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Neat Video: Watch Steel And Carbon Fiber Driveshafts Get Tested To Their Failure Points

Neat Video: Watch Steel And Carbon Fiber Driveshafts Get Tested To Their Failure Points

We got tipped off to this video by BangShift reader John Dozeman and we thought it was pretty neat. The footage is a clip from a BBC show about the technology involved with Formula One cars. In this segment, Richard Hammond from Top Gear meets with an engineer from a driver shaft supplier and they go over the basics of  driveshafts and carbon fiber construction. They then bolt a steel shaft and a carbon piece in a testing unit that measures the amount of torque they can withstand before failing and the results are pretty interesting.

The steel shaft looks like a pretty beefy piece and it takes some punishment but the carbon fiber one trumps it by a huge margin. Believe it  or not, there are more and more guys running carbon fiber driveshafts in stuff that isn’t professional level. Serious pro touring cars have been using them along with hard core drag cars. Companies like Dynotech and QA1 offer them and other suppliers for the circle track offer them as well. In every form of racing when strength can be upgraded and weight can be saved, it is a virtual no brainer…if you have the money to pay. The video you’ll see below seems to be a few years old but even then the list the price as 2,200 British pounds which is well over $3,000 now.

As the video proves, even the carbon fiber shafts have their failure point and we do know racers (specifically drag racers) who have turned “unbreakable” carbon fiber driveshafts into dust in heavy cars with lots of power. Some guys could break a steel ball in a rubber room and those are pretty much the dudes we hag out with, but we digress. Press play below to see a carbon fiber driveshaft get tested to the point of death with Richard Hammond providing the narration. This is fun stuff. Destructive testing FTW!


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6 thoughts on “Neat Video: Watch Steel And Carbon Fiber Driveshafts Get Tested To Their Failure Points

  1. Wes

    Very impressive!! Steel failed at 1014.8 ft/pounds and the carbon fiber failed at 3487 ft/pounds. Not sure it’s worth the $4,183 price tag though….

  2. Rob

    Pretty impressive – especially as the yokes are only basically glued in.

    I now they use them in Pro cars and such so I’m guessing even the shock forces apposed to the gradual torque still gives them great strength – whilst saving weight.

    As a side note I believe they also glue aluminium shaft yokes in now also.

    All in all – very impressed but still a bit exy for me.

  3. Pontiacdragracer

    The torque applied in the video gradually ramps up the torque to breaking. Question is, what would the breaking point be if the shaft was hammered on by a stick shift car or a fuel car when the clutch locks up? I’m not an engineer, but it would seam to be the breaking point would be lower. Perhaps where the glued union of yoke and shaft come together would now be the weak point.

    1. Anonymous

      maybe you should ask pro stock racers from over 10 years ago how well it held up it clutch shift loads.

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