The chassis is one of the main components of the vehicle, which provides not only support and stiffness but also gives the vehicle its shape. Its design is a challenge for the mechanical engineer: to achieve an optimum resistance-weight ratio which can ensure the safety of the pilot. To optimize its design, engineers can rely on the Finite Element Analysis (FEA) an ideal method to predict the behavior of the chassis to the different loads (Mechanical Effort, fatigue, movement) and effects (Vibration, heat, fluid flow, transfer of heat) given in real environments. This analysis is able to describe if a product may break, wear out or, otherwise, it will work as expected. Additionally, it allows the variation of the geometry and materials used so that the most suitable one can be selected for the application in study.
This article aims to show the preliminary design of the chassis (Simplified 3D model using CAD) taking into account the rules of the SAE competition and its optimization by using the FEA analysis and also taking into account its geometry. Static load analysis will start by selecting the appropriate mesh size and having as criteria that Von Mises stress should be less than the yield point of the selected material. Likewise, the deformation of the members that make up the chassis should not put at risk the safety of the pilot. Moreover, a Modal Analysis of the chassis to verify the natural frequencies and vibration modes is also made.
The result of this research provides a design approach for the validation (theory vs simulation) and optimization of the chassis to ensure better performance as well as to facilitate the manufacture of its parts and assembly.