AAM’s New QUANTUM Driveline Technology Reduces Axle Weight, Increases Efficiency

5th April 2017

American Axle & Manufacturing (AAM) has developed completely new, significantly improved axle technology that is significantly lighter that traditional systems. QUANTUM driveline technology is scalable across a wide range of vehicle segments and provides substantial advantages regardless of vehicle size – reduced mass, increased power density, improved noise vibration and harshness (NVH) and efficiency gains in a more compact system package.

After several years of benchmarking non-automotive products, spending countless development hours, running arduous hardware tests and securing more than a dozen patents, AAM engineers redesigned virtually every component of the traditional axle. What resulted is the QUANTUM family of axles that yield significant gains in efficiency, performance and packaging all while reducing system weight.

“The numbers are amazing,” said Phil Guys, AAM vice president and chief technology officer. “QUANTUM’s 20 percent power density increase comes with a minimum 30 percent mass reduction at the same torque capacity. For a heavy-duty pickup, QUANTUM provides more than 100 lbs. of vehicle weight savings. It is significantly more efficient without any reduction in performance.”

QUANTUM’s new design is centered on using traditional axle components in new ways. Bearings are arranged more efficiently and gears are set in optimal positions.  AAM’s engineers utilized system innovation to eliminate weight by combining functions of many components and developing proprietary lubricants that would increase system efficiency and durability. In a traditional axle, shims are used to ensure an axle’s hypoid gears are installed precisely for optimum durability and NVH. Because of QUANTUM’s smart design, engineers were able to eliminate the need for shims while still providing up to a 5 dB improvement in NVH performance.

“QUANTUM’s innovative gear and bearing design coupled with optimized housing allowed AAM to significantly reduce the packaging space,” said Guys.  “This means our customers gain valuable space for other vehicle content that is important to their customers such as a lower load floor or even a larger fuel tank.”

QUANTUM beam axles are scalable and can be used on heavy-, medium or light-duty RWD based pickups. This workhorse and lightweight axle results in increased vehicle payload capacity. It is up to 35 percent lighter and up to 30 percent more efficient when compared to a traditional axle.