Joshua Valdivia

Joshua Valdivia

Development of Carbon Fiber Reinforced Vehicle Structures


Joshua Valdivia, Sean Niemi


Sean Niemi


Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering


Composite laminate structures are becoming increasingly common in the automotive and aerospace structures.  This project modeled and tested composite panels that could be used for future construction of a Formula SAE vehicle. Using MATLAB, scripts were generated to estimate the minimum and maximum stiffnesses of the materials required. With chosen materials, a simulated model was developed, in FEMAP, that predicted the buckling modulus of the structure. Six physical tests were conducted to examine the elements to be used to ensure structural equivalency to a traditional steel spaceframe. Tensile coupon tests were conducted in accordance with ASTM D3039, and inter-laminar bond tests were conducted for suspension mounting. The additional four tests (bolt pull-out, three-point bend, lap joint, and perimeter shear) were conducted to determine the errors in manufacturing ability and compare laminate structures with simulations and manufacturer specifications. Elastic moduli and ultimate tensile strength of the laminates were determined to be within 5% and 10% of the simulated model, respectively.


Hover over the image below to zoom in or click to view full screen.

Research Pitch

View a 3-minute research pitch below.

To comment below, please sign in with Facebook or Google (using your ufl account) by clicking the little round icons to the right. If you decide, you can post as a guest by entering name and email below, but will lose some features. You can also subscribe to the student’s page to get email updates on new comments.

Leave a Reply