Scope of Carbon Fibre-Reinforced Polymer Wheel Rims for Formula Student Racecars: A Finite Element Analytical approach

Sai Yashwanth Kandukuri, Anand Pai, M. Manikandan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Citations (Scopus)


Wheel rims are vital components critical to the safety of an automobile. Conventional wheel rims have utilized monolithic materials like aluminium and magnesium alloys in replacement to heavier steel rims. To reduce the weight of the formula car, lightweight composite wheel rims with higher stiffness are explored in the current work. Composite wheel rims are still in their nascent stage for commercial automotive applications, although they are commonly seen more in motorsports. The factors like complex design, high cost, and difficulty in fabrication are some of the demerits of composite wheel rims. Formula Manipal racing has been building race cars for Formula India events for over 13 years, on which aluminium wheel rims were standardly fitted. In the current work, the design and finite element analysis of carbon fibre wheels rims were undertaken to replace the aluminium wheel rims after a thorough consideration of other potential materials also. The modelling was carried out on CATIA3DX®, and finite element analysis was carried out using the ANSYS COMPOSITE PREP/POST (ACP)® module for laminate stackup and structural analysis tools for mechanical response. From the studies, the carbon fibre rims reduced the weight significantly by 42% while improving the factor of safety by 41% as compared to the current aluminium wheel rims while thermally outperforming magnesium and titanium alloys.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)939-948
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of The Institution of Engineers (India): Series C
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 08-2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Ocean Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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