High Performance Carbon Fiber Driveshafts

Power Performance Safety Reliability

Tested and refined on the road, track, and at sea for over 25 years; ACPT composite drive shafts lead the industry and set the standards that all others in their industry are judged by.

The advanced, market leading technology of ACPT drive shafts have been tested and proven in some of the most demanding professional and real-world environments around the world.

Many of the automotive, commercial, industrial, defense, and marine industry leaders have chosen the ACPT driveshaft for everything from a cost effective daily application that may be used in street rods, tractors, trucks, boats or car; to the more refined and specialized use in custom applications. These custom applications include some of the most demanding and technologically advanced high performance vehicles in the world. ACPT driveshaft’s are not only for some of the fastest vehicles but also some of the toughest, like those used by the United States military. ACPT is proud to be one of the few companies in the world that have ever been chosen to supply carbon fiber products to the United States military.

ACPT is the only place you can purchase a carbon fiber driveshaft and know that you have acquired a superior product from an industry pioneer and global leader in carbon fiber technology. No competitor in the world has the experience, expertise or knowledge of the design, manufacturing and testing of high-performance carbon fiber driveshaft’s that ACPT has.

If you want to know more about carbon fiber drive shafts, only ask the number one developer and manufacturer in the world... ask ACPT!

 
  • Advantages & Benefits
  • Composite Driveshaft Performance Report

Independent tests have shown that a simple switch to ACPT carbon fiber drive shafts will produce rear wheel horsepower gains and cut NVH (Noise, Vibration, and Harmonics).

Dan Gurney cited ACPT drive shafts as a major factor in winning the 1987 IMSA championship. Since 1987, racers in all areas of motorsports (drag, dirt, drift, road, and street) have discovered the extra performance edge delivered by ACPT carbon fiber drive shafts.

The unbeatable reliability of an ACPT carbon fiber drive shaft has been proven time and time again in the real world and in the scientific testing environments. It lasts 3 to 5 times longer than any other type such as an aluminum shaft. This fact coupled with the weight savings, inherent safety, reduced wear and lower drivetrain vibration, means you can’t afford not to run without an ACPT carbon fiber drive shaft.

 

Competitively Versatile 

Dirt

  • Higher RPM
  • Greater Safety
  • Longer Life
  • Lighter Weight

Street and Drift

  • Faster Acceleration
  • Quicker Down Shift Deceleration
  • Smoother Shifting
  • Less Wear on Drivetrain
  • Less Stress on Transmission
  • Greater Safety
  • Longer Life
  • Lighter Weight

Drag

  • Faster 60 Foot Times
  • Greater Safety
  • Faster Acceleration
  • More Torque to Wheels
  • Lighter Weight

Road Racing

  • Higher RPM Out of Turn
  • Smoother Shifting
  • Faster Acceleration
  • Quicker Deceleration
  • Greater Safety
  • Longer Life
  • Lighter Weight

Performance Tested


Proof Test Cycle – (indicate graph position) Proof test cycle to 3,500 ft-lbs CW, hold for 15 seconds, cycle at 2 Hz between +3000 ft–lbs CW and 1,500 ft-lbs CCW, then proof at 3,500 ft-lbs for 15 seconds.

Design Qualification Test to Ultimate Failure – (indicate graph position) Failure at 5,980 ft-lbs is well above the yield strength of 2260 ft-lbs for the 1350 U-Joint. This illustrates that the tube and bond are not the weak link in an ACPT drive shaft. 

Enhanced Driver Safety

ACPT carbon fiber drive shafts provide added safety for drivers in addition to all the performance benefits. Despite the safety hardware in use today, many injuries and even fatalities are caused by the lethal force unleashed on the chassis and driver by a fractured metal drive shaft. Unlike a metal driveshaft that fractures when the U-joint or yoke fails, a carbon fiber drive shaft will simply disintegrate or “broom” leaving the chassis and driver safe from harm so both can race and win another day.

More Power, higher RPM, better reliability and safety ... state of the art performance for Motorsports, Heavy Duty Fleet, Defense, and Industrial Applications

More Power to the Ground

Independent testing by a leading automotive magazine (Turbo, October, 1996) showed rear wheel horsepower gains of more than 5% with the simple switch to an ACPT carbon fiber driveshaft. This significant increase is primarily due to lower rotational mass of the driveshaft. Carbon fiber offers you more strength to resist extreme torque than steel with about half the weight. Just like the common use of lightweight clutch and flywheel units, a lightweight driveshaft allows more of you engine's power to be applied to the ground.

In addition to minimizing rotational power losses, carbon fiber's unique vibration dampening characteristics also help improve power output. Engine builders are familiar with the power gains that high performance crank dampeners can provide. ACPT's carbon fiber drive shafts give you similar benefits by cutting power losses due to drivetrain vibration.

Higher RPM, Faster

 
Driveline vibration is a common problem that can limit RPM. ACPT's involvement in racing began in 1986 when Dan Gurney asked us to apply our expertise in aerospace composites to solve a vibration problem with his IMSA GTO Toyota Celica. In this front engine, rear transaxle race car, the driveshaft ran at engine speed. The metal driveshaft was experiencing harmonic whip, limiting usable RPM and forcing them to run the engine well below redline in each gear. ACPT developed a carbon fiber driveshaft that allowed a 1000 RPM increase in useable engine speed and gave the engine a chance to work at its' power peak. Gurney cited the ACPT driveshaft as a major factor in winning the 1987 IMSA GTO Championship. Since 1987 many racers in all areas of motorsports have discovered the extra RPM and the resulting tuning flexibility carbon fiber driveshaft’s provide.

