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Auto/Motor Feasibility of a carbon fiber chassis (DIY car design)

  1. Oct 22, 2012 #1
    Hey everybody,

    a couple years ago, I came across the top gear video for the Arial atom: a ~1000 lbs road legal 'go-cart' with a supercharged I-4 engine with a power to weight ratio of 600HP/Ton. Even though the body is already light, I would love too (once I get the time and resources) build a replica using a carbon fiber chassis with an I-4 diesel engine.

    Since I'm pursing electrical engineering and not mechanical, I don't have any practical knowledge about if carbon fiber can be a viable alternative for a chassis in a case like this

    The YouTube link:

    A blender rendering of the atom:

  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 26, 2012 #2
    There are already carbon fiber chassis cars - in Formula 1 for example.
    But it gets woven and baked in the correct shape directly, can not be molded or forged from mass-produced sheets or brackets.
    I think it is a safe bet to say it is impossibly expensive for a DIY car design, unless you happen to be Richard Branson, Elon Musk or Tony Stark.
    [edit: If you happen to fall into those guys' category financially, but lack their manufacturing facilities and know-how, http://www.atrgroup.it/ might be able to make the chassis for you. And even if you aren't in their category, could be funny to contact them for a quote anyway]
    [edit2: Actually, thinking about it, Branson probably does not have the facilities to make it himself too. For his Virgin Racing F1 cars he probably just paid ATR group as well. So it is a DIY option only for the other two guys]
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2012
  4. Sep 1, 2013 #3


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    Coming in a bit late, but I believe CF can be pressed and formed, if not molded, given some of the recent techniques invented by the likes of Fiberforge. Apparently there is some preparation involved whereby the precursor flat sheet is "tailored", i.e. the fibers aligned in a manner conducive to the press.
  5. Sep 21, 2016 #4
    these tubes could be connected and they are inexpensive for the most part, After a few samples and some testing I believe these these tubes might work. There are square ones, round ones and octagonal ones. They can be drilled and connected. To be sure some are not strong enough but most of these vendors will send you samples so after a few tries I think some quality tubes at a reasonable price could be found. Some are fiberglass reinforced with carbon fiber, some are just carbon fiber with resin, some with poly or plastic.

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