Introduction to finite element analysis
Introduction to finite element analysis

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Introduction to finite element analysis

2 Case study

Formula 1 motor racing is a multi-billion dollar, high technology and highly competitive professional sport. In many ways it’s at the leading edge of car design - be it aerodynamics, electronics, materials or engineering. The best drivers compete on a world stage where fractions of a second mean the difference between winning and losing.

Enormous effort goes into the design, manufacture and testing of a racing car and all its components and systems – to gain those fractions of a second. The very latest tools and equipment are used to create the engineering components – usually with a rapid turnaround time and short production cycle. A modern Formula 1 car then is an ideal example to show engineering at its best.

The case study looks at the chassis tub, which not only houses and protects the driver but is the structure to which all the major components are attached.

The clips feature extensive contributions from Lewis Butler, Red Bull’s senior structural analyst, at the time of recording, and Dr Keith Martin of The Open University.

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Dr. Keith Martin, The Open University
During this study, we’re going to take a look behind the scenes to see how one team – Red Bull Racing – uses Finite Element Analysis when designing their Formula One cars. Red Bull use the MSC system for all their computer-aided analysis and design, for example, Patran for the pre- and post-processing, and Nastran for the analysis.
For our two case studies, we’re going to look at the design and stress analysis of two parts of the car: the wheel hub in there, and the tub, or chassis.
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