Vehicle Structures and Materials

This chapter commences with a review of chassis structures for the different classes of road vehicles including mass-produced passenger cars, high performance vehicles, small sports cars and commercial vehicles. It proceeds to consider the different materials used in vehicle structures with a focus on reducing vehicle weight and therefore emissions through the use of high strength steel, aluminum and composite materials. The following section outlines different methods of analysis of vehicle structures including both traditional theoretical methods and modern computational techniques.

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Review of Vehicle Structures

The purpose of any road vehicle structure is to support all the major components and sub-assemblies making up the complete vehicle (i.e. engine, transmission, suspension, etc.) and also carry the passengers and/or payload in a safe and comfortable manner. In the early years of motor vehicles, both passenger cars and commercial vehicles were manufactured in the traditional way with a separate chassis frame onto which a non-structural body shell was attached

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Materials for Light Weight Car Body Structures

The mandatory requirements for vehicle manufacturers to reduce their fleet average emissions of CO2 have led not only to developments in powertrains such as down-sized IC engines and hybrid/electric drives but also to a strong motivation to reduce vehicle weights. Reduced vehicle mass reduces fuel consumption and gives enhanced acceleration/deceleration/handling performance. It can also reduce damage to road surfaces and generally enhances road safety because the kinetic energy of vehicles is reduced.

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This chapter has covered some of the more important aspects concerning the design and analysis of chassis structures. The consideration of alternative high strength lightweight materials has been included because they have started to revolutionise the ways that vehicle body structures are designed and fabricated. Although advanced computer analysis methods have become the norm in the industry for both static and dynamic assessment of structures (including their durability and crash safety), Visit The Site: f95zone

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