Design and discrete optimization of hybrid aluminum/composite drive shafts for automotive industry
Fiber reinforced composites have been widely used in automotive industry since they offer significant weight reduction, low manufacturing and tooling cost, better integration of parts compared to metal counterparts. In this study, design optimization of a hybrid aluminum/composite drive shaft subjected to torsion was carried out using ANSYS Workbench with ACP module. The numerical validation of finite element (FE) model was carried out by means of theoretical, experimental and numerical studies in the literature. The ply material, lay-up orientations and thickness of aluminum layer were considered as design variables. The geometric parameters in design were the length and inner diameter of the drive shaft. Two important design constraints, the minimum first mode natural frequency and design torque were considered to satisfy the design requirements of a rear-wheel drive shaft used in automotive industry. The optimum design variables were determined by using screening method. The optimum design parameters (length, inner diameter, ply angle and material) were presented in tabular form. Compared to nonoptimized scenario, the optimized solution reduced the cost of the hybrid composite drive shaft about 30% without ignoring the design requirements.