Trends in Crankshaft Materials

It is being increasingly realized that research and development are critical to components such as the crankshaft due to the complexity of the system. Rapid advancements in technology and the inclusion of computer systems have led to an increase in the life and strength of crankshafts. However, the demands placed on the crankshaft have also increased with the development of high-speed engines that produce more power and place new challenges to the design. Apart from some basic manufacturing precautions, new standards for the manufacture of crankshafts have been found out such as the ratios between its various components. There have also been advancements in the choice of materials for the manufacture of the crankshafts such as the use of aluminum and magnesium. However, they are largely application dependent and hence it is extremely important to consider this before the design and manufacture of the crankshaft. There is no perfect crankshaft. rather emphasis must be placed on developing an optimal crankshaft for the required application. The use of computer technology will further determine the course of traditional crankshaft. Another important factor is the development of alternate systems of power for the automobile. As hard as it is to predict the future of the humble crankshaft, current efforts are being made towards the development of stronger and more efficient crankshafts.
Though the modern automobile in the form that is currently seen took a number of decades to develop, the use of crankshafts in powered automobiles is as old as the first steam engine propelled vehicle developed by Joseph Cugnot in 1769 (Derry and Williams, 1993). Crankshafts ever since have been satisfying the need to convert the-to and fro motion of the engine, be it steam powered, diesel powered or any other type of engine, to the circular motion of the wheels.