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CHASSIS

INTRODUCTION OF CHASSIS FRAME: Chassis is a French term and was initially used to denote the frame parts or Basic Structure of the vehicle. It is the back bone of the vehicle. A vehicle without body is called Chassis. The components of the vehicle like Transmission System, Axles, Wheels and Tyres, Suspension, Controlling Systems like Braking, Steering etc., and also electrical system parts are mounted on the Chassis frame. It is the main mounting for all the components including the body. So it is also called as Carrying Unit. FUNCTIONS OF THE CHASSIS FRAME: To carry load of the passengers or goods carried in the body. To support the load of the body, engine, gear box etc., To withstand the forces caused due to the sudden braking or acceleration. To withstand the stresses caused due to the bad road condition. To withstand centrifugal force while cornering.

MAIN COMPONENTS OF THE CHASSIS: Frame: It is made up of long two members called side members riveted together with the help of number of cross members. Engine or Power plant: It provides the source of power Clutch: It connects and disconnects the power from the engine fly wheel to the transmission system. U Joint: It is a type of flexible coupling typically used on both ends of the driveshafts in rear-wheel and four-wheel drive vehicles. Gear Box. Propeller Shaft . Differential.

VARIOUS LOADS ACTING ON THE FRAME: Various loads acting on the frame are: Short duration Load - While crossing a broken patch Momentary duration Load - While taking a curve. Impact Loads - Due to the collision of the vehicle. Inertia Load - While applying brakes. Static Loads - Loads due to chassis parts. Over Loads - Beyond Design capacity.

TYPES OF CHASSIS: Chassis has evolved with time. The following chassis offer some advantages and disadvantage. Ladder Chassis Tubular Frame Chassis Monocoque Chassis ULSAB Chassis Backbone Frame Chassis

I.

LADER CHASSIS: The ladder chassis is the oldest and most common. It has become the standard for most types of automobiles. From the earliest cars until the early 60s, nearly all cars in the world used it as standard. Even in today, most SUVs still employ it. Its construction, indicated by its name, looks like a ladder two longitudinal rails interconnected by several lateral and cross braces. The longitude members are the main stress member. They deal with the load and also the longitudinal forces caused by acceleration and braking. The lateral and cross- members provide resistance to lateral forces and further increase torsional rigidity.

Advantage

Not much of advantage in these days It is easy to construct Cheap for hand build Proves good for SUVS Since it is a 2 dimensional structure, Torsional rigidity is much lower especially when dealing with vertical loads or bumps. Most SUVs, Heavy vehicles,Lincoln Town Car etc.

Disadvantage

Who uses it?

II.

SPACE FRAME CHASSIS: i. Tubular Space Frame Chassis: As ladder chassis is not strong enough, motor racing engineers developed a 3 dimensional design - Tubular space frame. One of the earliest examples was the post-war Maserati Tipo 61 "Birdcage" racing car. Tubular space frame chassis employs dozens of circular-section tubes (some may use square-section tubes for easier connection to the body panels, though circular section provides the maximum strength), position in different directions to provide mechanical strength against forces from anywhere. These tubes are welded together and forms a very complex structure. For higher strength required by high performance sports cars, tubular space frame chassis usually incorporate a strong structure under both doors (see the picture of Lamborghini Countach), hence result in unusually high door sill and difficult access to the cabin.

Lamborghini Countach Chassis

Advantage

Can encounter stress from any direction (compared with ladder chassis and monocoque chassis of the same weight) Very complex structure. Costly and time consuming to built. Impsooible for robotized production Besides it engages a lot of spaces. Need to raise the door sill and result in difficult acess to cabin. All Ferrari before the 360M, Lamborghini Diablo

Disadvantage

Who uses it?

ii.

Aluminium Space Frame (ASF): ASF consists of extruded aluminum sections, vacuum die cast components and aluminum sheets of different thicknesses. They all are made of high-strength aluminium alloy. At the highly stressed corners and joints, extruded sections are connected by complex aluminum die casting (nodes). It's

quite complex and production cost is far higher than steel monocoque. Laser welding is also extensively used in the bonding. All these helped reducing the production cost to the extent that the cheap A2 can afford it. Audi A8 is the first mass production car featuring Aluminium Space Frame chassis. ASF is intended to replace conventional steel monocoque mainly for the benefit of lightness. Audi claimed A8's ASF is 40% lighter yet 40% stiffer than contemporary steel monocoque. This enable the 4WDequipped A8 to be lighter than BMW 740i.

AUDI R8

Advantage

Lighter than steel monocoque. As space efficient as it is. Expensive production for mass

Disadvantage

Who uses it?

Audi Ford GT Rolls Royce Phantom

III.

Monocoque Chassis Monocoque Chassis is a one-piece structure that prescribes the overall shape of a vehicle. This type of automotive chassis is manufactured by welding floor pan and other pieces together. Since monocoque chassis is cost effective and suitable for robotised production,. Most of the vehicles today make use of steel plated monocoque chassis. It is a fairly rigid and provides stability in case of an accident. The one piece design is efficient in terms of using space.

Advantage

Cheap for mass production. Good crash protection Space efficient

Disadvantage

Who use it?

Impossible for small-volume production. Heavy Nearly all mass production cars, all current Porsche.

i. ULSAB Monocoque: The ULSAB Monocoque is a lighter weight version of the conventional monocoque chassis. The Ultra Light Steel Auto Body is basically the same type of structure as the regular monocoque. The main difference is the materials used to manufacture it. Sandwich steel is used to lessen the overall weight of the chassis. This type of steel is made by sandwiching polypropylene (thermoplastic) between two pieces of light weight steel. This reduces the rigidity of the chassis and lightens its weight. Even though this material and the process used to make the chassis lessens its weight, it is still not light enough for many sports cars.

Advantage

Stronger and lighter than a conventional monocoque. Cost Niether too strong nor light enough for the best sports car. Opel Astra BMW 3-series

Disadvantage

Who use it?

ii. Carbon Fibre Monocoque: Carbon ber monocoques have very little compressive strength but high tensile strength.

It provides superior rigidity yet optimise weight. No other chassis could be better. This structure not only supports the engine / drivetrain and suspensions, it also serves as a very rigid survival cell. Carbon Fiber Monocoque made its debut in 1981 with McLaren's MP4/1 Formula One racing car.

Advantage

The lightest chassis.

and

stiffest

Disadvantage Who use it?

By far the most expensive. Mclaren F1 Bugatti EB110SS Ferrari F50

IV.

Backbone Frame Chassis: Colin Chapman, the founder of Lotus, invented backbone chassis in his original Elan roadster. Backbone chassis is very simple: a strong tubular backbone (usually in rectangular section) connects the front and rear axle and provides nearly all the mechnical strength. Inside which there is space for the drive shaft in case of front-engine, rear-wheel drive layout. The whole drivetrain, engine and suspensions are connected to both ends of the backbone. The body is built on the backbone, usually made of glass-fibre. It's strong enough for smaller sports cars bt not up to the job for high-end ones.

Advantage

Strong enough for smaller sports car. Cheap for low-volume production. Simple structure benefit cost. Most space-saving. Not strong enough for highend sports car. Doesnt provide protection

Disadvantage

against side impact. Cost ineffective for massproduction. Who use it? Lotus Espirit Volkswagen Beetle Lotus Elan Skoda 420 Popular