Capstone Teams Contribute to Ohio State’s Success in EcoCAR

Senior year for an engineer at Ohio State University can only mean one thing: capstone project! Capstone projects allow graduating seniors to get hands-on experience applying their undergraduate knowledge to an actual project for a client. And who better to act as a client than the Ohio State University team!

The hood of Ohio State’s vehicle is being redesigned with carbon fiber material

This year, the Ohio State University EcoCAR 2 team is hosting multiple senior capstone projects, three of which are focused on light-weighting different areas of the vehicle: the hood, the trunk, and the exhaust system.

Currently, two of the capstone teams are working hard to use carbon fiber materials in order to redesign and rebuild the Chevrolet Malibu’s hood and trunk. The newly designed hood and trunk will have the same structural properties and safety level, but will only weigh a fraction of the current weight. But coming to this conclusion to use carbon fiber was not an easy task. For the past few months, the teams have extensively researched other materials, comparing the pros and cons of each to determine the best material for the project.

The third light-weighting project is focused on the exhaust system. The current proposed design is to reduce the diameter of the piping, reduce the gauge of the pipe, and design a custom muffler. With this proposed design, it will help to reduce the overall vehicle weight and the noise produced by the engine’s exhaust.

While these three projects only represent a few of the tasks going on during Year Three, they are very significant to the overall finished vehicle that will be competing in just a few weeks at final competition.