This thesis aims to conceive, design, analyse, and manufacture a small formula style racecar’s chassis for the Formula-SAE competition run by the Society of Automotive Engineers.
Comprehensive researching enabled the different kinds of vehicle chassis to be compared and contrasted and the specific qualities, performance, cost and material requirements of each type. The associated manufacturing techniques were also heavily researched and scrutinised for their appropriateness and cost efficiency for the construction of the chassis.
A steel space frame was selected, as it possessed the best balance of performance, cost, reliability and ease of manufacture of the different frames researched. Armed with restrictions set by the competition’s rules and requirements from several sources, the iterative process of design began. A computer design was produced using the 3-D solid modelling package, Solid Edge, and several small prototype models and fullscale sections of the chassis were built for testing factors such as driver ergonomics and member layout.
With a completed chassis layout decided upon, Finite Element Analysis was carried out on the design using Strand 7. This was done to optimise the performance of the car in terms of its weight, strength, stiffness, and fatigue properties.
The design of a construction order and actual fabrication of the chassis was carried out by the author. During the fabrication of the chassis many unforseen problems were encountered, though all were eventually overcome.
Due to unforseen time constraints, the scheduled testing of the chassis will not be completed before this thesis is published. However, post manufacture inspection indicates that the chassis was built to the highest standard and exceeds all requirements and restrictions that were set at the beginning of the design process.