Front Axle Kingpin Bush - Evaluation of Wear in Operating Conditions 2021-26-0473
In automobiles, front axle assembly is a main load bearing member and houses steering linkages. Front axle assembly has two main parts namely axle beam and axle arm, interconnected by a kingpin. This kingpin allows the rotation of axle arm during steering events. To avoid metal to metal contact between axle arm and kingpin, bushes are housed on the top and bottom half of the axle arm & in axle beam. Due to radial load and steering rotation, as a weak member, bushes will wear out faster. This affects the proper functioning of steering mechanism. Hence, the bushes need to be evaluated prior to its implementation in vehicle. In general, bushes are evaluated using Pin-On-Disc test as a comparative study, but it does not simulate exact boundary conditions as in vehicle. Next option is vehicle level validation but leads to more testing time and cost. Hence, as an optimized solution, the same vehicle operating conditions can be replicated in component level testing. Considering the boundary conditions & test requirements, a new test facility is developed to measure the wear and validate the bushes. This helps to evaluate different material combinations in the shortest possible time.