This week has seen SHU Racing reach some huge milestones in terms of manufacturing and testing. All the progress being made has moved the team a month ahead of manufacturing progress, compared to the 2018 season. As we move ever closer to Silverstone, the race is on to assemble a rolling chassis and get the SHU Racing 2019 car out on track! Read on to find out our major developments this week.
MAKING AN IMPACT WITH CIC
Following a second visit to Cranfield Impact Centre (CIC), our Chassis and Impact Attenuator (IA) manager, Martin Heathcote, has returned with great news having tested his 2nditeration of IA design.
The IMechE rules dictate a particular set of energy absorption, peak and average force requirements that the IA must attenuate. The role of the IA is to absorb frontal impacts in the event of a crash, taking the brunt of the energy and force away from the driver. Constructed of a Honeycomb Aluminium matrix, the IA is designed into a layered pyramid to best distribute the load to the adjacent chassis structure.
The IA was able to absorb over the 7330 Joule of energy required, as well as stay within the peak and average deceleration of 40g and 20g respectively.
With the test results obtained our Aerodynamics manager, Adam, can finalise his fastener specification for the attachment of the upcoming front diffuser.
We’d like to thank Cranfield Impact Centre and the team for accommodating Martin, and providing SHU Racing with a facility in which to test our designs.
CRADLING THE ENGINE
With the chassis fully manufactured, it was the turn of our Drivetrain manager, David Gray, to locate the engine within the frame and line it up with his newly CNC’d differential assembly. With the differential mounts and sprocket carrier machined in house, the manufacturing team could accurately line up the driving chain to ensure accurate and sustainable running.
The new engine cradling system proved an interesting challenge when lowering the KTM 500 engine into the car. The new system results in a ‘floating’ design, adding lateral stiffness under engine load. A lower placement in the chassis lowers the car’s centre of gravity, as well as allows more favourable locating of components around the engine itself.
The drivetrain assembly, primarily made from 7000 series aluminium, features new lightweight structures that are not only more rigid, but decrease the rotational inertia of the system. The design allows for alignment freedom when matching the two drive sprockets as the engineers play the game of ‘chase the tolerance’ from the interconnecting systems.
Now fully seemed, the engine has been checked for alignment multiple times and we're happy to say everything running inline and to design.
Our custom engine bolts, courtesy of Hague Fasteners, will be paired with Fibet bushings to isolate the engine's vibrations from the rest of the car. Not only with this help with driver comfort and component fatigue, it will also improve the reliability of the sensitive electronics located near to the engine.
The next steps are to align the remaining drivetrain components, including driveshafts, exhaust and the all-important plenum intake. Watch this space for rapid developments over the coming weeks!
SHU RACING GETS UP TO SPEED
On Wednesday this week, SHU Racing had the chance to showcase their 2018 car at the Sheffield region Get Up to Speed (GUTS) event. The day included talks from engineers in the region, as well as a presentation from the 2018 Channel 4 Bake-Off, Rahul! It was a great opportunity to show the Baking superstar around the car and get him up to speed with the world of Formula Student.
Also on show were many of the brilliant engineering organisations from around the county, including our sponsor, BG Engineering from the Marie Cooper Enterprise Group.
GUTS is organised in order to gain interest from young students into the world of STEM subjects, as they grow through their studies. On show were McLaren's, Teslas and even a 1920s cruiser! Participants could also drive a Formula 1 simulator, change a race car wheel and scale an Army rock wall.
SHU Racing were on display next to Sheffield Formula Racing (University of Sheffield) during the day, and each had a unique chance to pick the engineers minds for this season’s developments.