Formula SAE is an international competition for students to design, build and compete with a small formula style racing car. However like all motor sports this competition can be costly and with restrictions placed on the teams, the ability to physically test numerous variations and settings is limited. Therefore the purpose of this thesis is to develop a full car model of UQ Racing’s 2004 formula SAE race car, to aid the design process of future teams.
The model was constructed using the multi-body dynamics software package ADAMS. In order to create an accurate and useful model, geometry data and vehicle parameters from the real car were obtained. This data was then inputted into the ADAMS/Car software through a series of templates. A full car assembly was then constructed by combining these templates.
Analysis of the model was undertaken in order to test its effectiveness to represent the performance of the real car. This analysis included isolated suspension and steering simulations as well as full car simulations of lane change and braking manoeuvres. The results obtained verified the model’s ability to accurately predict handling performance.
Through the model developed and accompanying knowledge of the program’s applications, future UQ Racing teams will be able to quickly and accurately model new designs in a manner to optimise performance. However opportunities exist to further analyse the model’s capabilities if more detailed test data of the real car can be recorded.