Racing Philippines: Steel Tube Chassis versus Monocoque Chassis
Written By: ayam
May 7, 2019
What kind of chassis are used in race cars?
- Steel tube chassis
- Monocoque chassis
When you think of race cars—you think of two very important goals that should be part of their design: rigidity and lightness. The chassis, in particular, should embody these two in order to make the car as efficient and as fast as possible.
The chassis needs to be lightweight for the race car to achieve the greatest possible acceleration based on the power of the engine. And of course, it should also be rigid enough for the driver to maintain accurate control over their car.
In the Philippines, steel tube chassis and monocoque chassis are the most notable ones used in race cars. In fact, different car manufacturers in the Philippines have their own take on the design of race car chassis. These two, in particular, are specialized for race cars. That being said, there are different advantages to using these chassis.
Read more below for a short comparison and contrast of these two chassis.
Steel Tube Chassis
This kind of chassis can be described as a more reinforced version of the typical commercial-grade chassis. As its name suggests, the chassis itself is made purely of steel tubes. Bear in mind that when compared to normal vehicle chassis, these are more interconnected with stronger support in mind.
Most race cars used in grassroots racing events have these kinds of chassis. More often than not, the vehicles used here are fairly similar to the ones you see on a daily basis in roads and highways—with the sole difference being their reinforced chassis.
As mentioned above, what makes a chassis shine is its weightlessness and its rigidity. With how customizable steel tube chassis is, primarily through the different materials used, it can blend the two evenly for a relatively inexpensive price.
There’s a reason F1 racing cars look a particular way. That’s mostly because the frame of the car and the chassis itself are integrated together. In essence, the monocoque chassis enables the creation of single framed cars which make them incredibly versatile.
Most monocoque chassis is made with very strong compounds—particularly carbon fiber. This makes the frame incredibly rigid. The fact that the chassis and the frame itself is basically molded together saves a lot of space and adds to its weightlessness as well.
Another important thing to note is that monocoque chassis do not have any joints nor bolts that are welded. The combination of the frame and the chassis creates a safer and more rigid structure.
The only downside to monocoque chassis is that they’re way more expensive than chassis made of steel tubes in the Philippines. However, considering its practicality and overall rigidity and weightlessness—monocoque chassis are usually better all around.
To achieve maximum acceleration and speed in racing events, your car needs to be as efficient as possible—both with its engine and its structural design. The chassis itself is one of the most important parts of the race car. In racing, even the smallest and most minute difference in efficiency and effectiveness can contribute to your win. That’s why you have to understand your car deeply—especially when it comes to what chassis you will use.