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Looking to the future

This week’s newsletter is a change from our normal team and sponsorship updates. We are instead looking towards the future at some of the work being carried out by third year team members as part of their final year projects which will then be further developed and eventually implemented to future cars.


Suspension designed with manufacture at its core

Long serving team member, Jake Tasker, is currently completing his final year project on a suspension system that focuses not only on function, but also on its ease of manufacture and assembly. By simplifying the design, the production time can be significantly reduced, allowing the team to focus on other areas of the car. This is what Jake had to say about his project:

My final year project is on the development of an easier to assemble and manufacture suspension assembly. Through this, I aim to reduce the number of parts within the suspension assembly.

In the future this will help to reduce the weight of the car and its complexity. With the setup I have developed in future years all that would need to be changed is the angle of the mounting points to suit changes in suspension geometry.

This system will also move the front-end suspension components inside the chassis, rather than having them mounted on the outside. This will make the car more aerodynamic. Having them all in one contained assembly will mean that there will be fewer mounting points needed on the chassis thus reducing the chassis complexity and its weight.

This suspension assembly, if implemented, would be a massive improvement on the current design as there would be significantly fewer parts. It would also be easier to assemble and have a positive impact on other sections of the car.”

The pictures below show a 3D printed model of Jake's concept and demonstrate how it can be implemented in to the 2019 chassis.


Chassis’ without the steel

Another of SHU Racing's long serving members, Jack Holmes’, is looking into the early stages of introducing a monocoque chassis to SHU Racing as part of his final year project. Below Jack explains the steps he has taken to test if the idea is viable for use by the team.

“In the formula student competition weight comes as a great penalty to performance, most teams use a regulation steel space frame as it is cheap and rigid. This project aims to develop a carbon fibre composite sandwich panel structure that is suitable for a formula student car chassis to achieve a more lightweight design. Through the use of finite element analysis software, Abaqus, composite tool multiple layups, thicknesses and materials have been tested and used identify an optimised panel design.

In an attempt to save cost these test panels have then been manufacture using a mould-less method, using a mould-less method in producing a full chassis would save a large majority of the cost. The test panels have then been tested using the formula student’s regulation equivalency test. This includes a 3-point bend test and a perimeter shear test measuring the loads and deflections of the test pieces. The results from the physical tests are compared to the results extracted from Abaqus to see if numerical methods are suitable for the design of a carbon fibre sandwich panels. Further to this, using the results of the physical tests and bending theory the bending modulus is evaluated and the 2nd moment of inertia calculated. By multiply the two together, referred to as flexural rigidity, the panel is be compared structural to the tubing used in a competition regulation steel space frame proving the panel structure is safe for use.”


Meet the Team

The meet the team portion of our newsletter is a chance for you to gain an insight into the team and its members. This week we welcome Brendan Bourne, a first year on the team who is a part of bodywork and aero department.

Name: Brendan Bourne

Age: 19

Course: Aerospace Engineering

Roles: Bodywork and Aero team member

Hobbies and Interests: Formula Student, Snowboarding, Camping, Reading engineering or financial books such as Elon Musk’s Biography or Rich Dad Poor Dad.

Favourite Artist: Afroman

Favourite Car: 2020 Ford Shelby Mustang

Favourite thing about Sheffield: There are lots of opportunities and the city is a good size with lots to do.

Reasons for Joining SHU Racing: Interested in finding solutions to problems, enjoy hands on work also it looked like it would be a challenge but also fun and I would learn lots to do with engineering that would not be taught in my course.

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