Browse Publications Technical Papers 2020-28-0512

Modeling and Fabrication of CFRP Tubes for Double Wishbone Suspension of Formula SAE Race-Car 2020-28-0512

The objective of this work is to present the study on experimental data of the strength characteristics of Carbon fiber reinforced thermo-set polymer tubes used in manufacturing of Formula SAE racecar suspension. The detailed explanation of a new approach used in fabricating high quality tubes is described and a comparison is formed between two techniques. The design objective of reducing weight while maintaining the structural integrity is met. A balance between stiffness, weight, strength, manufacturability and cost must be maintained in the suspension components of any racecar. There are three driving factors that make composites the ideal material for application in many suspension components in the Formula SAE competition: weight, stiffness and strength. Composite materials can be tailored to meet the axial tension-compression load paths that pushrods, A-arms and steering arms undergo better than any other material due to their anisotropic properties. The performance advantage is amplified by high strength to weight ratio as CFRP brings about increase in strength and stiffness and decreased weight within a part. Only limitation being manufacturability, as most designs contain a hollow cylindrical links which in form of composite structures can be challenging to manufacture as pressure needs to be applied to both on the internal and the external side of the laminate. Usually most carbon fiber tubes with a continuous profile are manufactured by roll-wrapping, pultrusion or filament winding each method has its own advantage and disadvantage. The manufacturing technique applied in this work is better suited to applications where small length custom lightweight and stable tubing is required. The response of tubes undergoing failure mechanisms during axial and bending loads by destructive testing are discussed and well defined by the using a finite element model.


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