Browse Publications Technical Papers 2006-01-0807

Use of Computational Fluid Dynamics for the Design of Formula SAE Race Car Aerodynamics 2006-01-0807

For many racing teams the use of Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) as a design tool could mean a very expensive investment. CFD analysis of the complex separated flows associated with a race car would typically require extensive resources. Through the design of aerodynamics for a Formula SAE race car, this paper illustrates the use of less extensive CFD along with the wind tunnel as a tool that reduces design time. Various meshing techniques are analyzed that do not require extensive computational resources and are fairly simple to implement.
The results obtained from these methods are compared to experimental results from wind tunnel tests. For the design of wings the results show that the coefficient of lift can be predicted fairly accurately to within 10% of the experimental value, but the coefficient of drag is not predicted very well. It is also shown that the design of an effective aerodynamics package can be accomplished with these fairly simple techniques. The improvements in lap times, recorded during testing on a FSAE type race track are presented. A simple and quick manufacturing technique is also analyzed for manufacturing wings using composites like fiberglass and carbon fiber.


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