Polymer Composite-based Leaf Spring Systems for Automotives

(De Gruyter) – In the quest to improve fuel economy in automotives composites have been the way to go combining the reinformcement effect of one material and the lighter properties of the other.

Composite-based mono-leaf spring systems are one such part in automotives where composites might improve current metal-based leaf springs in light commercial vehicles.

The authors tested the mechanical properties of different fiber-reinforced polymer materials and then used  three-dimentsional finite element analytical models created in Abaqus 6.12-1.

Manufacturing of the designed leaf spring systems was also achieved, and those prototypes were tested experimentally. The prototypes showed significant weight reduction of about 80% with improved mechanical properties. Reinforcement type and orientation were shown to influence the spring rate.

Predicted results compared with the experimental test results for the manufactured prototypes showed good agreement in terms of the load-displacement response, although the manufacturing processes of the composite-based leaf springs may affect the structural properties in a negative way.

With the use of composites design flexibility can be provided with different reinforcements and the strength properties of the structure can be improved.


Edited for Content and Length by Dr. Matthew A. Hood.

The  full article can be found at De Gruyter in the journal of Science and Engineering of Composites Materials.

DOI: 10.1515/secm-2016-0335

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