OBR Newsletter â€“ January 2014
ISIS XIV Revealed! With Christmas dinner & the New Year parties faded away into distant memories the boys & girls of Oxford Brookes Racing have been getting their hands dirty once again, with the first stages of converting our new challenger from a CAD model, to a finished car.
One of the first renders of the ISIS XIV chassis from Oxford Brookes Racing
The long nights in the design office are slowly drawing to a close, and instead becoming long nights in the machine shop, as the team begins to knuckle down and start the manufacture the 2014 car. Since our last newsletter at the end of the competition season in August, we have been working extremely hard to get the new design finalised, and the CAD completed, however we havenâ€™t released much information about the new design so far. It is now time to make the new car spec public, and so below is a brief introduction to the new car and the aim of the team for the New Year. CHASSIS: With the total weight of the 2013 Monocoque coming in at just under 38kg, the team have set about with the goal of reducing the chassis weight to less than 30kg. With the introduction of Carbon Fibre skins to the inside and flat parts of the Sandwich panels. By swapping all but the outside chassis side panel skins to carbon fibre of either 3, 5 or 6 ply thickness; we have been able to already save a measured 6.5kg compared to the 2013 chassis. More weight savings are currently being investigated by removing more material from the sides of the engine bay, and reducing the number of top hats by including threaded inserts within the TUFNOL hardpoints. Big thanks to Cytec for the discount on the Carbon Fibre, TUFNOL for the supply of superlight hardpoint material, Banbury & Bicester College (Formerly OCVC) for allowing us
OBR Newsletter – January 2014 to use their layup room & Autoclave for the manufacture of the carbon fibre skins, and Codem Composites for their help with the Hot & Cold bonding of the sandwich panels. SUSPENSION: With only a few team members carrying over from the 2013 team and the difficulties with the 2013 car delaying the new car’s design, the decision was made to stick with the 13” wheel size, in order to make sure that we can manufacture the new car quickly and get plenty of testing mileage on the new car before competition. With that said the unsprung mass is still a big talking point for 2014, with the introduction of our Carbon Wishbones. Andrew has been working extremely hard on fatigue & tensile testing the bonding techniques and insert designs, and we now have a whole suit-case full of test samples with masses of data to bring to the design competition. So far we have managed more than 50k maximum load cycles on the fatigue test, with the bolt breaking before the wishbone or inserts did! We have also reduced bearing sizes in more than 50% of the suspension components, again reducing the overall suspension weight and improving the dynamic performance of the car on track. Thanks to Easy Composites for the 10% FS discount on all of their products, and Aurora Bearing Company for the 50% FS discount on all bearings & rod ends.
A selection of the destructive testing carried out on the wishbone inserts
ENGINE & POWERTRAIN: We have decided to stick with the 510cc KTM 530 EXC engine, however for 2014 we are raising the cylinder size to 570cc, which should give us a big performance boost and after the new intake, map and exhaust pipe have been manufactured and tuned we are hoping to bridge the gap to the top IC teams in the acceleration event, and make our mark once again in the Sprint & Endurance events.
OBR Newsletter â€“ January 2014 We are going to be changing the order of the gear track in the sequential gearbox so that we are able to insert an extra gear ratio, allowing us to get more torque off the starting line, and hopefully see another gain in dynamic performance. This will also allow us to reduce the size of the sprocket and differential carrier, reducing inertia and overall weight of the car. Thanks to SECO Tools UK for their continued support of the team, including supply of cutting tools for machining, and carrying out the machining of the new shifter barrel for us at their base. Thanks to Luke Evans for laser-scanning the old shifter barrel for us. Finally thanks also to Cary Kravets for the rapid prototyping of the new dyno intake, allowing us to fine tune our plenum volume for the new 570cc engine. AERODYNAMICS: With the failure to get wings on the car last year we are determined to make sure that we are producing some mega downforce by the time we get to competition this year. So far we have already begun the mould manufacture for the wings, and the mechanical design is complete. With an overall mass estimation of < 10kg we are confident that the car will generate some improved G forces on the track this year. We would like to thank Toby Smith for helping us out with our simulation capabilities and CD Adapco for supplying the team with licenses for Star CCM+. Also we would like to say a big thanks to TeXtreme for once again supplying us with 30m2 of spread-tow fiber, and VAC Innovation for discounted PTFE tape.
Streamline & Scalar plot of the 2014 car in Star CCM+
GENERAL: So far this year we have been looking at a couple of other really interesting projects. The first of these is working with Base Performance Simulators to generate a car and track file, similar to that of an FS car competing at the Formula Student UK competition. So far with the help and expertise of the staff there we have been able to generate a very similar track, complete with moveable cones and slaloms to allow our drivers to get used to racing
OBR Newsletter – January 2014 at Silverstone, and hopefully give them the edge at competition in July. So thank you to Base Performance Simulators for allowing us the use of their awesome simulator.
Negotiating the slalom on BPS’ open wheel simulator.
Furthermore we will be working with RS Components on some Arduino technology to hopefully design and manufacture our own electronic components and sensors, such as an LED shift-light display, and our own G-force & Yaw rate sensors. So far this year we have already conducted two design reviews, and on February 8 th we will be bringing in the Alumni once again for a Design event practise. This should be a great event and we are really looking forward to seeing where we each of the design team can improve, and what kind of testing and data we need to be gathering in time for competition. So far after problems with the bonding process we are unfortunately a month behind on the manufacturing of the chassis. However we are working hard to catch up, and have already completed the floor panel of the chassis, weighing in at just 2.5kg. With the manufacturing now well underway, we will be updating you monthly until the end of the last competition to keep you in touch with the team’s progress. Hopefully before long we will be able to reveal the finished car, and you will be able to see the car running under it’s own steam for the first time.
OBR Newsletter â€“ January 2014