Thyssen's Krupp's hollow, sheet-metal-stamped wheel knuckle for multilink axles links the wheel with the axle beam through several arms. The knuckle allows each wheel to react independently to uneven road surfaces and small obstacles.
Traditionally, wheel knuckles have been made as cast parts that then had to be machined to achieve the necessary accuracy. The new stamped wheel knuckle is made of an inner and an outer stamped steel shell, welded together. The trailing arm is integrated into the knuckle design as part of the inner shell, where - as in conventional designs - it is a separate component.
The knuckle was developed and tested and is produced at the Thyssen Krupp Umformtechnik und Guss GmbH plant in Brackwede, Germany. The new wheel knuckle will be used on two new production cars, says Thyssen Krupp.
The design reduces weight by 30 to 40 percent, and machining and cost by 50 percent, compared with a conventional design. This, combined with the compactness of the design, allows it to be used in multilink suspension systems for medium- and small-sized cars. Currently multilink suspensions are used mostly on large cars because of their bulk and expense.