Date of Defense
Date of Graduation
Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
This project focuses on Western Michigan University's Formula SAE car and the team’s goal of implementing carbon fiber for weight reduction and increased structural rigidity. Through design, simulation, and physical testing, a carbon fiber hybrid monocoque chassis was implemented for the 2019 Formula vehicle. This carbon fiber monocoque will be designed to replace the front half of the steel space frame that has been used on the car for decades. There are multiple benefits to this design modification, with the main difficulties being the added complexity to the chassis. This is the first year that a monocoque chassis has been utilized which is a big step for the team to continue to stay competitive in the advancing competition. Overall, one of the main benefits is weight reduction which will increase the vehicle handling characteristics and acceleration times. Additionally, the increased structural rigidity will allow the suspension to work more optimally as the suspension is designed around a rigid body. This also allowed the team to learn more about advanced carbon fiber layup and design to implement this technique in other aspects of the vehicle. In the scope of Formula SAE there are typically two ways to implement a carbon fiber chassis, a full monocoque or a hybrid monocoque. A hybrid monocoque will be used for our application due to manufacturing and monetary factors.
Crum, Susanne, "Design of an Advanced Formula SAE Chassis Utilizing Carbon Fiber Laminates" (2018). Honors Theses. 3057.