chassis team designs chassis, suspension, controls and so on.
The chassis is essentially the backbone of the car. All components and loads must be attached to the chassis. Chassis design also affects the overall look and feel of the car as it is typically the first thing to be noticed. We currently use a carbon-fiber and steel tubing half-half chassis.
Suspension, simplified, is the group of mechanisms that enable a vehicle to have its tires remain in contact with the ground as much as possible. In racing, it is important to have a good suspension design, as all cornering, acceleration, and deceleration forces come from the contact patch between the tires and the road. Suspension also plays a large part in providing ride comfort, mitigating body roll, and controlling ride height.
The controls focuses primarily on the driver interface and braking systems of the car. This includes the steering system, dash board, brake calipers, pedal box, throttle system, ergonomics, seat. Controls must try to balance driver comfort and performance with weight and cost.
What We Do
In chassis design, we are tasked to design, develop, build and validate the chassis of the car. In order for a racing chassis to be effective, it must balance structural rigidity with a lightweight and aerodynamically efficient design. We do a significant amount of CAD design, analysis, and physical validation to ensure this outcome.
In suspension design, We determine the suspension kinematics and design all components related to the suspension of the car such as uprights, rockers, and control arms. Researching tire data provided by the FSAE Tire Test Consortium assists with optimal tire selection. Additionally, the Suspension team is tasked with ordering and assembling the wheels.
In controls design, we uses Solidworks for CAD modeling, along with a variety of other tools to achieve design objectives. A general overview of the main components follows:
- Ergonomics: The car must safely and comfortably accommodate drivers of diverse sizes and shapes. In addition, it must minimize the number of distractions to the driver and improve his or her ability to control and receive feedback from all systems on the car.
- Steering/Driver Interface: The primary goal of the steering system is to allow the driver to efficiently and effectively control the car as is provides feedback to the driver allowing him or her to drive the car to its limit. In addition, the dash and controls present on the wheel are designed for minimal driver distraction, allowing the driver attention to remain focused.
- Pedal Box: As part of the requirements to accommodate differing drivers, the pedal configuration of the car must be adjustable. This means varying the position of both the throttle and brake pedals and mounting them securely, while allowing adjustment without the use of tools.