Browse Publications Technical Papers 2019-01-0642
2019-04-02

Using Computational Fluid Dynamics for the Design, Assessment and Optimization of an Aerodynamic Body Kit on a Newly Designed Formula SAE Collegiate Competition Vehicle 2019-01-0642

Formula SAE Collegiate Competition teams now regularly integrate aerodynamic body kits with their vehicles which have significant benefits in producing downforce. This use of body kits (or aero packages) and the improvement to vehicle aerodynamics they provide, have resulted in these systems becoming a necessity for any team wishing to remain competitive in Formula SAE (FSAE). To address this the Lawrence Technological University (LTU) Formula SAE team incorporated an aerodynamic body kit into their 2018 vehicle. Using computational fluid dynamics (CFD) an aerodynamic analysis was performed comparing the efficacy of a car that did not have an aero package to a car that did. Two separate simulation programs were employed to effectively and accurately assess this change. By using both SolidWorks and SimScale software to generate data, the results of each were compared to assess the accuracy of each. These programs were selected due to their accessibility to engineering students, as well as their parent companies being LTU Formula SAE team sponsors. Simulations were run under different conditions to determine the optimal design of the aero package, as well as to understand how the body kit performed at different velocities. It is expected that the approaches used and understanding gained from this initial effort will serve as a foundational body-of-knowledge for future LTU teams. Those LTU teams each year will be able to modify and refine these now-available CFD tools to assess and optimize their aero package for each new vehicle they design and build annually.

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