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Steve's Velomobile Project
October 1, Update
A few more pictures showing some progress
Suspension components, basalt spring, graphite clamp and spacerblocks with plasitc sliders attached. The suspension worked poorly without the low friction plactic sliders as the spring would slide and then stick occassionally. The plastic blocks reduced the friction and allow about 1" of suspenion travel. The whole system weighs about 1.5 pounds. The next picture shows them installed on the beam with the spacer blocks clamped to the axles housings on the outboard ends. The rear axles can pivot from the bottom edge of the beam where some layers of graphite act as a hinge. There is a slit in the bottom shell just inside the wheel well about 10" long and another slit just a bit behind the axle from the edge of the beam to the other slit. These allow this portion of the bottom to flex up and down but not twist keeping the axles in alignment.
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A picture of the plug for the door mould. It just needs to be laminated, then popped off ,sanded, polished and waxed before we are ready to make the door.
The bottom half of the velomobile shell with the beam bonded in place and the front and back bulkheads installed. The top of the back bulkhead supports the back of the seat. The beam is made of graphite/carbon fiber and some core material in selected spots. The shell inself is graphite/vectran, spheretex core, and another layer of grahite/vectran. The shell is much stiffer than the previous glass one and just a bit lighter. It also seems to absorb vibrations better and should be quieter than the previous velomobile. From comparing cuts outs of this laminate to the glass we should have a structure that is much more damage tolerant. It might be a bit harder to repair but it is much harder to break in the event of a collision. The vectran seems to absorb a lot of energy and helps to hold the graphite in place. Vectrans's claim to fame is that it was used in the ballons that landed the rovers on Mars.