Component Fabrication: Aluminium Chassis Brace for LiPo Batteries

Posted: April 24, 2015 in Component Fabrication
Tags: , ,

This custom made Aluminium chassis brace for LiPo batteries is designed for the Team Associated RC18T and is designed to fit on a stock plastic chassis with some modification. This components function is to allow the use of wider LiPo batteries whilst adding strength to the left chassis edge. The process of construction can be applied to other projects requiring a similar component.

Traditionally the most commonly used battery for the RC18T was a 6 cell 7.2V NiMh. There was always sufficient room in the RC18T battery tray for this. As LiPos became more popular with RC18T owners running brushless systems, the problem of finding a suitably sized LiPo battery to fit the limited space on an RC18T became an issue. In my experience I was able to find a LiPo battery to fit, but either the voltage or mAh rating was not suitable. Or when the voltage and mAh was correct the battery was just slightly too big. This problem was exacerbated when trying to find a LiPo battery with the correct C rating to match the ESC and brushless motor as well as the correct size.

After much searching I was able to locate the most suitable LiPo for this build with the most mAh I could find, correct C rating, and at a very good price. The only problem was that it was 1-2mm too wide for the RC18T stock chassis battery tray. The trade-off for the 1-2mm discrepancy was that the LiPo ticked all the boxes with everything else.

To fit the required LiPo, the lip on the left side of the plastic chassis needed to be removed so that the battery sits flat and secure. The problem with removing this lip is that you then reduce the strength of the chassis on that side and also make the chassis too flexible. This custom made Aluminium chassis brace for LiPo batteries functions on two levels. The brace increases the available width to hold the required LiPo whilst increasing chassis strength and rigidity as a structural support. Structural strength in the brace is achieved through its channel form.

PART 1: MODIFICATION OF STOCK PLASTIC CHASSIS

Part 1 of this fabrication involves carefully removing a section of the chassis lip on the left side.

Parts & Materials Used:

x1 Team Asscociated 18T Chassis – #ASC21001
Dremel 1.0mm thick cutting wheel
Silicone Carbide abrasive paper (various grit)
Painters masking tape

PART 2: CHASSIS BRACE FOR LIPO BATTERIES

Part 2 of this fabrication involves templating and making the brace.

Parts & Materials Used:

0.032″ thick 6061 aluminium sheet
1.0mm posterboard
Painters masking tape
x2 3Racing titanium countersunk hex screws (M2 x 6mm)
x2 Annsmann anodised aluminium nylock nuts (M2)
Silicone Carbide abrasive paper (various grit)
Polishing compounds

Thank you for checking out this article. I hope it helps readers with some ideas on their next build. If you have questions or need some advice on a particular stage feel free to write a comment below and I will answer them.

Cheers. RC-Christo

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Comments
  1. swayautotech says:

    Where can I get the metal sheeting thats already polished?

    Like

    • RC-Christo says:

      The aluminium sheet that is used for this component and others was sourced from an industrial aluminium manufacturer here in Melbourne. Alternatively aluminium sheet in varying thicknesses is usually readily available from a good local hobby store. In other components I have made in the past, I use a high quality brand called ‘K&S’ which manufactures other materials and forms for the hobby industry.

      Typically the aluminium sheet does not come with a smooth high polish. After fabricating the component the surface needs to be finish sanded with varying grits, (600-800-1200) and then polished, usually with a dremel, polishing wheel and polishing compound.

      Hope this helps 🙂

      Like

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