Tuesday, November 19, 2019
Hyundai Wia Develops World’s First Integrated Drive Axle
Integrating Drive Shaft and Wheel Bearings
Hyundai Wia Develops World’s First Integrated Drive Axle
  • By Jung Min-hee
  • January 23, 2019, 13:38
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A Hyundai Wia researcher tests an integrated drive axle (IDA) at the company’s research lab in Euiwang, Gyeonggi Province.

Hyundai Wia has developed an innovative automobile drive shaft that simplifies the process of transmitting power from the transmission to the wheel bearings of a car.

The company, an affiliate of Hyundai Motor Group that produces auto parts and machine tools, said its integrated drive axle (IDA) has changed the structure of the conventional automobile drive shafts that has lasted over 100 years.

The company’s new axle integrates the drive shaft that transmits power from the engine to the wheels and the wheel bearings that connect the shaft to the wheels.

Hyundai Wia's IDA represents a departure from the connection system of car wheels that has been used since the development of a drive shaft in the 1920s. Hyundai Wia said it has become the first company in the world to develop an axle that integrates a drive shaft and wheel bearings.

All cars that are currently in mass-production are based on a system that transmits power from the transmission to the wheel bearings, which are attached to the wheels, by using the drive shaft. But this system is prone to problems as the connected parts are linked as if they were bolts and nuts. Hyundai Wia integrated the two parts, thus fundamentally eliminating the source of connection problems. By integrating the two parts, Hyundai Wia could increase the stiffness of the shaft by 55 percent and cut its weight by 10 percent.

Hyundai Wia expects the IDA to significantly improve drivers’ comfort and steering performance as it has increased the diameter of the wheel bearings by more than 40 percent.

Hyundai Wia is planning to apply the IDA to Hyundai Motor's E-GMP platform for electric vehicles. It plans to apply the new product to vehicles from global automakers.