A Multi-Shell Assembly Approach Applied to Monocoque Chassis Design 2002-01-3360
In light of the enhanced safety and performance of most monocoque designs, a design and processing study has been undertaken to evaluate alternative approaches with cost and producibility the principal goals. Previous composites design and fabrication research related to multi-shell composite pressure vessels has shown that multiple, overlapping composite shells can be used as an effective means of improving the manufacturability while maintaining good structural integrity. This approach has been combined with the structural needs of a typical open-wheeled monocoque chassis to investigate the potential for improved manufacturability. For the monocoque chassis the application of multiple overlapping shells has been realized as a left and right-hand pair of shells, plus a top shell and belly pan assembly. Preliminary analysis has been performed and production of tooling has begun to further evaluate this method. The resulting manufacturability is discussed.