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Dana wins award for lightweight aluminum driveshaft

DALLAS, Texas -- Dana has received a Frost & Sullivan technical innovation award for its Spicer Diamond Series Driveshaft, which uses a unique welding process to join an aluminum tube to steel u-joints, reducing weight by up to 100 lbs, the...


DALLAS, Texas — Dana has received a Frost & Sullivan technical innovation award for its Spicer Diamond Series Driveshaft, which uses a unique welding process to join an aluminum tube to steel u-joints, reducing weight by up to 100 lbs, the company announced.

In an interview with Truck News at the American Trucking Associations Management Conference and Exhibition, Santiago Salazar, senior director, global product planning, said the new aluminum driveshaft will also be more resistant to corrosion than its steel counterparts.

The lightweight driveshaft, initially announced at this year’s Mid-America Trucking Show, is set to roll out commercially in the first quarter of 2012, Salazar indicated.

Dana developed a new welding process called ‘magnetic pulse welding,’ which allows it to attach dissimilar metals, something that has traditionally proved difficult.

In addition to using lighter weight aluminum for the tube, Dana was also able to eliminate the centre bearing for further weight savings. Salazar said the Spicer Diamond Series Driveshaft is the industry’s first one-piece aluminum driveshaft.

The new lightweight driveshaft is one of several developments Dana has been trumpeting to help fleets lower their operating costs.

“Understanding how best to minimize our customers’ cost per tonne mile driven is critical to maximizing value,” Salazar said.

Other technologies Dana has developed specifically to minimize cost per tonne mile include: Spicer Life Series (SPL) Service-Free U-Joints, which are permanently lubricated for reduced maintenance costs; and the Spicer Pro-40 Tandem Drive Axle, a 40,000-lb tandem axle that reduces weight by 100 lbs and reduces parasitic losses. The Pro-40 will be of limited use in Canada where 46,000-lb-rated tandem axles are the norm, but Salazar said the new driveshaft will be popular north of the border.


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