Introduction to finite element analysis
Introduction to finite element analysis

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Introduction to finite element analysis

2.1 Modelling the tub of a Formula 1 racing car

The tub case study uses the same 7 steps approach as the hub case study but some of the steps and aspects are handled differently.

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Dr. Keith Martin, The Open University
In this case, we’re looking at the main chassis tub. This is literally the backbone and shell of the car and houses the driver, fuel tank and controls. The front suspension attaches to it. And the whole rear end of the car, engine and all, is attached at the back. Incidentally, the words ‘chassis’, ‘tub’, and indeed ‘chassis tub’ refer to the same part.
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Let’s look at more detail on the construction materials of the tub.

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Narrator
The tub houses and protects the driver, but is the structure all major components are attached to. As we look at the tub, we can still relate its analysis to the seven-step process we used for the hub. The tub is made of a carbon-fibre composite, sandwiching an aluminium honeycomb core, and is immensely strong, protecting the driver in the event of accidents and impacts.
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Here are some more issues affecting the design of the tub.

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Dr. Keith Martin, The Open University
Another crucial difference from the hub is that the tub is subject to a range of mandatory safety regulations and tests, which apply to all teams’ cars. Thus, apart from carrying the working loads, there are some additional worst cases in the form of practical tests. Such tests are vital in assessing performance and harnessing data on the properties of the material used, one reason being that the material properties are not quite as easy to determine as are the hub’s steel properties.
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