Stiffness Car Chassis

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Introduction

The purpose of the project is to increase the stiffness and reduce the weight of the existing car chassis, without disturbing the shape provided for engine mountings and driver’s space and other constraints provided by the existing chassis model.

Why is it so important to increase the stiffness and reduce the weight of the chassis?

In general to define chassis in this way, first a clear meaning of structure should be known. In general perspective a structure can be defined as a specific arrangement of material to resist loads. This structure should also enable to the location of the components such as engine mountings, transmission, fuel tank, suspension system etc. So it must resist loads without breaking, and without more deflection. If the chassis cannot resist loads it leads to a serious handling problems, and will not support the engine and transmission system, also the chassis should be light enough to maintain weight to power ratio and better handling in corners.

1.1 Background to project

The principle loads that includes on the chassis are, by the engine, the aerodynamics, brakes, road irregularities, the inertia loads due to masses under accelerations and vibrations. Also the chassis must with stand impact loads, having absorbed part of crash energy by deformation which includes the bending, torsion, combined bending and torsion, also lateral and longitudinal loads. So the chassis structure should be strong in stiffness in design case rather than strength. The chassis and body developments should also reduce weight because it improves the vehicle ride, handling, improves the performance of car by reducing the drag because of high weight to power ratio, and also will reduce the need for power there by increases the fuel efficiency. Because of this now even mass produced passengers cars lightened up by the most detailed weight-watcher engineering techniques due to corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) regulations of the federal government. Lighter vehicle requires less power, hence less fuel, for equal performance.

History

The demand for the chassis with high torsion stiffness and low weight had increased from the World War 2. This demand had led to the innovation of many kinds such as Space frame, stressed skin etc. These types had become universal among the European road race cars following its appearance in the Lotus MK and the Mercedes-Benz 300SL in 1952. These are the cars which used strictly space frame chassis and the attention they received had popularized the idea. Major automobile industries in present era are purchasing the competitive vehicles and disassembled them carefully to study the weight and stiffness of car for comparison with the equivalent part of their own vehicle. So this lead to a competitive reasons than for increase fuel economy. Today have been included to expand the following three reasons:

  • A means for recognising opportunities for overall weight reduction for better fuel economy.
  • The means for determining centre of gravity (CG) location and polar moment of inertia.

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