Roll Cage question .......

Another approach I've been wondering about is a spyder section made from carbon fiber with carbon fiber matrix/foam core. The relative strength compared to other materials including chrome moly steel is shown in the link below.
This approach could potentially provide significant upgrade to the overall strength of the driver/passenger area without the intrusion of an internal cage with its inherent safety risks. As mentioned before the potential improvements to overall chassis stiffness could also be significant.
Apart from the difficulties of manufacturing such a component in carbon/carbon, the other issue would be to find a way to provide a mechanically strong interface between the spyder and the base of the front pillars and to the rear bulkhead.
Before I get shouted at by everyone on here, I realize the demo in the link is not very meaningful as there is a lot of info missing and what is being measured doesn't really address the suitability due to impact. A deeper discussion/analysis is required. However considering some of the impacts sustained by the tubs of the cars involved in the crashes at the start of the Mugello GP, Indy car etc, a carbon fiber approach has merit.

Randy V

Staff member
Lifetime Supporter
Carbon Fiber by itself is very lightweight and very strong, but it has very poor impact resistance. Reinforced with Kevlar and/or fiberglass (depending on structure being made) - much better..

Howard Jones

When considering a Carbon tub such as an IndyCar or WEC prototype tub, the first question that comes to my mind is this.

Given the nature of a carbon-formed structure being inherently less resistive to second-order impact and loss of structural rigidity when damaged, it seems to me that once damaged in a shunt in many cases the entire tub is rendered unusable. More importantly, it could lose a large portion of its strength after the first impact in an ongoing shunt.

I am thinking that in many ways a carbon tub is often a nonrepairable component. Do you really intend to throw it away once it is significantly damaged, unlike a space frame chassis that can in most cases be simply repaired by cutting off the bent stuff and welding back on nice new tubing?

When considering the second-order impact question I believe there is a better chance that a bent up space frame chassis will retain at least a good portion of its strength, even if bent up. My mind goes to a badly cracked up carbon chassis being greatly compromised and not holding up to a second hard impact.