Virginia Tech Formula SAE 2016

The Challenge

The use of a computer simulation model has been invaluable for designing the suspension components on the Formula SAE racecar. The model uses the known geometry and weight distributions to calculate how vehicle motion will translate to forces acting through each suspension member. There are a number of assumptions made during this process and that is why there is a need for validation. The team uses the strain gages on each of the control arms of the suspension to determine the actual loading that these members will see during the dynamic events.

“While the data from the accelerometer was not correct, the team made a step in the right direction by being able to collect accurate loading data in each of the suspension members while the car is driving.”

As is often the case when validating an FEA model, 3-element rosettes were selected so that the principal strains and directions can be calculated under all loading conditions that are encountered.  For this test, Micro-Measurements pre-cabled C2A-06-031WW-120 strain gage rosettes were selected, along with a GAK-2-200 Strain Gage Application Kit to complete the strain gage installation.

See the full case study at:  Validation of Analytical Model of Formula SAE Race Car Suspension During Driving Events Using Strain Gages

For more information about using strain gage rosettes to calculate principal strain, stress, as well as direction, Micro-Measurements Tech Note TN-515 Strain Gage Rosettes:  Selection, Application, and Data Reduction, or contact an Micro-Measurements Application Engineer, Technical Sales Manager, or independent Sales Representative at

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Kevin Swiger

United States