Its been another interesting week down in the lab as we start testing our final designs and the manufacture of our redesigned chassis commences using our new, quicker and much more accurate jigs! Read on to find out more.
The wind above my wings
In racing, an effective aerodynamics package is often a must-have to improve the cars performance. The generation of downforce provides significant traction gains without adding weight to the vehicle, thus improving vehicle traction and resulting in faster lap times.
The testing of this year’s aero package involves a combination of Computational Fluid Dynamics simulations to verify designs along with scaled wind tunnel tests to validate the results. Third year automotive engineer James Fawcett, as part of his final year project, is investigating the accuracy of the CFD simulations when compared with scaled wind tunnel test data. By using a scale model of the car without aerodynamic devices, James has been able replicate the flow conditions from his CFD simulations and develop a baseline figure for the lift and drag coefficients so that we are able to quantify how effective our new aero package is.
Whilst the testing did reveal some issues with methodology, we have been able to collect sufficient data to compare with our baseline simulation model, with a view to improving the physical testing procedure over the coming weeks.
Laying the foundations
This year the chassis team have taken a new approach to setting up the chassis for welding. In previous years the team have used simple uprights and clamps supplied with the welding table to ensure the chassis tubes remain fixed in place. This year to make welding the chassis a quicker job, whilst maintaining accuracy, second year mechanical engineer Matthew Thomas has designed laser cut plates strategically placed on our welding table to ensure a dimensionaly accurate chassis during manufacturing.
The new jigs will also ensure that critical components, namely suspension and engine mounts, are precisely aligned within the chassis allowing our welders to achieve a more accurate finish. Initially, the whole frame will be tacked before being finished with a seam weld.
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 Fin Ellershaw, a first year on the team who is a part of WHUBs department.
Name: Fin Ellershaw
Course: BEng Automotive Engineering
Team role: WHUBs and livery design
Hobbies and Interests: Formula 1, Rugby and Making stuff (3D Printing)
Favourite artist: Oasis or Arctic Monkeys
Favourite car: McLaren F1
Favourite thing about Sheffield: Theres so much stuff to do here, it’s a way more interesting place to live than anywhere I’ve lived before
Reasons for joining SHU racing: I’ve been interested in motorsport since I was about 6 and formula student was my first opportunity to be involved with it in any capacity, so I felt like I had to join. I was waiting to be a part of the team from the moment I applied for uni pretty much.