Design and Fatigue Life Comparison of Steel and Composite Leaf Spring 2012-01-0944
It has been a significant challenge to reduce weights of the vehicles to satisfy the regulations that require development of environmentally-safe vehicles with low CO2 emissions. The conventional leaf springs, designed for the optimized performance together with safety factors, are made of steel. However, it is considered that the steel leaf springs are replaced by lighter ones in order to fulfill the specified requirements. Fiber reinforced composite materials with polymer based matrix offer a great potential for manufacturing leaf springs with lightweight, high mechanical and fatigue performance. Therefore, leaf spring manufacturers have great interest in those materials to replace steel parts with the composite ones and an increasing number of studies have been published in the literature in recent years. In this study, fiber reinforced composite compared with steel leaf springs based on endurance rig tests will be presented.