Mini Baja Vehicle Design Optimization MIE U970-U971Technical Design ReportMini Baja Vehicle Design Optimization Honors
Thesis: Final Report Student: Jonathan HastieDesign Advisor: Prof. Hashemi Fall 2004 ± Fall 2005 December 12, 2005Department of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing EngineeringCollege of Engineering, Northeastern University Boston, MA 02115
Mini Baja Vehicle Design Optimization Student Jonathan Hastie Design Advisor Prof. HashemiAbstract The MiniBaja Vehicle is an off-road race vehicle powered by a small gasoline engine.As is such the combination frame and roll cage must be equally strong and light. In aneffort to fulfill the rules set down by the governing body and ensure proper integration,strength, and weight minimization; it is imperative to properly analyze the materialproperties and geometry as well as the overall design geometry. Using a combination of Microsoft Excel, Solidworks, and Algor; the design of the 2004-2005 MiniBaja vehiclewas optimized for weight and strength. Microsoft Excel was utilized to optimize thematerial usage as well as to calculate the proper loading forces seen on the vehicle. Thecombination of Solidworks and Algor allowed the design and analysis of the frame to bean iterative and intelligent process. While most additions to the design of the frame weremade, some were unable to be implemented due to pre- existing design constraints.However the results of the analysis will be used to aid future frame designs in an effort tohave the best balance between weight and strength while maintaining adherence to thegoverning guidelines
Mini Baja Vehicle Design Optimization Honors Thesis: Final Report Fall 2004 ± Fall 2005 Introduction MiniBaja is a collegiate competition sponsored by the Society of Automotive Engineers(SAE). The objective is for a team of students to design, fabricate, and race an off-roadvehicle powered by a ten horsepower Briggs and Stratton gasoline engine. The vehicle isrequired to have a combination frame and roll cage consisting of steel members. Asweight is critical in a vehicle powered by a small engine, a balance must be foundbetween the strength and weight of the design. To best optimize this balance the use of solid modeling and finite element analysis (FEA) software is extremely useful in additionto conventional analysis. The following paper outlines the design and analysis of the2004-2005 Northeastern MiniBaja Vehicle¶s frame design. It will cover the designconstraints required by SAE, material selection, initial design, and structural analysis anddesign modifications. It will finally cover the results of the actual real world usage of theframe design
Design Constraints The design of the MiniBaja frame is defined by the design safety rules set out by theSAE. These rules are updated yearly to address new safety concerns. The frame designdiscussed in this paper is compliant to the 2005 MiniBaja Rules. The applicable pages tothe topic of frame design are included in Appendix A. These rules define the framedesign in two ways. First, the rules set specific requirements on the building material¶smaterial type and geometry. They also define the specific requirements of the framegeometry. The requirements were referenced when making decisions regarding thematerial selection, design geometry and any additional modifications to the design. Athorough review of the design and rules were made at the end of the design stage beforefabrication. This review included not only the letter of the guideline but also a discussionof the intent. In any cases in which the clarity or meaning of a rule was in doubt, theSAE rules committee was contacted to ensure compliance.It is important that the reader understand that these constraints were in place during thedesign of the vehicle frame, as well as the interaction between the frame design and otherfactors, such as drivetrain, suspension, and driver safety and restraint. Material Selection The materials used in the cage must meet certain requirements of geometry as set bySAE, and other limitations. As the frame is used in a racing vehicle, weight is a crucialfactor and must be considered. The proper balance of fulfilling the design requirementsand minimizing the weight is crucial to a successful design. Material Requirements The rules define the cage to be made with materials equivalent to the followingspecification:Steel members with at least equal bending stiffness and bendingstrength to 1018 steel