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Technical Paper

Advantages of Structural Composites in Class 8 Truck Suspensions

The Liteflex™ composite spring has been manufactured by Delphi Chassis Systems, a division of Delphi Automotive Systems, since 1981 when it was introduced on the Chevrolet Corvette. In its early history, applications concentrated on passenger cars and vans. Over the past decade, however, composite engineering development has also focused on heavy duty suspension applications for tractors and trailers. The results include a Liteflex™ trailer suspension spring, a Liteflex™ tractor steer axle spring a Liteflex™ tractor drive axle spring, and a Litecast™ suspension link. A typical tandem axle trailer suspension incorporates four 3-leaf steel springs. Replacing each with a 13 kg lighter Liteflex™ spring offers a weight savings of 52 kg (115 lb.). This includes the assembly and mounting hardware. For the tractor, replacing two 2-leaf steel steer axle springs with Liteflex™ springs offers a combined weight savings of 55 kg (120 lb.).