Presentation Title

Chassis Lightweighting for Off-Road Racing Application

Start Date

November 2016

End Date

November 2016

Location

HUB 302-22

Type of Presentation

Poster

Abstract

The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Baja competition tasks teams annually to design, build, and race a single passenger, off-road vehicle. To be competitive, teams place emphasis on lightweighting their designs in order to improve handling and reduce engine load, while maintaining structural integrity. Strength is paramount in chassis design as it serves as the foundation of the vehicle. It must provide mounting for sub-systems, form a safe roll cage around the driver, adhere to the race requirement set forth by Baja SAE, and be constructed in a manner that is precise and minimizes chance of manufacturing defects. Our approach to chassis lightweighting involves iterative design coupled with finite element analysis (FEA), jig aided construction, and testing to verify FEA load cases. Solidworks is employed to create chassis geometry, considering critical suspension points, driver fitment, and SAE rules. The integrated Solidworks Simulation FEA is used to analyze the design’s performance under various loads, simulating frontal, side, rear, and rollover impacts. A factor of safety goal is selected, and iterative adjustments are made to geometry around high stress areas until all simulations return factor values equal or greater, at which point geometry is finalized. To ensure precise manufacturing, a jig is designed to locate members for welding. This helps guarantee sensitive geometry is met and sub-systems can be mounted as designed, expediting vehicle assembly. It also has the added benefit of minimizing joint gaps, a common error in spaceframe construction which introduces weld weakness. Upon vehicle completion, testing will be performed to verify the expected results and loading conditions found in simulation and the final strength of the frame. Based on chassis loading assumptions, computational analysis, and empirical testing, this approach aims to create a lightweight and robust design for the Baja SAE Collegiate Competition.

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Nov 12th, 1:00 PM Nov 12th, 2:00 PM

Chassis Lightweighting for Off-Road Racing Application

HUB 302-22

The Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Baja competition tasks teams annually to design, build, and race a single passenger, off-road vehicle. To be competitive, teams place emphasis on lightweighting their designs in order to improve handling and reduce engine load, while maintaining structural integrity. Strength is paramount in chassis design as it serves as the foundation of the vehicle. It must provide mounting for sub-systems, form a safe roll cage around the driver, adhere to the race requirement set forth by Baja SAE, and be constructed in a manner that is precise and minimizes chance of manufacturing defects. Our approach to chassis lightweighting involves iterative design coupled with finite element analysis (FEA), jig aided construction, and testing to verify FEA load cases. Solidworks is employed to create chassis geometry, considering critical suspension points, driver fitment, and SAE rules. The integrated Solidworks Simulation FEA is used to analyze the design’s performance under various loads, simulating frontal, side, rear, and rollover impacts. A factor of safety goal is selected, and iterative adjustments are made to geometry around high stress areas until all simulations return factor values equal or greater, at which point geometry is finalized. To ensure precise manufacturing, a jig is designed to locate members for welding. This helps guarantee sensitive geometry is met and sub-systems can be mounted as designed, expediting vehicle assembly. It also has the added benefit of minimizing joint gaps, a common error in spaceframe construction which introduces weld weakness. Upon vehicle completion, testing will be performed to verify the expected results and loading conditions found in simulation and the final strength of the frame. Based on chassis loading assumptions, computational analysis, and empirical testing, this approach aims to create a lightweight and robust design for the Baja SAE Collegiate Competition.