Composite Shafts

Basic info
 
The basic attraction of composite materials for propeller shafts (or any long driveshaft application) is that they make it possible to increase the critical speed (bending resonant frequency) of the shaft.

 


If the length (l) that the shaft needs to span is fixed (pretty likely), and the diameter (d) is restricted, then the only way of improving the critical speed is to increase the ratio E/r (specific modulus).  Far and away the most effective way of improving the specific modulus is to use carbon fibre composite, and this enables dramatically longer and lower weight driveshafts to be produced.
 
GKN introduced composite propeller shafts on the Renault Espace Quadra in 1988 and have since produced well over 100,000 shafts for this and other automotive applications.

Do you want to know more on this? Please click here for a downloadable copy of:
Polymer Matrix Composites in Driveline Applications


  
But it isn’t just about being able to calculate and produce a composite tube with the right bending resonant frequency.  It needs to be cost-effective and reliable too.  And getting the right end connection technologies and tolerance of temperature and other environmental effects is no trivial matter.
 
With our experience of these issues, our calculation tools and our test rig resources; we’re confident that spinning-composites is the right partner for you to work with.