Composite Sandwich Design for Formula SAE Monocoque
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This paper is an approach in how to design a composite sandwich laminate, that is to be used for an open wheeled race car with a monocoque chassis. The composite sandwich design of the monocoque must be in accordance with the 2013 Formula SAE regulations. The composite sandwich laminate is to be used in a preliminary monocoque design based on the Revolve NTNU’s 2013 student race car, the KA Aquilo R. The composite materials for the monocoque’s sandwich structure are HexPly 6376 and Rohacell 110WF, which were available to Revolve NTNU in 2013. An effort has been attempted to identify the specific requirements for the composite laminate in the 2013 FSAE rules. In summary, a representative sandwich layup of the monocoque, in a 500x200mm panel, must satisfy the requirements concerning bending stiffness and strength, through physical three point bending test. And a representative layup must also resist specified penetration forces from a 25mm in diameter cylindrical bar. The two select composite sandwich layups for the preliminary monocoque, [0/45/s] with 25mm core thickness and [0/45/s] with 35mm core thickness, has been assessed by analytical calculations, FEA simulations and physical testing. In addition, an FEA simulation has been carried out to compute the torsional stiffness of the preliminary monocoque with the select layups, for comparison with the KA Aquilo R’s tubular steel space frame chassis. The final results from the physical three point bending tests were approximately in coherence with the analytical calculations and FEA analysis. And also the select sandwich layups were well within the penetration requirements after the physical testing. In regards to torsional stiffness, the preliminary monocoque had almost 40% higher torsional stiffness, and was also 3kg lighter than the steel chassis.