The Budd Company designed, prototyped, and laboratory/field tested a fiberglass leaf spring for a Ford Econoline Van.
Prior to design and materials selection, extensive development work was conducted on fiber/resin systems.
Computer design programs were written which would accept conventional leaf spring parameters and output nominal stresses, tooling data, and weights for a selection of unidirectional monoleaf configurations. Extensive prototype testing was conducted on a laboratory leaf spring fatigue tester equipped with a simultaneous brake torque simulator (for attachment testing). Field testing was conducted on urban roads and at Ford and G. M. Proving Grounds to correlate materials, design, and laboratory-field data.