Validation of Aerodynamic Downforce
The University of Florida Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Formula Team wanted to validate that its new airfoil designs were producing the downforce required to improve cornering. Improved cornering speed provides a competitive advantage. Higher downforce improves corner traction, which results in higher g forces and therefore higher corner speeds.
The aerodynamics package consists of front and rear airfoils. In simulations, cornering acceleration improved more than 10%. Now the team needed to validate the forces generated by the addition of the aerodynamics package in order to improve the overall balance and performance of the suspension system.
Strain gages provided by Micro-Measurements were attached to the rear wing supporting rods to measure the drag and lift forces created by the rear airfoil. Additional strain gages were fitted to the pull rods at each corner of the car to measure the increase in the force provided by the tire.
The Micro-Measurements strain gages enabled the team to get a clear picture of the forces occurring at each corner as the car was testing. With these results, the team was able to tune the vehicle to improve the overall balance and performance of the suspension system.
Click here to read the full Case Study: Validation of Aerodynamic Downforce Using Micro-Measurements Strain Gages