having a circular cross section having a 25.4mm (1 inch) OD and a wall thickness of 2.10 mm (0.083 inch). A key factor of this statement is those only steel members are allowed for the framesconstruction. However the alloy of the steel is definable by the competitor as long as itmeets the equivalency requirements. These values are required to be calculated about theaxis that gives the lowest value. Calculating the strength and stiffness this way ensuresthat tubes with a non-circular cross-section will be equivalent even in a worst caseloading situation. The rules go on further to define bending strength and stiffness by:Bending stiffness is proportional by the EI product and bendingstrength is given by the value of SyI/c, (for 1018 steel the valuesare; S y = 370 Mpa (53.7 ksi) E=205 GPa (29,700 ksi). E = the modulus of elasticity I = the second moment of area for the cross section about theaxis giving the lowest value Sy = the yield strength of material in units of force per unit area c = the distance from the neutral axis to the extreme fiber  While the rules set many factors of the material¶s geometry there are other limitations.These limitations include the method of fabrication and industry standards for thematerial. The frame will be built using a bent tube construction and TIG welded joints. .TIG welding becomes difficult at wall thicknesses less than 0.035 inches. The tubingbender that will be used for the fabrication can bend a maximum of 1.5 inch diametertube with a 0.120 inch wall thickness. It also requires that the tube have a minimum wallthickness of 0.055 inches.The geometry is also limited by industry standards. It is important to utilize commonlyavailable tubing sizes and materials. Tubing is available in standard fractional sizes tothe 1/8
This in turn can allow areduction of weight. This means that the 4130 will deform more before its ultimate failure. and elongation at break values for the mild and Chromoly steel is shown in the following Figure 1. In this case these are: 0. so using it does not affect the weight orstiffness in members with the same geometry. and 1. 1. 0 9 Wall Thickness (in) Weight (lbs/ft) 1" tube 1.th of an inch: 1.1 25. This graph is important when comparing materials with similarstrength characteristics. 1.125.The graph has a line showing the minimum wall thickness as dictated by the bendabilityof the material for reference
Weight vs Wall Thickness 00. Theyalso include the minimum requirements of bending strength.7 15%AISI 4130 Steel 29. showing separate curves for each tubing diameter. Wall Thickness
. However the increase in Yield Strengthaffects the bending strength.083 inches. 0 6 0 .700 63.60. There are three graphs.700 53.5" tube Minimum Wall Thickness Figure 2: Weight vs Wall Thickness Bending Stiffness vs. ASboth materials will have to be painted or otherwise coated for use. bending stiffness. Analysis and Selection Using the SAE guidelines and practical limitations outlined above an analysis of theweight.25" tube 1. andminimum wall thickness to maintain bendability.049.065. 0. As the bending strength is affected not only by crosssectional moment of inertia of the material but also by the radius. Additionally. and bending strength versus wall thickness for each tubingdiameter was done using Microsoft excel. Graphs of each analysis¶s results are shownbelow.125" Tube 1. 0 4 0 . this will not be a factorin the material comparison. yield strength. 0 7 0 . as to make the choice that will result in a lighter overall design. A chartshowing the associated modulus of elasticity.40. The benefit of using 4130 Chromoly steel is that it is 17. MaterialModulus ofElasticity (ksi)Yield Strength(ksi)Elongation At Break AISI 1018 Steel 29. The wall thickness is limited to thecommon Birmingham Tubing Gauges.25.811.and 0.20. 0.Figure 2 is a comparison of the weight per linear foot versus the wall thickness for eachtubing diameter. 0 3 0 .035.058.21. neither is the 1018 Mild steel. 0 8 0 . the 4130 allows theusage of a larger diameter tube with a smaller wall thickness.375" Tube 1.5.5% stronger than the 1018 Mild Steel.The most commonly available materials for this type of tubing are 1018 Mild Steel and4130 Chromoly Steel. bending stiffness. The 4130 Chromoly has the same Modulus of Elasticity (E) and density as the mild steel.40 .50% Figure 1: Material Properties  While the 4130 Chromoly is not corrosion resistant. 0. 0 5 0 . the 4130 Chromoly steel is more ductile than the1018. 1.375.
