Development of Net Shape Fiber Reinforced Plenum for Electronic Limited Slip Differential
Global vehicle emissions reduction initiatives have warranted the development and usage of new materials and processes not traditionally used in the automotive industry besides exclusive applications. To support this mandate, vehicle lightweighting via metal replacement and design optimization has come into sharp focus as a doubly rewarding effect; namely, a lighter vehicle system not only requires less road load power for motivation, but also allows for smaller, usually more efficient powertrain options, which tend to be more efficient still. The automotive industry has begun to embrace adapting composite materials that have typically been available only to the upper end of the market and specialty racing applications. The specific component detailed in this paper highlights the challenges and rewards for metal replacement with an injection molded, fiber reinforced plastic for usage in mass produced drivetrain systems, namely the Electronic Limited Slip Differential (eLSD).