1993-11-01

Aluminum Composite Driveshafts 933054

Improved automotive driveshaft performance can be obtained through the use of materials with improved specific stiffness. Lightweight driveshafts made with base alloy 6061-T6 aluminum in a metal matrix composite tubing, on a pilot scale, have demonstrated improved critical speed performance characteristics over conventional steel and aluminum driveshafts. In preparation for potential application, large scale manufacturing concerns and subsequent performance issues have become the focus. The production of metal matrix composite and its subsequent fabrication into tubing will be reviewed. Potential methods for non-destructive certification of tube properties will be discussed. In addition, the strength and dynamic performance of the resulting driveshaft assemblies will be presented and compared with conventional aluminum and steel counterparts.

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