Event Title

An Efficient Aerodynamic System for Formula SAE Competition

Location

CSU Ballroom

Start Date

20-4-2015 10:00 AM

End Date

20-4-2015 11:30 AM

Student's Major

Automotive and Manufacturing Engineering Technology

Student's College

Science, Engineering and Technology

Mentor's Name

Gary Mead

Mentor's Email Address

gary.mead@mnsu.edu

Mentor's Department

Automotive and Manufacturing Engineering Technology

Mentor's College

Science, Engineering and Technology

Description

The Minnesota State University, Mankato Formula SAE team is trying to improve upon its performance in handling this year. Last year’s car was capable of generating .81g of lateral acceleration in competition, which was improved to .90g in lot testing after competition. This improvement was largely based on further improvements based purely on performance. To progress performance further, the 2015 car will implement an aerodynamics package. That package includes wings and an undertray. The wings generally create lots of downforce (157lbs at 50mph), but also lots of drag. The undertray typically creates less downforce with a slightly smaller drag penalty. By creating downforce, the wings and undertray will increase the vertical force on the tire, which will improve handling performance. This theory works well, but physically building the wings is difficult as well. The physical prototyping of the wings proved to be just as difficult as the design stage. The team created a CAD model of the car, flowed the model in CFD, and analyzed the results to approximate what gains were possible. To construct the wings, hours had to be dedicated to CNC machining, sanding and polishing molds. The molds themselves needed lots of prep work to perfect. The Formula SAE competition is a great way to evaluate engineering prowess and prove good design. Hopefully, our end result will portray the engineering that was put into the project.

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Apr 20th, 10:00 AM Apr 20th, 11:30 AM

An Efficient Aerodynamic System for Formula SAE Competition

CSU Ballroom

The Minnesota State University, Mankato Formula SAE team is trying to improve upon its performance in handling this year. Last year’s car was capable of generating .81g of lateral acceleration in competition, which was improved to .90g in lot testing after competition. This improvement was largely based on further improvements based purely on performance. To progress performance further, the 2015 car will implement an aerodynamics package. That package includes wings and an undertray. The wings generally create lots of downforce (157lbs at 50mph), but also lots of drag. The undertray typically creates less downforce with a slightly smaller drag penalty. By creating downforce, the wings and undertray will increase the vertical force on the tire, which will improve handling performance. This theory works well, but physically building the wings is difficult as well. The physical prototyping of the wings proved to be just as difficult as the design stage. The team created a CAD model of the car, flowed the model in CFD, and analyzed the results to approximate what gains were possible. To construct the wings, hours had to be dedicated to CNC machining, sanding and polishing molds. The molds themselves needed lots of prep work to perfect. The Formula SAE competition is a great way to evaluate engineering prowess and prove good design. Hopefully, our end result will portray the engineering that was put into the project.

Recommended Citation

Ryan, Philip. "An Efficient Aerodynamic System for Formula SAE Competition." Undergraduate Research Symposium, Mankato, MN, April 20, 2015.
http://cornerstone.lib.mnsu.edu/urs/2015/poster_session_A/3