2006 Chevrolet Corvette Z06 Aluminum Spaceframe Manufacturing Technology 2005-01-0470
In October 1999, General Motors contracted Dana Corporation to manufacture an all-aluminum spaceframe for the 2006 Chevrolet Corvette Z06. Corvette introduced its first ever all-aluminum frame (see Figure 1) to the world at the 2005 North American International Auto Show (NAIAS) in Detroit, Michigan. The creation of this spaceframe resulted in a significant mass reduction and was a key enabler for the program to achieve the vehicle level performance results required for a Z06 in an ever-growing market.
Dana Corporation leveraged ALCOA's (Aluminum Company of America) proven design capabilities while incorporating new MIG welding, laser welding, Self-Pierce Riveting (SPR), and full spaceframe machining to join General Motors (GM) Metal Fabrication Division's (MFD) hydroformed rails to produce the Corvette Z06's yearly requirement of 7000 units. This paper describes the technologies utilized throughout the assembly line and their effect on the end product.