The chassis embodies a car showing its aerodynamic shape while hiding the ugly sub-assemblies and other components.
In the production process, the car chassis is made. The car chassis is made by combining multiple metal sections with beams using welding (spot/TIG or WIG). For softer curved sections, lighter bendable metals like aluminum are used. This is why the Tesla Truck, made of strong, hard stainless steel have sharp features.
The Chassis must be maintained well because of many properties and parts depending on chassis. Vibration and noise in large vehicles is a major issue so vehicle designers need to take all these issues into consideration.
The purpose of chassis is to provide stability from different forces. The frame construction is of a uni-body type for most commercial and passenger vehicles. Moreover, chassis has to accommodate frame, brakes, wheels, and steering, so to maintain rigidity, modern engineering capabilities are needed to design and manufacture chassis. In this article, we will discuss how car chassis are made.
Chassis Details You Should Know
It is essential to have information about the parts of your vehicle, and then you can maintain them properly. You should understand the chassis design because it is a crucial part of the vehicle and you must have some knowledge about it.
It is the basic framework of your vehicle. Sometimes it is only a frame, but most of the time it contains transmissions, wheels, and even front seats. Your vehicle will have no structure if it doesn’t include chassis. Chassis is actually a canvas on which the final construction of the vehicle is placed. Chassis are made of carbon steel, but nowadays, to produce lightweight and inexpensive vehicles, aluminum is used.
Two types of chassis frames are used in vehicles. One is body-on-frame, and it is the original one and used in heavier vehicles like trucks. It is called the body-on-frame because the vehicle’s body sits on the top of the frame. They don’t act as one unit, and they are separate from one another. In case of an accident, the body-on-frame is easy to repair and modify. This type of chassis made vehicles difficult to steer and handle.
It is clear by its name that body and chassis are one piece, and both act as the base of a car. This type of chassis is used for lighter vehicles. Such chassis made car driving and handling easy. These frames are lighter than body-on-frame; that’s why they are economical at fuel consumption. The issue with Unibody chassis is that body and frame act as one piece, so it is hard and expensive to repair them. If the damage is extensive in case of an accident, it becomes impossible to repair such chassis.
Maintaining Your Car Chassis
Car chassis need to be maintained. So, your car chassis must be inspected and lubricated after six months. You can perform this action by yourself, or take your vehicle to a nearby dealer or mechanic shop for maintenance. When suspension starts to creak, it is an indication that lubrication isn’t enough, and it should be immediately addressed.
Since chassis is the underside of your vehicle, so it needs to be frequently cleaned because it becomes caked with mud and dirt? Keeping the chassis clean can improve the driving performance and lifespan of a vehicle. You can easily perform cleaning at home with water, sponges, and oil if required. Moreover, to prevent them from rusting, paint the selected areas.
Chassis design should be durable, reliable, and sturdy. Engineers who design and manufacture chassis must be equipped with skills to optimize the size and weight of the chassis. For the prototype, it is better to use SolidWorks software to produce simulation. Chassis frame must be tested after designing, so check the rigidity and stability.
Creating a strong chassis involves careful design considerations and the use of suitable materials and manufacturing techniques. Here are the key steps to make a strong chassis:
Define Requirements: Clearly define the requirements of the chassis based on the intended use of the vehicle. Consider factors such as weight, load-carrying capacity, performance, and safety standards.
Material Selection: Choose high-strength materials that are appropriate for the vehicle's purpose while balancing cost. Common materials used in chassis construction include high-strength steel, aluminum, and advanced composites. Modern vehicles also contain alloys of steel and copper. Carbon steel is used for the manufacturing of chassis, and aluminum alloys are also being used due to their lightweight characteristic.
Chassis contains several I, C, and U steel sections. Different operations like folding, rolling, and pressing are performed to incorporate various chassis members. Bending and press blanking are also crucial stages in chassis production.
Structural Design: Utilize computer-aided design (CAD) software to create a detailed and optimized design for the chassis. The design should take into account stress points, load distribution, and overall structural integrity. FEA (finite element analysis) simulations can be performed to validate the design and identify areas that need reinforcement.
Frame Construction: Determine the appropriate frame construction method. Monocoque (unibody) construction, where the body and chassis are integrated into one structure, is common in modern passenger cars. Body-on-frame construction, where the body is mounted on a separate ladder-like frame, is often used in trucks and SUVs, providing excellent strength and load-carrying capacity.
Strength Reinforcement: Identify critical areas that may require additional reinforcement to handle high-stress situations, such as collision impacts or heavy loads. This can involve adding extra braces, gussets, or thicker sections in strategic locations.
Welding and Joining Techniques: Ensure high-quality welding and joining techniques during the manufacturing process. Proper welding practices are essential to maintaining the structural integrity of the chassis.
Testing and Validation: Create physical prototypes of the chassis and subject them to various tests, such as static and dynamic load tests, stress tests, and crash tests. Testing helps identify potential weaknesses and allows for iterative improvements to enhance the chassis' strength and safety.
Manufacturing Processes: Choose appropriate manufacturing processes for the selected materials. Techniques like hydroforming, roll forming, and hot stamping can be employed to shape and strengthen components effectively.
Integrated Safety Features: Consider integrating safety features like crumple zones, side-impact protection, and reinforced pillars to enhance occupant safety in the event of a collision.
Continuous Improvement: Continually evaluate and refine the chassis design based on real-world performance data, customer feedback, and advancements in materials and manufacturing technologies.
Essential Things to Know about Vehicle Design
The first and important stage of vehicle production is the design. While designing, all the elements should be taken into accounts, such as safety, aesthetic, comfort, cost, and manufacture. Designing a vehicle is a multi-stage process, so it should be flexible so that modifications can be made when a problem arises. It is important to properly identify the engine, suspension, transmission system, steering, and safety, along with the fundamental tasks.
Noise vibrations and harshness are also important for customers. So, while designing a vehicle, along with comfort, the passengers' safety must also be taken into account. The requirements of the frame are based on loads and stability. The selection of materials is also crucial in the design of a vehicle. Nowadays, the materials used are lightweight and economical. Design engineers must take expansions and forces into account while selecting materials.
I hope this article will be helpful for people who don’t know much about chassis design and structure. From material selection to production process and maintenance of chassis, everything is discussed in detail. For maintaining chassis in good shape, lubricate the frame frequently. Take them to the maintenance shop every six months. Proper maintenance can enhance the lifespan of a vehicle, and also it improves the driving.