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Thread: Plywood frame

  1. #1
    Has anyone built a FSAE car with a chassis structure fabricated primarily from plywood?

    It seems that a fairly high stiffness-to-weight ratio could be achieved, with very few thin sections requiring precision cutting and assembly. Downsides appear to include needing additional structures to spread out point loads and the additional overall width of the car due to needing adequate EI in the side impact panels.
    Charles Kaneb
    Magna International
    FSAE Lincoln Design Judge - Frame/Body/Link judging area. Not a professional vehicle dynamicist.

  2. #2
    I don't know of any wooden FSAE cars, but in the late 1960s, the Costin Protos F2 car was pretty competitive with a laminated marine plywood chassis.

    Picture of the car in action http://www.ultimatecarpage.com...Protos-Cosworth.html

    Picture of the chassis whilst under restoration

    The trick is ... There is no trick!

  3. #3
    This happened to Pedro Rodriguez when he had a chassis failure in 1967.


    Maybe it was woodworm or dry rot?

    The trick is ... There is no trick!

  4. #4
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Your car would definitely be a legend in the FSAE community like the V8 from Washington

    You would have to invest some thoughts on how to properly attach the main hoop and bracings (which still have to be steel) to your plywood chassis and some other stuff concerning the SEF. But I guess this wouldn't be more complex than doing that stuff for a carbon chassis. Someone please do it and bring the car to Europe. I would love to see that!
    Rennteam Uni Stuttgart
    2008: Seat and Bodywork
    2009: Team captain

    GreenTeam Uni Stuttgart
    2010: Seat and Bodywork / Lamination whore

    Formula Student Austria
    2012: Operative Team

  5. #5
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Raleigh, NC
    From an earlier post:

    I’m not sure if you’re familiar with it but there was one car built at my uni call the “Splinter Car”.
    It used a wooden monocoque chassis by weaving thin strips of wood together to make a sheet and then epoxy just like carbon fiber.
    This is the build blog. June 2008 has most of the good stuff.
    Real interesting but I don’t think it ever ran.


  6. #6
    That Splinter is badass....

    Northwestern Formula Racing Alum
    Head Engineer, Frame/Suspension 2006-2009

    My '73 Saab 99 Road Race Build

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Kannapolis, NC
    I believe my boss (was involved in the 80s) told me that at one point back then someone had done a wooden car. In the early days of Formula it wouldn't have surprised me.
    Any views or opinions expressed by me may in no way reflect those of Stewart-Haas Racing, Kettering University, or their employees, students, administrators or sponsors.

  8. #8
    Plywood Chassis? DO IT!!! Oh I'd love seeing someone do that!
    Lutz Dobrowohl
    Raceyard Kiel

    Now: Scruitineer, Design Judge, application engineer @Altair engineering

    Whatever you do, do it hard!

  9. #9
    I've seen picture of a plywood/fiberglass chassis from ETS. I think it was the first FSAE from ETS, but I'm not sure if it competed.

    Maybe some of the new guys can post the picture, it must be somewhere in the office.
    Sebastien Hebert

    Vehicle dynamic 2007-2010
    Chassis 2008-2009

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Costa Mesa, CA
    Saw this today: http://orangecounty.craigslist.../rvs/3739068923.html

    Look fast, it won't last forever!

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