Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
Students in a vehicle design course, Vehicle Design I, are studying space frame chassis design with an interest in the Society of Automotive Engineers Formula SAE collegiate design competition. In parallel, students on the Formula SAE team are studying finite element analysis using ANSYS Mechanical APDL in a course titled Introduction to Finite Element Analysis (FEA). Students in Vehicle Design I are primarily junior level students while students in FEA course are primarily senior level students. Students in the vehicle design course use CATIA FEA to perform wireframe based FEA analysis on simple structures first before analyzing a full chassis frame. Students in FEA course compare the results from CATIA with results from ANSYS Mechanical APDL which enables students on the Formula SAE team to evaluate their chassis designs. The objective is to demonstrate how different configurations of truss designs can be used to optimize the chassis design. Students in the vehicle course start by analyzing simple truss structures using the CATIA Generative Structural Analysis workbench whereas students in the ANSYS FEA focused-course perform hand calculations on the simple truss structures to validate their FEA analysis. Both groups of students create models of the spaceframe chassis using beam elements. As students modify their designs, they determine the stiffness per weight of the proposed chassis. The project strives not only to improve students’ understanding of mechanics and finite element analysis tools but also to improve the process that students use to design the Formula SAE vehicle. Students also learn how to analyze a chassis using a wireframe model.
This paper outlines a process to optimize the design of a space frame, tubular chassis using both a finite element process for designers in vehicle course and an approach for structural analysts in FEA course. Students in the vehicle course produce a CAD model of their designs, complete with suspension, driver and powertrain packaging. In addition, they build a physical three-dimensional, one tenth-scale model of their chassis design. The final project in the Introduction to Finite Element Analysis course is used to assess the efficacy of the design process and this pedagogical approach to design. All designs are evaluated based on stiffness per weight in addition to other considerations such as project cost, manufacturability and FSAE rules compliance. This paper contains the example simple truss designs used in the class, the results from the FEA analysis, a sample chassis model, and the assessment of the sample chassis model. Assessment entails a comparison of the calculated values of stiffness to existing, physical FSAE vehicles.
Chawla, T. S., & Leonhardt, E. (2018, June), Two Approaches to Optimize Formula SAE Chassis Design Using Finite Element Analysis Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--31162
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