High Pressure Die Casting aluminum suspension cross beam for light commercial vehicles
Award category for entry:
Automotive & Transportation
Taken into production / produced on:
The function of a suspension cross beam is to guarantee the connection with the frame and to support all the suspension elements (i.e. control arms, bumpers, springs, etc.), steering systems and driveline components, connecting all the kinematic theoretical suspension “hard points”.
In order to ensure the fulfillment of these important functions, these components have to resist to the mission loads (fatigue, overloads, impulsive single events, etc.), to guarantee high stiffness for good vehicle handling, to reduce road vibrations, to support potential overloads (standard, payload, acceleration, etc.) frequent in LCVs and to correctly distribute the consequent stress along the chassis frame.
Therefore, a suspension cross beam for commercial vehicles is usually made with metal sheet parts or steel tubes welded together and protected to avoid corrosion.
In order to meet the lightweighting requirements, the main technological trends are looking to alternative materials such as Advanced High Strength Steel, light alloys or composites, depending on the specific automotive sectors. For instance, even if light alloys and composites would offer the best weight benefit, the use of these technologies in LCVs is limited both for the necessity of higher stress at break and stiffness, both for cost limits. In particular, at the current known state of the art none suspension cross beam in aluminum has never been developed in this range of vehicles.
With the purpose to overcome these limits, during the present work the shape and the production technology of the studied component have been completely devised by optimizing the mechanical properties and by reducing the material used. In detail, aim of this research is to develop a technically reliable and cost effective safety component for Light Commercial Vehicles (LCVs) in aluminum alloy, in particular a front suspension cross beam for a LCV with a Gross Vehicle Weight of 5.0 tons. Target of the project is to demonstrate the feasibility of “light” materials even in “heavy” applications, both technically both economically.
Streparava SpA/Co.Stamp SrL
The present work was developed during a funding Italian Project “Italy 2020” Project code: CTN01_00176_166181.