Date of Award


Degree Name

MS in Engineering


Mechanical Engineering


Thomas Mase


Finite element is used to predict the torsional stiffness and natural frequency response of a FSAE vehicle hybrid chassis, utilizing a carbon fiber reinforced polymer sandwich structure monocoque and a tubular steel spaceframe. To accurately model the stiffness response of the sandwich structure, a series of material tests for different fiber types has been performed and the material properties have been validated by modeling a simple three-point-bend test panel and comparing the results with a physical test. The torsional stiffness model of the chassis was validated with a physical test, too. The stiffness prediction matches the test results within 6%. The model was then used to model the natural frequency response by adding and adjusting the materials’ densities in order to match physical mass properties. A hypothesis is made to explain the failure of the engine mounts under the dynamic response of the frame.