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Chassis design and analysis

Chassis Load
1. Bending case

Weight of the components distributed along the

vehicle frame

2. Torsion case

Upward and downward loads at each axle

3. Combined bending and torsion

sion cannot exist without bending as gravitational forces are always pre

4. Lateral loading

Vehicle is driven around corner

5. Fore and aft loading

During acceleration and braking

Bending case

Unsprung mass

Dynamic Factors of 2.5 to

3.0 for road going vehicles.
Off-road vehicles 4.

Torsion case

dynamic factors in this case are typically 1.3 for

road vehicles. For trucks which often go off road
1.5 and for cross-country vehicles a factor of 1.8
may be used.

Combined bending and torsion

the front track tf = 1450 mm and
rear track tr = 1400 mm.
The load on the right wheel Re
=6184 N,
The torque on the body 4328 Nm and
RF is 5971 N.

Lateral loading

Longitudinal loading

Longitudinal loading (Braking)

Asymmetric loading

Allowable stress
Stress due to static load Dynamic Factor 2/3
yield stress
This means that under the worst dynamic load
condition the stress should not exceed 67% of
the yield stress
Bending stiffness
Torsional stiffness

Chassis types, introduction

Ladder frames

Cruciform frames

Torque tube backbone frames

main backbone is a closed box section through
which runs the drive shaft between the gearbox
and the final drive unit.
transverse members - resisting lateral loads.

Space frames
Adding depth to a frame considerably
increases its bending strength and
All planes are fully triangulated so that the
beam elements are essentially loaded in
tension or compression.

Integral structures
This is a structure where the component
parts provide both structural and other
integral structure the whole side frame
with its depth and the roof are made to
contribute to the vehicle bending and
torsional stiffness.
relative stiffnesses.

Redundant Structure

Structural analysis by simple

structural surfaces method
There are many ways of modelling a vehicle structure.
Equivalent Beam Model
simple structural surfaces
Complex models (Computational Model)
One most useful method was Simple Structural
Surfaces. It is possible with this method to determine the
loads on the main structural members of an integral
Definition of a Simple Structural Surface (SSS)
A Simple Structural Surface is rigid in its own plane but
flexible out of plane. That is, it can carry loads in its plane
(tension, compression, shear, bending) but loads normal to
the plane and bending out of the plane are not possible.

Definition of a simple structural surface

Vehicle structures represented by SSS

Examples of simple structural surfaces.

Simple Structural Surfaces

representing a box van in torsion

Consider SSS-2 and SSS-3

The equilibrium of the SSS-2 and SSS-3

SSS-2 (Front cross-beam)

SSS-3 (Rear cross-beam)

Now consider the loads from the cross-beams acting on

the left hand sideframe (SSS-6).

sider the equilibrium of SSS-4, 5, 8, 9, 10.

Examples of integral car bodies with

typical SSS

Simple Structural Surfaces

representing a saloon car in bending

Simple Structural Surfaces

representing a saloon car in torsion

Computational methods
Structural analysis is now centred around the Finite
Element Analysis method where the vehicle
structure is divided into small elements.
The equations of statics (and/or dynamics) plus the
equations of stress analysis and elasticity for each
element are solved simultaneously using matrix

Early models

Complete body Finite Element Model