Title: Design of a composite engine support sub-frame to achieve lightweight vehicles

Authors: Giovanni Belingardi; Ermias Gebrekidan Koricho

Addresses: Dipartimento di Ingegneria Meccanica ed Aerospaziale, Politecnico di Torino, Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24 – 10129, Turin, Italy ' Dipartimento di Ingegneria Meccanica ed Aerospaziale, Politecnico di Torino, Corso Duca degli Abruzzi, 24 – 10129, Turin, Italy; Composite Vehicle Research Center, Michigan State University, 2727 Alliance Drive, Lansing, MI, 48910, USA

Abstract: The main objective of this paper is to analyse the possibility of the replacement of the engine sub-frame, which at present is made of steel or in some advanced cases in lightweight metals, with a new component made of carbon/epoxy composite material. A methodology is developed that helps to point out and solve the existing major problems with respect to the use of composite structures, by taking advantage from composite features such as the effect of variation of stacking sequence, ply angles, and stiffeners on load carrying capacity and stiffness of engine sub-frame. Furthermore, detailed numerical analysis has been performed to determine the natural frequencies and modes shapes of the proposed solutions. Results show competitive performance (with particular attention to the equivalent stiffness and natural frequency) of the new proposed solution based on composite material with respect to the reference steel sub-frame solution.

Keywords: carbon/epoxy composites; engine support sub-frame; stiffness; natural frequency; vehicle design; automotive composites; lightweight vehicles; stacking sequence; ply angles.

DOI: 10.1504/IJAUTOC.2014.064129

International Journal of Automotive Composites, 2014 Vol.1 No.1, pp.90 - 111

Received: 28 Jun 2013
Accepted: 06 Oct 2013

Published online: 02 Aug 2014 *

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