Testing and Evaluation of a Suspension Arm with Integrated Functions
A lightweight suspension arm made of carbon-fiber reinforced polymer and featuring several integrated functions has been developed by Fraunhofer LBF. Design and prototype manufacturing have already been presented in Lightweight Design 1/2015. The suspension arm’s weight is lower than that of conventional metal designs by around 35 %. At the same time, a Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) System as well as a system for semi-active vibration-damping have been integrated into the suspension arm’s structure.
Because they offer enormous weight-saving potential in highly-loaded suspension components, fiber-reinforced polymer-matrix composites (FRPs) with their excellent mechanical properties are being considered for industrial application. A major challenge for engineers is the anisotropic material behavior which significantly increases the design effort for these parts.
Durable lightweight design and integrating additional functions offers great potential, however. While complexity of the...