To Finish First, First You Have to Finish

All drive shafts twist to some degree when torque is applied. The resistance to this twist is measured as torsional spring rate. Standard ACPT drive shafts have a torsional spring rate a little less than aluminum and about half that of steel. The advantage of a lower spring rate is less driveline shock and a reduction of stress on other drivetrain components, as well as increased traction. Every part of your drivetrain may benefit from the use of a carbon fiber shaft.

The continual twist when torque is applied eventually causes all metal shafts to take a set in the twisted position. Consequently the shaft ends become permanently out of phase by several degrees and vibration begins to break components. Carbon fiber, on the other hand, has a near perfect "elastic memory". ACPT's carbon fiber drive shafts can't fail by becoming permanently twisted.

As RPM goes up, all drive shafts begin to whip. At a certain "critical speed", unique to each type of driveshaft, this bending of the shaft creates lateral run out and vibration. The intensity (magnitude) and frequency of these bad vibes are determined by a combination of stiffness, density, size, and geometry. This vibration is a primary cause of drivetrain breakage from the transmission to the rear end. The "critical speed" of ACPT's carbon fiber shafts is much higher than steel or aluminum shafts of the same size. Exceptional harmonic damping coupled with high lateral stiffness and low density allow carbon fiber drive shafts to virtually eliminate vibration problems from shaft whip.

Dramatically Improve Safety

In addition to performance advantages, ACPT carbon fiber drive shafts provide a special measure of extra safety. Despite safety hardware like shaft hoops and covers, a broken metal driveshaft can become a flailing bludgeon that beats up everything in its' path; severe injuries to the driver, extreme damage to the car, and even vaulting the car into the air can be the result. Carbon fiber minimizes these dire consequences.

Carbon fiber drive shafts are built for strength primarily to transfer torque and can be broken with a hard blow from the side. The result is that when a u-joint or yoke fails the carbon fiber composite begins to disintegrate when it contacts the chassis. As the composite comes apart, the shaft simply turns into a bunch of loose carbon fibers, much like the end of a broom. In fact, in composite technology this failsafe state is called "brooming". Instead of tearing up the driver and shredding the chassis, the carbon fiber broom will probably just polish dirt and paint off the chassis.

Racers race to go fast, not to cheat death and disability. ACPT is very proud of the fact that our drive shafts have helped to prevent serious injury on several teams, like Dick Anderson Racing. "I have two talented, young drivers to protect," Dick Anderson explains. "Both have narrowly escaped serious injury when metal shafts broke and penetrated their cars. Last season, a bracket came loose, destroyed the torque arm and broke the ACPT shaft in two; but it never came into the car. It "broomed", just as they said it would, and no one was hurt."

Carbon Fiber Isn't Just for Race Cars

ACPT carbon fiber drive shafts are an obvious advantage on the race track; but they also provide the same benefits on the street in cars and trucks as well as in industrial applications. Many cars, pickups, and vans experience vibration problems and performance limitations with OE metal drive shafts, especially two-piece units. Dealers and mechanics around the world are discovering that the only sure way to cure these problems is to install a one-piece driveshaft from ACPT.

An 80,000 Pound Trash Truck with Bad Vibes

Try to imagine the worst possible environment in which to test these drive shafts. How about a trash truck? Continuously starting and stopping hundreds of times all day long, these behemoths can get up to 80,000 pounds fully loaded! Plus, some of these monsters can really vibrate, After running a one-piece, 114" ACPT driveshaft constantly since August, 1994, Greg Hicks, of Central Texas Refuse is positively stoked (racer talk for "I'm REALLY happy.") "The vibration was completely eliminated after installation," Hicks said, "and, we certainly don't baby it."

Mr. Hicks is thoroughly convinced that better all-around performance, higher profitability, and lower maintenance costs can be realized by replacing two-piece steel shafts with one-piece composite shafts. Bulk haulers will also enjoy the extra cargo volume and higher profits on every load that light weight carbon fiber provides. ACPT carbon fiber shafts have passed the extensive durability tests of several major Class 8 (tractor/trailer) truck builders and are in customer tanker fleets for highway testing.

Greg Frick, owner of Inland Empire Driveline Service, sees terrific potential for the drive shafts in heavy-weight rigs. "The success at Central Texas Refuse proved it. The only worse scenario might be a concrete hauler and we're working on that now. If you're operating a large fleet of trucks, these drive shafts could make a big difference for you."

A Heavy Duty Industrial Problem Solver

Heavy duty industrial applications, such as pump shafts and cooling tower drive shafts also suffer from the same kind of vibration, critical speed, and reliability problems that are seen in vehicles. ACPT carbon fiber composite shafts are solving problems and improving efficiency while lowering maintenance and repair costs in industrial plants around the world.

Take Advantage of the Experts in Composite Technology

Since its' founding in the seventies by Dr. James C. Leslie, Advanced Composite Products and Technology has been a recognized leader in the research and development of composite components for industrial and defense applications, ACPT is frequently called in to consult on problem solving at other composite manufacturers. You too can depend on ACPT.

Having built custom composite shafts for the world’s most elite race teams since 1986, ACPT now offers the carbon fiber advantage for every racer, Contact ACPT direct today and obtain the competitive edge of carbon fiber composite technology.