Spoilers Optimization to Reduce the Induced Stresses on a Racing Helmet 2016-01-1612
Aerodynamics is one of the most important factors in the development of racing cars. At the speeds of formula cars reach the formula cars, the driver's neck can be subjected to stresses resulting from the aerodynamic forces acting on the helmet; developing an aerodynamic project that takes into account the comfort of the driver without affecting performance is certainly considered a challenging activity. The aim of the present work is to develop a low-pitching-momenthelmet for formula racing cars optimizing the shape and location, applying some aerodynamic appendices. This goal is pursued by adopting an approach based on both experimental and numerical activities. First, the aerodynamic configuration of an existing helmet was examined; through a testing campaign in the wind tunnel facilities of Perugia University, pressures acting on the helmet were scanned at various speeds and data about aerodynamic drag were collected. Flow visualization methods were even performed to locate the separation of the fluid flow from the helmet. Based on experimental results a validated mathematical model of the helmet was implemented to perform numerical analysis using the CFD/3D package Star-CCM+. The model was used to analyze the configuration of the flow around the helmet in the actual case that the helmet is inserted in the formula vehicle. Finally, a CFD/3D optimization was set up to obtain geometry optimization of the appendices of the helmet, as a function of the proposed target. All the steady state CFD analysis was carried out using the k-ω RANS turbulent model.