreased weight on moment of inertia and on the engine performance has been studied. The pressure plate was tested as per the SAE standards and the results have been discussed.