Design and Fabrication of a Formula SAE Undertray 2019-01-2596
Aerodynamic packages can provide a significant performance benefit to Formula SAE cars, but design and development of a full aerodynamics package can be time-consuming and expensive. An undertray system can provide significant aerodynamic benefits at a lower cost than a full aerodynamics package with front and rear wings. To properly design and test an undertray, a robust program of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis and verification is needed. CFD analysis can be challenging, especially for large external flow problems like that of a full car. Due to this difficulty, careful meshing and setup of simulations is necessary to ensure accurate results. Much like analysis, fabrication of an aerodynamics package for a Formula SAE car is difficult. Fiberglass and carbon fiber layup processes are commonly used, but are prone to a variety of issues, and can be costly and time-consuming. Therefore, a thorough layup schedule and a careful manufacturing process is necessary. Fiberglass and carbon fiber were chosen as materials for the undertray due to their low weight relative to strength. These materials are often difficult for student teams to work with, and many layup methods can be considered. For cost savings, this project used a wet layup method. In Formula SAE projects, time and budget constraints often hamper teams’ success. Design and CFD analysis was conducted to optimize the performance of the undertray. Concurrently, mounting solutions were designed, and fiberglass prototypes were constructed to validate and verify the analysis results.