The body team has had its hands full this week. After gaining access to the Composite Vehicle Research Center at MSU, we have been working on the molds for the shell of the car, as well as constructing the kevlar battery boxes.
Several weeks ago, the body team constructed the molds for the fiberglass shell. Four molds were constructed: the top, the middle, the front, and the back. The molds were constructed out of Foamular Foam
, which was entirely donated by Owen’s Corning
Here is a quick explanation of the molds: Each of the four molds will be used as a layup surface for a portion of the shell.
-The top mold, which you can view in the photo above, will be used twice to produce two symmetrical top pieces. The top pieces will be joined together at the middle and the array will be mounted on those pieces. The top mold is used twice, instead of one enormous mold, to be more efficient with time and foam.
-The bottom mold, which you can also view in the photo above, will be used twice to produce two symmetrical bottom pieces. Those pieces will be joined together to envelope the bottom of the frame, like a clamshell.
-The front and back molds are behind the two visible molds in the photo above. They will used as a surface to produce one piece each.
Each of the pieces will be joined together by means of ribs and bolted connections, and they will be mounted to the frame by means of ribs and bolted connections as well.
Our goal this week
is to perform the two top mold layups and the two bottom mold layups. Completing the top shell will allow Steve Zajac
, the electrical ace on the array team, to wire the solar cells to the top of the car.
Here is the body team’s progress this week in photographic form:
Tuesday, May 22nd: The top mold needed a layer of plaster, the plastered bottom mold needed sanding, and two battery boxes needed to be fabricated.
Wednesday, May 24th: The top mold needed another coat of plaster, and the bottom mold needed more sanding, as well as more plaster to fill up holes in the plaster.
What’s Next? We will be plastering the top mold once or twice more, as well as sanding the molds to progressively finer grits. Hopefully by saturday we can prepare the top and bottom molds for the layups. Additionally, we need to layup another kevlar battery box, as well as layup the tops of the boxes.
Thanks for reading!
Project Manager, MSU Solar Car Racing Team