Innovative Material Design and Manufacturing Development for a Lightweight, Low-Cost, Highly Survivable Drive Shaft
Small Business Information
407 Front Street, Schenectady, NY, -
AbstractCarbon fiber/PEEK thermoplastic composite has advantages over both thermoset based composites and metals in the areas of weight, damage tolerance, and manufacturing costs while maintaining solvent and temperature resistance. It is proposed that substituting the existing aluminum driveshafts with carbon/PEEK composite will allow for a lighter, more damage resistant design. Automated Dynamics Automated Fiber Placement (AFP) process allows for continuous curing of the composite as it is laid up using a robotic platform. This allows for composite structures to be fabricated accurately, consistently, and inexpensively. Tooling is greatly simplified compared to thermoset composites and an autoclave post-cure is eliminated altogether. Labor is also greatly reduced when compared to thermoset composites and is equivalent to metal working processes. Analysis from earlier phases will be continued to determine the most efficient layup which will meet all design requirements. Current designs meet all mechanical criteria and achieve a weight savings of 40%. Further optimization is achievable. First article testing will validate the analysis and design tasks. This testing will include static and dynamic loading for both damaged and undamaged configurations. Ballistic testing will be undertaken to validate the analytical models as well as the simulated damage imparted onto the test shafts.
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