Non-Pneumatic Composite Moonbuggy Wheel

Roland, James
The National Aeronautic Space Administration (NASA) holds an annual student design competition in Huntsville, Alabama called the Great Moonbuggy Race. In the past, the University of Wyoming's moonbuggy has used bicycle wheels. However, this year, the University of Wyoming split the moonbuggy project into two separate teams. One team designed the moonbuggy, and the other team designed wheels for the moonbuggy. The wheel design was based on both mathematical modeling and SolidWorks® computer modeling. These wheels are expected to be an improvement over ordinary mountain bike wheels, as they are designed to withstand higher axial forces, have a lower rolling resistance, and provide improved suspension. The wheels are made almost exclusively out of composite material. Kevlar® was used in the design of the wheel spokes and the rim. A strip of rubber material was used for the tread, and the wheel hub is made of 6061-T6 Aluminum. The wheel has 18 spokes that are each 0.18 inches thick with a spoke angle of 80° and a 9.4 inch radius of curvature. The outer diameter of the rim is 25.5 inches.
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University of Wyoming Libraries