Development of CFRP Monocoque Front Impact Attenuator for FSAE with VaRTM 2007-32-0120
The Formula SAE (FSAE) rules require mounting an impact attenuator (IA) to the front part of the formula car. The IA is necessary to take fully into account not only lighter weight of the parts but also cost effectiveness as the total cost and the workability of manufacturing have much value to win the FSAE. In this paper, three different IAs, 1) a space frame structure with steel pipes (SSF), 2) a monocoque structure with aluminum (AM) and 3) a monocoque structure with Carbon Fiber Reinforced Plastic (CFRPM), were manufactured and compared with respect to the weight and the cost effectiveness under FSAE rules. The FEM simulations for the AM were performed and the calculated results showed good agreements with the experimental ones. However, the AM could not absorb the impact energy experimentally. The CFRPM could absorb the required impact energy with lighter structure compared to other IAs. The weight was half of the experimental SSF and 1/5 of the calculated AM.