Title: A composite chassis for a formula student vehicle

Authors: Ricardo Ferreira; Luís Sousa; Virgínia Infante

Addresses: Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon, Av. Rovisco Pais 1, 1049-001 Lisboa, Portugal ' LAETA, IDMEC, Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon, Av. Rovisco Pais, 1049-001 Lisboa, Portugal ' LAETA, IDMEC, Instituto Superior Técnico, University of Lisbon, Av. Rovisco Pais, 1049-001 Lisboa, Portugal

Abstract: The present work aims to analyse different types of chassis used in Formula Student vehicles. This analysis is done under the same circumstances for all structures: the suspension lines and packaging of main components are fixed. A value for torsional stiffness is estimated based on the car's handling. A tubular space frame from previous prototype is re-analysed using structural optimisation methods, aiming for weight reduction while considering the new torsional stiffness target. This new arrangement is used as a benchmark with the composite structures. An overview of the used type of composite materials is presented, the equivalency process is explained and a model to identify lay-ups for the different zones is developed. Several arrangements are analysed for the semi-monocoque and monocoque structures, considering vacuum infusion and Prepreg. A local study is developed to define monocoque's pickup inserts points dimensions. A study is performed on bonded joint along the vacuum infusion.

Keywords: tubular space frame; semi-monocoque; full monocoque; torsional stiffness; composite material; vacuum infusion.

DOI: 10.1504/IJAUTOC.2017.091426

International Journal of Automotive Composites, 2017 Vol.3 No.2/3/4, pp.294 - 322

Available online: 20 Apr 2018 *

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