Structural Considerations of a Baja SAE Frame 2006-01-3626
The structure of a Baja SAE car is designed to be lightweight and ensure driver protection similar to the Formula SAE series; however the loading conditions that a Baja SAE car sees are very different. The terrain that the car drives over is the key difference. Baja cars drive on very dynamic terrain that often cannot be classified as a road. This terrain leads to load cases that put very high dynamic stresses on the frame. These may include symmetric or asymmetric suspension loading, impact loading, as well as drivetrain loading.
The testing for this work was conducted on the endurance track for the SAE Mini Baja East 2006 race. The two specific load cases presented in this work were conducted on controlled sections of the track. Also, random data was taken on other areas of the track. This track is considered to have a sampling of obstacles and terrain that would be a good representative of what SAE Baja vehicles typically encounter. This work considers basic frame requirements, and explores several of these load cases using both experimental and numerical tools.