Design of Rear Axle Shaft for Light Weight Green Vehicle

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Vehicle weight reduction is a known strategy to address growing concerns about greenhouse gas emissions and fuel use by passenger vehicles. This paper intended to reduce the weight of rear axle shaft by replacing the existing material solid alloy steel with the material, hybrid of AISI4140 steel with carbon fiber/epoxy material. This thesis starts with by taking the measurement of commercially available rear axle shaft dimensions, which is 35mm diameter, 5.3064kg mass for single shaft and 0.66m length made of chrome molybdenum semi-floating steel shaft. Analyzing the equivalent stress, total deformation and mass of the shaft for making the values as a baseline for the light weight design. Obtaining the analysis for hollow shaft and hybrid shaft with 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20 (mm) diameter hole using ANSYS 15 software and comparing the result to the baseline shaft value determined. The values of stress to percentage reduction ratio can be selected as optimum solution for the thesis. The weight of the shaft could be significantly reduced by removing the inside of the shaft and replacing it with a lower density material. Based on the study performed, the weight of the axle shaft could be reduced by more than 10 % without significant amount of stress raise. Therefore, 14mm cylindrical hole from AISI4140 alloy steel axle shaft replaced by 14mm carbon fiber epoxy shaft is the optimum choice. This can achieve 12.45% mass reduction which is 1.32kg of unnecessary mass can be reduced from the vehicle weight with 0.8% stress rise, the stress is kept between 248.49 MPa - 241.61 MPa.



Hybrid, Semi-floating, full-floating, three-quarter floating, weight reduction, light weight design, shaft, fiber, epoxy, steel