1979-02-01

Graphite-Reinforced-Plastic Passenger Car Frame 790030

An experimental LTD chassis frame, for a 1979 Ford experimental vehicle, was designed and fabricated in graphite-reinforced plastic. Prototype composite moldingtechniques were employed to form the closed frame sections required for strength and stiffness.
Weight savings were realized because of both component integration and material substitution: compared with its steel counterpart, the graphite frame afforded a 79 pound weight reduction while providing a 33% increase in torsional stiffness and a 16% increase in bending stiffness. The frame passed laboratory suspension and steering load tests and has been incorporated in the experimental vehicle, but not vehicle tested.

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