Automotive industry is looking for weight out options to increase the fuel efficiency of automobiles. Thermoplastics usage is increasing to reduce the dead weight of different automotive components. Traditional steering wheel can be replaced with thermoplastic to make it lighter without compromising its performance requirements. Thermoplastic steering wheel offers overall reduction in cost as well as significant reduction in mass. In addition, thermoplastic steering wheel also offers part integration and styling flexibility.
As steering wheel has to meet variety of loading criteria (vibration, static loading, dynamic loading and fatigue), the overall design is a multi objective optimization process. Major challenges of thermoplastic steering wheel are to design the effective model for any particular wheel geometry domain defined by OEM's (Original Equipment Manufacturer) styling studios.
This paper focuses on the design, analysis and optimization of two-spoke thermoplastic steering wheel. Effects of various design parameters are analyzed in detail with the respective impact on the steering wheel performances. An optimal design window for two-spoke thermoplastic steering wheel is derived.