Design of Chassis, Impact Attenuator, Suspension and Aerodynamic Systems of a Formula SAE Car



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Designing the first car for a Formula SAE team can be very challenging and confusing due to close interconnection between the design process of different subsystems. Once the working car is built, it is comparatively easy for the teams to build next year cars by testing and improving the already existing model. This thesis documents an attempt made to design the chassis, impact attenuator, aerodynamics and suspension systems of the first UH College of Technology Formula SAE car. A systematic design methodology was adopted to tackle the challenge of having many unavailable inputs while designing each subsystem. The effectiveness of various parameters selected during designing each subsystem where validated through testing. Chassis was designed according to the FSAE competition rules with the aim of achieving a specific target torsional stiffness. A standard impact attenuator was analyzed using SOLIDWORKS drop test simulation with different impact absorbing materials for its crashworthiness. An optimized double wishbone suspension was designed at front and rear which was found to be the best option available for Formula SAE cars. For the aerodynamic system, optimized multi element wings were designed as front, rear and side devices using ANSYS FLUENT. An undertray diffuser design was compared to the downforce generation capabilities of a side wing, both within the available space limits, and the side wing was found to be generating more downforce. Loads acting on suspension links were found out by calculating the load transfer expected to happen while cornering, braking and accelerating. Finally, FEA was conducted on the suspension links to determine the minimum tube size requirements for the components.



Formula SAE, Chassis, Impact attenuator, Aerodynamics, Suspension systems, Torsional stiffness, Crashworthiness, Downforce, Load transfer, Finite element analysis, Computational fluid dynamics