After over 3 months of nonstop frame development, our team has hit a huge milestone! We have completed finite-element-analysis (FEA) of our 2015 Formula Hybrid frame. FEA lets us computer-simulate loads being applied to the frame to check its structural integrity.
The real test of the frame is its torsional stiffness, measured in newton metres per degree (Nm/deg). Many teams have FEA results that show between 3000-4000 Nm/deg. However, actual stiffness values are often only 60-70% of the simulated values.
We are pleased to announce that the UVic Hybrid Team has blown these values out of the water and managed a frame stiffness of over 7000 Nm/deg! This means our actual frame should be around 5000 Nm/deg. The mass is 31kg, right in line with most other teams.
Our torsionally stiff frame will significantly help our suspension team dial their shocks in to perfectly accommodate the increased mass associated with our hybrid system. The better our suspension is tuned, the better our cornering performance will be.
So, to recap: FEA is done, our frame is very stiff and light, and we’ll have an awesome suspension tune.