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Development of a Test Stand for Determining the Torsional Rigidity of a Formula SAE Space Frame

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Conference

2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016

ISBN

978-0-692-68565-5

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies: Aero and Mechanical Engineering

Tagged Division

Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

20

DOI

10.18260/p.26814

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/26814

Download Count

6550

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Paper Authors

biography

Amy Elizabeth Chambers The Cooper Union

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I am a current senior Mechanical Engineering student at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in the Albert Nerken School of Engineering. I have been involved in the Formula SAE program for over 3 years. I am now a co-captain of the 40 member team and responsible for all powertrain subsystems.

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biography

Sergio Anibal Rodriguez The Cooper Union

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I am a senior mechanical engineering student at The Cooper Union. I have been a part of the Formula SAE team for over 4 years now and I am the captain in charge of suspension systems.

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biography

Robert Michael Walsh The Cooper Union

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I am a current senior Mechanical Engineering student at The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art, Albert Nerken School of Engineering. For my four undergraduate years, I have been heavily involved in the Formula SAE team, working with various different subsystems on the car. For two years, I have been a co-captain of the team in charge of all the frame and body systems.

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biography

David Wootton Cooper Union

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Education
BS Mechanical Engineering Cornell University, 1987
MS Mechanical Engineering MIT, 1990
PhD Mechanical Engineering Georgia Tech, 1998
Postdoc Biomedical Engineering, Johns Hopkins, 1998-2000

Professional
Noise and Vibrations Consultant, Harris Miller Miller and Hanson, Lexington, MA, 1987-1990
Crashworthiness and Safety Engineer, General Motors Corporation, Warren, MI, 1990-1994
Assistant Professor, Mechanical Engineering, Drexel Univeristy, Philadelphia PA 2000-2006
Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering, Cooper Union, New York, NY, 2006-2014
Professor, Mechanical Engineering, Cooper Union, New York, NY, 2014-present
Director, Maurice Kanbar Center for Biomedical Engineering, Cooper Union, 2007-present

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Abstract

This paper outlines the development of an economical and high-accuracy test stand to determine the torsional rigidity of a Formula SAE space frame. Originating as a final project from the Engineering Experimentation course at [University Name], the student-designed torsional test-stand has become a permanent fixture in the Automotive Lab. The test stand consisted of a lever arm rigidly attached to the front axle, which constrained it from rotation about the axle, in order to apply a torque to simulate suspension loading. The rear axle was fixed in all three degrees of translational freedom and two degrees of rotational freedom. The instrumentation consisted of nine low cost laser pointers attached along the length of the frame at key locations that projected onto graph paper to magnify the small angular deflections. Using basic mechanics of materials, a model relating the angular deflection and the applied torque was used in order to determine the torsional rigidity of the frame. The results include the determination of the torsional rigidity along the frame, the calculated torsional rigidity at the point of interest (the front axle), and comparison to a finite-element model. The torsional stiffness at the front axle was calculated experimentally to be 1187 ft-lb/degree. The FEA model predicted a torsional stiffness of 1100 ft-lb/degree, which is within a 10% confidence interval of the experimentally determined value. The cost of the entire experimental setup was approximately $375, making it a low-cost solution to a typically expensive experiment. This experimental rig has become a research platform in [University Name]’s automotive lab with uses in various courses and high school level STEM outreach programs.

Chambers, A. E., & Rodriguez, S. A., & Walsh, R. M., & Wootton, D. (2016, June), Development of a Test Stand for Determining the Torsional Rigidity of a Formula SAE Space Frame Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26814

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