2006 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Aluminum Spaceframe 2005-01-0465
This paper describes the engineering, manufacturing and integration necessary to produce the Corvette's first ever all-aluminum spaceframe (see Figure 1). The engineering and manufacturing of the spaceframe was a joint venture between General Motors and suppliers ALCOA (Aluminum Company of America) and Dana Corporation. ALCOA led the initial design of the spaceframe; Dana Corp led the manufacturing; General Motors' Engineering and Manufacturing groups led the integration of the assembly. The aluminum spaceframe design is modeled after the baseline steel structure of the Corvette coupe. The aluminum spaceframe reduces 140 lbs from the steel baseline and enters the plant at 285 lbs. This frame allows the 2006 Corvette Z06 to enter the market at a 3100 lbs curb weight. Aluminum casting, extruding, stamping, hydroforming, laser welding, Metal Inert Gas (MIG) welding, Self Pierce Riveting (SPR), and full spaceframe machining make up the main technologies used to produce this spaceframe. Applications of these technologies produce a spaceframe with similar torsional and bending stiffness, and provide improvements in energy management and mass.