Duke University Motorsports is a student group that designs and builds open wheel, single seat race cars to compete in the Formula SAE competition sponsored by the Society of Automotive Engineers. The team consists of Duke students from both Pratt and Trinity, in all classes. The purpose of the team is to provide students with a way to gain practical design and manufacturing experience in a fun and challenging setting.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Summer Update: Frame design

So one design goal that's been floating around for a while is a redesign of the frame, to get rid of the rear box. The main reasons: increase stiffness, shorten the wheelbase, and reduced weight. The disadvantages? Well, all the packaging in the rear has to change: intake, exhaust, radiator, drivetrain, suspension... you get the idea. But we decided at the end of the year last year that it would be feasible if we got the design and repackaging done during the summer. So earlier this summer I decided to redo the back half of the frame to remove the rear box, and sent the frame off to the rules committee for approval on "proper triangulation". It's been six weeks, and I've finally got a response from the rules committee, so the new frame design is a go if we decide to implement it.

The new frame only sheds a couple of pounds, so the weight savings are going to be negligible
with the additional weight of the bearing carriers. We will reduce the wheelbase to 60" this year
with this frame, and this frame should be stiffer, but I haven't run the FEA analysis quite yet. Packaging is on its way - exhaust, radiator, and aero have been redesigned/refitted; intake, suspension, and drivetrain are still in progress.

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