Abstract: Flywheels have been in use for a very long time, however, there is need to continuously improve the existing ones or develop new ones. The design of a functional high performance vehicle composite flywheel is presented. The component materials include aluminium hub, cast iron friction surface and alloy gear rim. Since the stored energy in a flywheel is proportional to the square of its rotational speed, the obvious method for maximizing stored energy is to push the speed of the flywheel. There is a limiting speed, which is set by the stresses developed within the wheel due to inertia loads that are also proportional to the square of rotational speed. A composite wheel of this nature weighs less than the conventional whole cast iron or steel alloy wheel and hence, develops lower inertia loads at a given speed. The combination of high strength and low weight enables extremely high tip speeds related to conventional flywheels. A C++ computer programme was developed for the computation of the major parameters of the composite flywheel. The design drawings for the isotropic disc- and rim-type flywheel, components of the composite flywheel and the assembly were also presented. The components were assembled using high strength fasteners. The conventional automobile flywheel designed for cast iron material weigh about 9.0 kg and that for steel alloy weigh about 9.4 kg. However, the composite wheel design for components of cast iron, steel alloy and aluminium alloy weigh a total of 4.8 kg and is lighter. This means it can be made lean ad compact. Experimental study of the mechanical properties, heat treatment, vibration analysis and dynamic balancing proved the performance of the composite flywheel as test results conforms to standards. Freeing up so much rotating mass from the engine with a lighter flywheel makes it very responsive. It revs up much more quickly and low speed acceleration is improved.
H.M. Sheidi and C.I. Ajuwa , 2008. Design of High Performance Vehicle Composite Flywheel. Research Journal of Applied Sciences, 3: 44-50.