Application of FEA Techniques to a Hybrid Racing Car Chassis Design 2000-01-3538
The Formula SAE and Formula Student competitions, held every year in the USA and UK, challenge teams of engineering students to design and build a small single-seater racing car. The University of Leeds has entered teams into these competitions for the past four years and has developed an award winning hybrid monocoque chassis design. The design enables a light, stiff and extremely safe chassis to be produced at a reasonable manufacturing cost.
A chassis which is torsionally stiff enables a desirable roll moment distribution to be achieved for good handling balance. A chassis which can absorb high energy impacts whilst controlling the rate of deceleration will increase the likelihood of drivers surviving a crash without injury.
This paper describes how Finite Element Analysis (FEA) techniques have been used to investigate both the torsional stiffness and crashworthiness of the chassis and how physical materials testing has been used to ensure the results are accurate.