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Lightweight Construction

German researchers develop the lightest truck axle to date

Scientists from Göttingen have built the lightest chassis of its type for commercial vehicles. It should reduce fuel consumption and make production cheaper than standard axles.

02 Sep. 2018
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German researchers develop the lightest truck axle to date (Photo: HAWK/nh)

Engineers from the Göttingen Faculty of Science and Technology at the University of Applied Sciences and Arts (HAWK) claim to have developed what is currently the lightest 9 metric ton axle for trucks. It weighs less than 350 kg, which makes it about 40 kg lighter than conventional models. To reduce the weight, the researchers and their students applied bionic principles and the science of support structures to the design of the chassis. In tests the axle was also able to overcome difficult situations, such as sharp bends or driving over an obstacle. The team, under the leadership of Prof. Christopher Frey, has already registered international patents for its development.

The axle supports a load of 9 metric tons and is made of steel tension and pressure rods. The design uses economical fine-grained steel and uses neither aluminum nor carbon. The lower weight, the researchers calculate, saves about 80 liters of diesel over 100,000 km. The axle is due to be unveiled officially at IAA Commercial Vehicles 2018 in Hanover from September 20 to 27.