Stress Analysis and Lay-Up Optimization of an All-Composite Pick-Up Truck Chassis Structure 2004-01-1519
An advanced finite element analysis of an all-composite chassis structure is performed to (i) optimize the ply orientations and lay-up sequence and (ii) verify the ultimate load carrying capacity of the structure using detailed orthotropic composite laminate models and an appropriate composite material failure theory. Two different all-composite chassis designs are compared with the baseline steel design for bending and torsional stiffnesses, and for fundamental modes. Furthermore, a Tsai-Wu composite material failure criterion is evaluated for carbon/epoxy material parts of the two chassis structures when subjected to ultimate loads. The detailed finite element analysis steps illustrated here demonstrate a method for accurately analyzing and designing an automotive composite chassis structure.