Weight is a critical factor in performance of all Automobiles, especially in the racing sector. Drive shafts are one of the heavier components in automobiles and a reduction in their weight can increase vehicle performance considerably. Replacing conventional drive shafts with drive shafts made of composite material is a feasible way of performance enhancement. Optimization of composite material used, leads to further reduction in weight thus leading to better vehicle performance. Our paper deals with the optimization of carbon fiber composite drive shaft of SAE Baja vehicle for the best possible weight reduction without compromising its strength. The major factors in design of composite shaft include the number of layers of Carbon fiber and the orientation of fibers within each layer. Using the MATLAB software and finite element analysis, optimization was carried out for all the possible layers. After the design finalization, the shaft has been manufactured and tested. The data obtained by testing of composite shaft was compared with that of the steel drive shaft. The result was in coherence with the aim of this project.
Keywords : Drivetrain; Transmission; Driveshaft; Carbon Fiber; Composite; Torque; Epoxy; Laminas; Resin; Spool; ABD Matrix; Laminator; Filament Winding; Ply-by-ply.