As the Mechanical Lead of the Solar Car Team, I oversaw much of the Design, Fabrication, and Integration of the Mechanical System in the Vehicle, as well as the organization and instruction of subteam members.
After two years of longs hours of work on Flux, our car, we placed fifth place in the 2018 American Solar Challenge, a ~3000 km race along the Oregan Trail! All of the design and fabrication that goes into this car is completely done in house by our team members.
The Roll Cage (or Roll Bar) is the portion of the chassis that is meant to protect a driver in the event of a roll over or impact.
I used Finite Element Analysis on SolidWorks to simulate 5g impacts in all directions. Due to the fact that our car weighs ~450 pounds, this was a 2250 pound force in all directions. With a maximum deflection of no more than 1.5 millimeters for any direction load in the worst case scenario, we were satisfied with the roll cage’s structural integrity.
- Withstand a 5g load in all directions, as per race regulations
- Fit within our aerodynamic outer shell while providing ample headspace for driver
In order to manufacture, I had to cut, cope ,and weld together steel tubes and plates. The machines I used included: Tig Welder, Steel Grinder, Cold/Chop Saw, Waterjet, CNC Mill
Aarms are used as a part of the double wish bone suspension assembly to connect the upright and wheel to the chassis while allowing for multiple degrees of freedom. They are meant to constrain the movement of the wheel to vertical motion while allowing for the adjustment of camber and toe of of the wheel.
- Withstand a 2g bump load and a 1g compressive load
- It has to be lightweight
Used subtractive manufacturing with a .75 inch thick steel plate. The use of the Waterjet and CNC Mill were required.
The crush zone is a minimum 6 in layer surrounding the driver meant to withstand a 5g load. Due to the fact that our car is asymmetrical, we needed an extrusion on the right side of the driver using material that would withstand a 5g load in a side collision.
Furthermore, because this extrudes beyond our aerodynamic shell, we needed to design and aerodynamic ‘tumor’ that would cover the crush zone bars and mesh with the car’s shell.
- With stand a 5g load