Automotive Chassis Design & NVH Performance
A chassis is the supporting frame of a car. It gives the car strength and rigidity, and helps increase the car's crash-resistance through energy absorption. If a car were a human body, the chassis would be the skeleton. During a fall, a person with strong bones is likely to be hurt less than someone with weak bones. The same goes for a car in an accident. The chassis helps keep a vehicle rigid. A strong chassis will keep the back end of a car from falling out of alignment with the front end, while remaining as stiff and unbending as possible.
The chassis is especially important in ensuring low levels of noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) throughout the vehicle. Not only does a reduction in NVH allow for a more pleasant driving experience, but by putting less stress on connecting components it can help increase the life span of these components. The key determinant permitting reduced levels of NVH is energy absorption. By having a high level of energy absorption, NVH levels are lowered, but more importantly, passenger protection can be enhanced in the event of a collision.
Plastic is making an inroad into the chassis market. Innovations in plastic technology have brought about the development of successful chassis applications that would not be possible using any other family of materials.