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Lightweight Design and Welding Manufacturing of a Hydrogen Fuel Cell Powered Car’s Chassis

School of Mechanical Engineering, National Technical University of Athens, GR15780 Athens, Greece
Department of Mechanical Engineering, Coventry University, Priory Street, Coventry CV1 5FB, UK
School of Production Engineering and Management, Technical University of Crete, GR73100 Chania, Greece
Department of Environmental and Natural Resources Management, University of Patras, GR30100 Agrinio, Greece
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Challenges 2018, 9(1), 25;
Received: 13 April 2018 / Revised: 23 May 2018 / Accepted: 24 May 2018 / Published: 27 May 2018
PDF [3938 KB, uploaded 30 May 2018]


The development of the chassis for the hydrogen fuel cell powered car has been involved in the designing and manufacturing aspects, while taking into consideration the mass, strength, stiffness, centre of gravity (COG), and manufacturing cost requirements. Towards this direction, a chassis design is proposed employing a space frame structure and constructed by an aluminium alloy with great strength. The structural design has been derived through the lightweight engineering approaches in conjunction with the part consolidation, Design for Assembly (DFA) and Design for Manufacture methods. Moreover, it has been performed in compliance with the safety regulations of the Shell Eco Marathon racing competition. The material’s principal characteristics are the great strength, the low mass, as well as the great workability, machinability, and weldability. Following the national and global environmental issues, the recyclable characteristics of the aluminium alloy are an extra asset. Furthermore, the existence of aluminium alloy manufacturers around the fabricating area provides low cost supply and fast delivery benefits. The integration of the fuel cell powered vehicle is obtained through the designing and the manufacturing processes of the chassis and the parts fitted on the chassis. The manufacturing procedures are described thoroughly; mainly consisting of the cutting and welding processes and the assembling of the parts that are fitted on the chassis. Additionally, the proper welding parameters for the custom chassis design are investigated and are selected after deductive reasoning. The quality control of the weld joints is conducted by non-destructive methods (NDT) ensuring the required structural properties of the welds. A combination of the selected material, the specific type of the chassis, and the manufacturing processes lead to construction simplicity in a low manufacturing cost by using the existing laboratory equipment. Furthermore, the designing and manufacturing parameters lead to a stiff with a low centre of gravity, and the most lightweight chassis of the urban concept category at the Shell Eco Marathon race. View Full-Text
Keywords: chassis; lightweight; welding; cutting; part consolidation; DFMA; DFA; manufacturing; CAD; electric car chassis; lightweight; welding; cutting; part consolidation; DFMA; DFA; manufacturing; CAD; electric car

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Tsirogiannis, E.C.; Siasos, G.I.; Stavroulakis, G.E.; Makridis, S.S. Lightweight Design and Welding Manufacturing of a Hydrogen Fuel Cell Powered Car’s Chassis. Challenges 2018, 9, 25.

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