Design, Construction and Testing of a Shock Absorber Prototype for a Formula SAE Vehicle 2006-01-3640
Motivated by the continually growing challenge of the Formula SAE® competition, the primary goal of the present study is to design and fabricate a prototype of shock absorber adapted to the requirements of performance, adjustability, reliability, cost and weight of a Formula SAE vehicle, which are not fully satisfied by commercially available dampers. After defining some general characteristics of the prototype, the desired characteristic curve (Force vs. Velocity), effective damping coefficient, and compression/extension ratio are established. The quarter car model is used to study the road roughness effect on the ride and handling of the vehicle. Detailed dimensioning and mechanical strength verification is performed after an analysis of the loads on the prototype. Finally, the prototype is mounted on a dynamometer to determine its characteristic curve and verify the requirements fulfillment.