Which is Better metal or composite materials for the chassis

We’re a rookie team and we were finalizing the chassis design and were wondering what material is better for a chassis aluminum or composite materials. It looks like that in the past, alluminum has been the material of choice but we were wondering if anybody has tested composites and if they work better.
Thank you for any advice you might have on this subject.

I don’t think that there is a definite answer of “better”… everything has a tradeoff (weight, strength, price). In any case, teams have used materials other than aluminum before. See this thread:

I have also seen some very beautiful wood 'bots.
(Then again, I’ve also seen a few very sketchy wood 'bots.) In any case, the kitbot frame is spectacular, and if you find yourself limited in time, money, expertise, or equipment, it’s almost certainly your best choice. Doing a few welds to reinforce it are always a good idea.

I have never personaly used a composite material in any robot chassis but i do know that there are a handfull of teams who have been very sucessful using fiberglass frames. However, since you are a rookie team i suggest that you stick to the standard of aluminum, its light enough to not have to worry too much about the weight limit and due to its simplicity and versitility in fabrication using it will make your lives a whole lot easier than if you were working with another material.


We are in our third year…last year we built an all composite robot. My son, who is now a junior, says “everything held up but the chassis. It got bumped once without bumpers and collapsed because our core crunched.” He recommends the aluminum/any type of metal.