Drive shafts form part of drive trains for mobility systems, machines and other equipment. They represent an especially worthwhile area of application for innovative lightweight solutions due to the resultant reductions in both mass and moments of inertia, which in turn have a positive influence on energy efficiency and response. The two-dimensional loading of the basic body of a drive shaft renders the use of fibre-reinforced polymers particularly beneficial, as the fibres can be aligned according to the main direction of stress. The targeted adjustment of natural frequencies and damping is also possible within a particular range. The high specific stiffness of carbon fibre-reinforced polymers (CFRP) makes it possible to increase the distance between bearings and therefore either forego intermediate bearings or redesign the machine driven by the camshaft. In addition to the classical winding technique, we are also able to base the development of these types of high-tech components on a highly productive braiding technique and a number of novel combined techniques.
Selected reasons to use drive shafts made of fibre-polymer composites
- Potential weight saving in comparison with classical metal shafts (over 50 % in the case of classical multi-material shafts, up to 80 % in the case of cardan shafts with integrated clevises)
- Low density makes it possible to increase critical bending speed/length, thus leading to higher performance and permitting wider spacing between bearings (one-piece longitudinal shaft)
- Adjustable mechanical and acoustic characteristics throughout the fibre architecture
- Material-inherent damping and corrosion resistance