Welcome to our Spring 2022 Newsletter. We are pleased to share that we have been making a ton of progress in testing our car for this summer! In this newsletter we will highlight updates from Aero, Brakes + Driver Interface, Chassis, Drivetrain, and Suspension.
Aero has been focused on designing rear wing biplane elements, sidewing, and side diffuser elements for us to begin manufacturing shortly in time for competition this summer. The sidewing and side diffuser elements can be seen above in white. We are close to completing design of these pieces and plan to host a final design review within the next two weeks. Our plans also include using strain gauges to test mounting deflection and on existing aero elements, as well as load cells to correlate downforce production with simulations, performing flow attachment tests on various wing elements, and more.
Brakes + Driver Interface
BDI has completed a new seat design and manufactured a prototype out of plywood as seen in these photos. This design is ready to 3D print in a mold and and layup carbon fiber soon. An updated pedal tray design is being finalized, as well as throttle and brake pedal designs based on real world feedback. Part of our new design includes creating custom torsion springs for throttle pedal return and fine tuning this design based on driver input.
Chassis has begun manufacturing a new floor design which will improve torsional stiffness and allow implementation of the new pedal tray. We are also designing new engine tabs so we can more quickly and easily remove and reinstall the engine in general but especially at competition this summer. Chassis is also developing training materials to expand welding training to other members of the team besides chassis members.
Drivetrain has adjusted the direction of the angular contact bearings on all four uprights of the car to reduce camber, as well as installed rubber boots on the inner tripod housing and self-fusing tape to the outer housings to best navigate the tight clearance surrounding our axles. At the start of this semester, we recruited four new members to the subsystem, a couple of which are helping with the design of a new custom tool to allow for easier adjustability of our chain’s eccentric tensioner.
Suspension is currently working on a few projects. We are implementing load cells on our pushrods to accurately categorize load cases and verify previous load case calculations. We are developing a new Driver Impact Deflection System (“DIDS”), a carbon fiber part covering the steering components that will protect both the driver and steering parts from damage in the case of an impact. Suspension is also creating a suspension shock dyno to verify performance and damping settings after rebuilding, as well as providing another opportunity for us to have a general performance check on our shocks in their current state. A longer term project is our exploration into decoupled suspension and implementing it into the rear only.
Thank you all for reading and being a part of our community. It means a lot. We cannot wait to provide another update as our competition this June in Michigan nears!