Role | Mechanical Engineer
Team Size | 8 M.E. Students
Duration | 15 weeks
Class | Junior Engineering Clinic II, Rowan University Spring 2016
Challenge | SAE Supermileage Competition: Design and fabricate a vehicle that can achieve the best fuel economy possible
Software | SolidWorks (CFD package), Excel
Fabrication Tools | 3D printer, waterjet
Analysis Tools | Wind tunnel, material testing system (MTS)

I performed aerodynamic analysis on the vehicle by running computational fluid dynamics (CFD) simulations in SolidWorks at various speeds to calculate the vehicle’s coefficient of drag. Our goal was to minimize the coefficient of drag as much as possible to increase fuel economy.  Next, I 3D printed a 1/10th scale model of the vehicle to conduct wind tunnel testing for the purpose of comparing the theoretical values of the coefficient of drag to experimental values.

I also performed material analysis of the vehicle, seeing this as a need since this was our first year manufacturing our own carbon fiber shell.  We were curious as to what material properties the carbon fiber weave had when combined with resin and hardener.  First, I made a sheet of carbon fiber layered with resin to cut dogbone shapes out in order to perform axial testing.  I used a material testing system (MTS) to conduct the axial testing of the dogbones. Next, we manufactured round and square rods representative of ribs in the shell design to perform three-point bend testing using the MTS.  We desired to know the flexural properties of the rods to determine if they were sufficient under loads experienced during vehicle testing.