In this week's update, we take you through the testing and manufacturing that has been going on within the team. From wind tunnel testing, to impact measurements, this week has it all. Testing is incredibly important for any engineering application, helping us to ensure that the product conforms to design specifications and if not, it helps our engineers further develop the models.
Sponsor Shout out!
Firstly a huge thanks to the Carbolite-Gero team for their continual support to the team. Carbolite-Gero has been helping our engineers design a simple yet practical fuel tank and have recently just raised the heat by pressing and folding the shell of our 2019 fuel tank.
Carbolite-Gero are a leading manufacturer of high temperature furnaces and ovens ranging from 30°C to 3000°C, with a focus on vacuum and special atmosphere technology. Their experience of over 80 years, specifically in the thermal engineering industry, has resulted in their products being used in research laboratories, pilot plants and manufacturing sites around the world!
Going with the flow
With the aim this year to incorporate both a front and rear wing our Aerodynamics and Bodywork manager, Adam Devonport, has been busy conducting practical wind tunnel testing to help validate his CFD models. The models seen on the are scaled down models of our current car which were used for the CFD! Connected to a load cell, the resultant forces are measured from the car (In our case coefficient of lift and drag) when under the influence of an inlet velocity, allowing us to understand how the car will perform at speed.
In order to keep the flow conditions the same (as if it was real sized) the wind speed needs to scaled inversely in proportion to the scaling of the model.
At Sheffield Hallam our new wind tunnel is still undergoing construction therefore Adam was limited by the wind speed and test section area of the existing wind tunnel, but none the less Adam has took the initiative to replicate the exact conditions of the practical experiment with the scaled down model into CFD to help validate the accuracy of his simulations. Great work Adam!
Pressing on with critical safety
Our Chassis manager, Martin Heathcote, has been conducting some crucial Impact Attenuator (IA) testing. The IA is essentially a crash cushion designed to absorb the kinetic energy from a colliding object. Martin has been designing the IA to conform to the design and performance specification made by the IMechE.
The results of the testing found that the IA withstood the maximum load of our load rig. A maximum load of 23 tonnes! Even though this is quite extraordinary, the IA is required to only absorb a specific amount of energy, much less than what was expected. Martin is now back to the drawing board and iterating his design to conform to IMechE rules.
Thanks to the help from Cranfield Impact Centre, Martin has set a date for the dynamic sled testing of the 2nd iteration design. We'll keep you updated over the next weeks for the results of the test!
Keeping a tab on suspension
Following on from last week, the majority of the wishbone tabs have now completed their final machining operations on the CNC milling machine. The completed steel tabs are now ready to be welded onto the chassis, which will form the foundations on which the suspension system is built.
From here, our inhouse CNC technicians will be working towards producing the suspension and steering components as we march on to a rolling chassis!
Meet the Team!
This week's team mate spotlight goes to Henry, our Society's Secretary and Steering & Suspension assistant.
Name: Henry Wheeler
Hometown: Malton, North Yorkshire
Course: 2nd Year Mechanical Engineering
Hobbies and Interest: Formula 1, WRC, Cricket and Darts
Reasons for getting in formula student: I’ve always loved working on cars and the thrill of Motorsport. When I came to university, I realised that I could learn so much from being part of the SHU Racing team. Working with the team has opened my eyes to the opportunity in the world for young engineers and it feels amazing watching the car on track at Silverstone.