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A chassis (// or //; plural: "chassis" // or //) consists of an internal framework that supports a man-made object in its construction and use. It is analogous to an animal's skeleton. An example of a chassis is the underpart of a motor vehicle, consisting of the frame (on which the body is mounted). If the running gear such as wheels and transmission, and sometimes even the driver's seat, are included then the assembly is described as a rolling chassis.
A body (sometimes referred to as "coachwork"), which is usually not necessary for integrity of the structure, is built on the chassis to complete the vehicle.
For commercial vehicles a rolling chassis consists of an assembly of all the essential parts of a truck (without the body) to be ready for operation on the road. The design of a pleasure car chassis will be different than one for commercial vehicles because of the heavier loads and constant work use. Commercial vehicle manufacturers sell “chassis only”, “cowl and chassis”, as well as "chassis cab" versions that can be outfitted with specialized bodies. These include motor homes, fire engines, ambulances, box trucks, etc.
In particular applications, such as school buses, a government agency like National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) in the U.S. defines the design standards of chassis and body conversions.
An armoured fighting vehicle's hull serves as the chassis and comprises the bottom part of the AFV that includes the tracks, engine, driver's seat, and crew compartment. This describes the lower hull, although common usage might include the upper hull to mean the AFV without the turret. The hull serves as a basis for platforms on tanks, armoured personnel carriers, combat engineering vehicles, etc.
In the absence of a metal frame the chassis refers to the circuit boards and components themselves, not the physical structure.
In some designs, such as older television and radio sets, the chassis is mounted inside a heavy, rigid cabinet, while in other designs such as modern computer cases, lightweight covers or panels are attached to the chassis.
The combination of chassis and outer covering is sometimes called an enclosure.
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