Vehicle Structures and Materials
This chapter commences with a review of chassis structures for the different classes of road vehicles including mass-produced passenger cars, high performance vehicles, small sports cars and commercial vehicles. It proceeds to consider the different materials used in vehicle structures with a focus on reducing vehicle weight and therefore emissions through the use of high strength steel, aluminium and composite materials. The following section outlines different methods of analysis of vehicle structures including both traditional theoretical methods and modern computational techniques. Crash safety of vehicles under impact loading is then considered and a particular case study of the crashworthiness of a small space frame sports car presented in detail. The final section of the chapter deals with the durability assessment of vehicle structures and again includes a detailed case study of the fatigue assessment and optimisation of a suspension component.