Geometric freedom drives aerodynamicsJanuary 21, 2022
Formulae SAE-A is the largest engineering design competition for university students globally. The team from Monash Motorsport (MMS) from Monash University have consistently outperformed for years. Continual design optimisation using Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulations has led to improvements in aerodynamic load and vehicle movements. Latest CFD results indicated the need for increased volume in the air intake. Being so close to the engine however, meant that material selection was key. The material needed to resist elevated temperatures, be chemically stable as well as the ability to achieve complex geometric freedom.
To achieve the stiffness, chemical resistance, complex geometry, and other material requirements, Formero (formerly GoProto ANZ), a long-time sponsor of Monash Motorsport, recommended Selective Laser Sintering in a glass-filled nylon 12 (DuraForm GF) for the final intake. With this information at hand, engineers used Finite Element Analysis (FEA) to minimise mass, meet stress, volume, and strength targets, resulting in an increase to plenum volume. This led to an estimated 5% increase in power. Formero’s Additive Manufacturing (AM) solution allowed for the geometric freedom, weight savings and overall enhanced performance necessary. Design implementations like this, assisted in the Monash Motorsport team winning the world title of #1 combustion team in 2019.
In 2021, MMS launched a 4WD autonomous integrated vehicle, capable of both driver and driverless racing – the M21. The M21 vehicle concept pushes the frontiers of autonomous technology with a powerful electrical powertrain. Formero looks forward to support Monash Motorsport to achieve even greater heights with their electric vehicles in the future. Whether you have a combustion, or an electric vehicle component, Formero has a range of performance materials, AM technologies, tooling as well as production processes to assist at any stage of the product lifecycle. Contact us to learn more about optimising air intakes, cooling jackets for battery systems and reducing weight for your vehicle.
Images courtesy of Monash Motorsport.