Simulation and Validation of Propeller Shaft Mounting Brackets for Heavy Duty Commercial Vehicles 2017-28-1947
A propeller shaft is a mechanical component of drive train that connects transmission to drive wheels/axle with the goal to transfer rotation and torque. It is used when the direct connection between transmission and drive axle is not possible due to large distance between their respective assigned design spaces. In commercial vehicles especially in heavy duty (GVW/GCW>15 tons) a single piece propeller shaft is seldom used due to its inherent disadvantages and therefore, most if not all, of the setups consists of multiple pieces of propeller shaft which are directly mounted on to frame cross members with the help of mounting brackets. As such the mounting bracket assembly undergoes various dynamic and static loading conditions and should be able to withstand these loads.
This paper will focus on the FEA analysis of propeller shaft mounting assembly system. Furthermore, these results will be correlated with physical tests results collected from test rig and physical vehicle testing. The design of mounting system is of high importance in commercial vehicle sector as the failure of mounting assembly will result directly in the vehicle stoppage. In addition to increase in maintenance costs, it will also contribute to higher losses as more downtime is directly proportional to lesser profit for vehicle operator. During its operation a propeller shaft undergoes a complex combination of forces and subsequent reactions due to transmission loads and reaction from final drive axle due to road loads. This amplifies the necessity of a good mounting assembly design. Hence, the propeller shaft mounting assembly is analyzed for three loading conditions namely modal, static and frequency response using simulation tools like Altair Hyper works and Nastran. The results are then correlated by conducting physical validation test rig setups and live vehicle testing.