The Ferrari 612 Scaglietti - Chassis | Part Four

Moving a step forward from Ferrari’s experience with the 360 Modena, aluminium is used both in the chassis and the body of the 612 Scaglietti. The sophisticated technologies used in the manufacture and assembly of the various structural components were developed in collaboration with American company Alcoa. They significantly cut the car’s weight and improved its torsional stiffness, both of which were essential to achieving the kind of breathtaking performance that Ferrari was determined to deliver in its new model.

The 612 Scaglietti has a SPACE FRAME CHASSIS. In fact, its structure is made up of straight aluminium extrusions (38%) connected by casts (34%) which act as joints. The sheet aluminium (28%) reinforces the structure.

The chassis architecture also includes four large castings on which all the suspension and steering mounting points are CNC machined. This guarantees the correct dimensioning of the structure in the area of greatest stress which in turn improves the car’s performance. Another two robust castings for the A-posts interface perfectly with the doors.

The aluminium alloys used to build the 612 Scaglietti are extremely ductile during the pressing and extrusion phases and then become incredibly resistant and tough once they have been subjected to special heat treatment.

In addition to this, each casting has different mechanical characteristics in its different areas as a result of differentiated heat treatment. This means they are highly resistant at the entry points of the forces and highly ductile in the areas subject to deformation in the event of a collision.

Body

The body too is made entirely from aluminium: both the skin and the frame are pressed sheet aluminium and are strengthened by casts and extrusions at the critical points of the door and roof. The components are assembled using different processes depending on their different functions: MIG (Metal Inert Gas) welds, spot welds, self-perforating rivets.

The result is that the 612 Scaglietti is 40% lighter than other vehicles of similar dimensions. Its structural performance is also excellent, with the complete body around 60% more efficient in terms of weight-rigidity ratio than the 456.

High static and dynamic rigidity (stiffness) combined with an initial torsional frequency mode of 47 Hz also mean a significant improvement in the car’s vibration and acoustic values, which in turn enhance occupant comfort and handling.

Safety

Naturally enough, safety is an integral part of the design. In fact, our priority with the structural capacity of the 612 Scaglietti has always been occupant protection in the case of a collision.

Unprecedented levels of robustness have been achieved with the new Ferrari’s chassis and bodywork which actually significantly exceed current international standards and cover many collision configurations which have yet to be applied

continues... | Part Five
Published 19 February 2004 Melanie Carter

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