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The Race Car Chassis: Design, Structures, Materials for Road, Drag and Circle Track
Which is one of the most important pieces of a winning race car?
Ask any racing engineer and, invariably, you'll get the same answer: The chassis!
So what's involved in designing and fabricating a race car chassis that will have a shot at the winner's circle?
In The Race Car Chassis, author Forbes Aird distills the answer down to the basics, and presents a study of the design of stiff and lightweight racecar frames, and materials used for their construction.
He also covers important topics such as:
In sum, this guide is a must-have resource for engineers, engineering students, fabricators, racers, and anyone interested in the fundamentals of a race car chassis, whether road, drag, circle trac, open- or closed-wheel.
- Chassis Types
- Chassis History
- Suspension Design
- Joining Ferrous Metals
- Joining Light Alloys
- And much more!
Book Excerpt: The Race Car Chassis
FOUR-TUBE CHASSIS AND SPACE FRAMES
In truth, there are very few "pure" space frames.
Most of the entries identified as such in the table in the previous chapter are, in fact, four-tube types that approach being a true space frame but which are incompletely triangulated, so some elements are subject to bending loads.
The usual shortcoming is the absence of a diagonal across the big hole where the man climbs in. Notably, the best performing chassis listed in this category (the Mercedes-Benz W196 of 1954), is one where exceptional pains were taken to carry loads around the cockpit area in a structurally pure manner.
Practical considerations often lead to sacrificing space frame principles in some areas. The difficulties introduced by the cockpit openings are obvious -- even when a roll cage is integrated into the chassis so that there are potential structural elements passing over the driver's head, you still can't run a diagonal across the windshield area.
What is more, an ideal space frame structure has a great many individual tubes coming together at each joint -- as many as six.
At the very least, this entails some laborious cutting, fitting and welding, and while this is manageable when very light gauge tubing is used, as on lightweight road race cars, if the same thing is attempted with thicker walled tubing the inevitable concentration of heat at the joints during fabrication is liable to cause some degree of distortion.
And, if alloy steel tubing is used, heavy gauge material exaggerates the problem of potential weakness at the welds, as discussed in Chapter 6.
TABLE of CONTENTS:
Subject: A comprehensive study on the history and design fundamentals of race car chassis. ISBN-10: 1557885400 | ISBN-13: 9781557885401 | HPBooks 1540
- The Idea of a Chassis
- Suspension Systems
- The Loads of a Vehicle Frame
- Four-Tube Chassis and Space Frames
- Stressed-Skin Construction
- An Overview of the Strength of Materials
- Tube Frame Materials and Details
- Stressed-Skin Materials and Details
- An Overview of the Modern Race Car Chassis
- Publisher: HPBooks
- Author: Forbes Aird
- Pages: 122 - Over 200 b&w photos and illustrations
- Binding: Paperback - 8.5 x 11 inches
- ISBN: 978-1-55788-540-1