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 Formula SAE Collegiate Competition Vehicle 2019-01-0642

Formula SAE competitions teams traditionally did not design their vehicles with an aerodynamic body kits, which have significant benefits, especially regarding the production of downforce. Body kits (or aero packages), however, have increasingly become a more popular option for improving the aerodynamics of competition vehicles. For their 2018 competition vehicle, the Lawrence Technological University (LTU) Formula SAE team chose in incorporate an aerodynamic body kit. Through the use of 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. In order to effectively and accurately measure the results, two separate simulation programs were employed. By using both Solidworks and Simscale software to generate data, the results of each could be compared to assess the accuracy of each. These two programs were selected because of their accessibility to university engineering students, as well as being LTU Formula SAE team sponsors. Successive 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. Prior to performing the simulations, it was predicted that the addition of an aerodynamic body kit would increase the drag coefficient and turbulence but would allow for significantly more downforce to be produced. Presented here are the results of this work. These studies can be used by future teams to determine whether or not their vehicle would benefit from adding an aero package if they have not designed for one, or to aid in optimizing a design if one currently exists.

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