. and 1. x 0. 1.083 in. As can be seen thetubes closest to the minimum bending stiffness while still fulfilling the designrequirements are: 1in x 0.25 in.035 in geometry¶s.065 in. Using the chosentube shows a 10% weight reduction over the 1.x 0. 1018 tubing and a 19%weight reduction over the suggested 1 in x 0. 0 0 4 0 . x 0. 0 3 0 . Asthe Northeastern Mini-Baja team has a supplier with extremely good pricing on 4130tubing.125 inchgeometry¶s fulfill the wall thickness requirement to maintain bendability.058 in.After reviewing each of these analyses it was evident that the best choice would be use4130 Chromoly tubing with a 1. 3 7 5 " 1 . The 1018 tubes that closest match the minimum bending strength while fulfillingthe requirement are: 1 in. 0 9 Wall Thickness (in) Bending Strength (lb*in) 1" 4130 1. 1.049 in.083 in. 0 7 0 .. and 1. 2 5 " 1 .25" 1018 1. 0 8 0 . The lightest tubing sizeusable in 1018 Mild steel material was 1. With the final design
.5" 4130 1" 1018 1.125" 1018 1.065 in.35 in.25 in. x 0.049 in.. the added cost of using 4130 over 1018 was very small.geometry¶s.. x 0.125 in. It also includes a line showing the minimum wall thickness as well as a lineshow the minimum bending stiffness.375" 4130 1. 0 9 Wall Thickness (in) Bending Stiffness (lb*in^2) 1 " 1 . (diameter x wall thickness) Of these only the 1 inch and 1. 0 5 0 . 0 5 0 . x 0. 1. tubing. Wall Thickness 01000200030004000500060007000800090000 . 1. There is a separatecurve for each tube diameter as well as separate curves for 4130 Chromoly and 1018 mildsteel.375" 1018 1. x 0. The 4130 tubes the do so are: 1 in.125" 4130 1. 7
Figure 3 is a comparison of the bending stiffness versus wall thickness for each tubingdiameter. 0 6 0 . and 1. x 0.083 in.5" 101 8 Minimum Bending StrengthMinimum Wall Thickness Figure 4: Bending Strength vs Wall Thickness Figure 4 is a comparison of bending strength versus wall thickness. 0 6 0 .125 in. 0 8 0 . 1 2 5 " 1 .125 in. Bending Strength vs. 0 4 0 .058 in.058 inch wall thickness.375 in.065 in.25 4130 1. designated in the rules listed above as equivalenceto a piece of 1018 steel 1 inch diameter with 0..375 in x0.0500000100000015000002000000250000030000000 . 5 " Minimum Bending StiffnessMinimum Wall Thickness Figure 3: Bending Stiffness vs Wall Thickness
3 0 .125 in.25 in x 0.083 in.125 inch diameter and a 0. 1.083 inch thick walls.125 in x 0. 1018 tubing. x 0.
. geometry¶s.049 in.
90 22.125 in. MaterialsOverall Weight(lbs)Weight Gain(lbs)PercentIncrease 1. 4130 73. x 0. 1018 81.having a calculated total mass of 73. x 0.88 8.45 16.54 0.00%1.33 %1 in.99% Figure 5: Weight Increase Comparison
.00 0.5 lbs. x 0. the following chart (Figure 5) shows theassociated increases due to the other materials.065 in.058 in.34 11. 1018 90.083 in.125 in.
but also the tools tobe used in the design. 8 2 4 1 3 0 1 0 . Frame Design To begin the initial design of the frame. and that the team feltconfident with its construction. The requirements for suspension and shock mounts must be kept in mindthroughout the design as well as clearance for suspension travel. 0 5 7 3 0 1 . The objective is to minimize the number of welded joints on the frame in favor of bent members.The intended fabrication is important due to the limitations of the abilities and skills of the build team as well as design directives. 0 5 8 8 2 4 1 7 4 . As the designprogressed the manufacturability was constantly reviewed with the build team. Some decisions were made based upon pastexperience while others were based directly off the intended driver¶s biometricmeasurements. 6 9 Figure 6: Equivalency Calculations Having the building materials decided upon. As mentioned above the rules change yearly. Thisensured that there were no impossible features in the design. 9 3 Square 4 1 3 0 1 . While these decisions are not important to the analysis of the frame. 0 6 5 2 1 4 8 0 2 0 . the overall frame geometry is guided by strict rules. 4 1 4 1 3 0 1 . This is a keyfactor in the rules regarding driver safety. Design Guidelines Before beginning the design of the frame it was important to make several global designdecisions. 4 2 4 4 9 1 . This becomes a factor when verifying thedriver stays within the roll envelope. 2 7 2 7 2 1 . From that point. there first must be set some design guidelines. Figure 6 shows the equivalency calculations for the three types of tubingused in the roll cage. this becomes an iterative process. the areas of the design that may show weaknessor high loading should be analyzed for stress concentrations should be identified foranalysis. they are important to understanding the design.The interactions of the frame and the strict safety rules required that the frame bedesigned with a solid modeling software package. 1 2 5 0 . The design was done utilizing theSolidworks package.These include not only design features and manufacturing methods. or the area encased by the roll cage. As the handlebars require thedriver to have their hands farther apart than with a steering wheel it is important toconsider the drivers size and arm position. 0 8 3 7 5 2 5 6 8 .Through experience Northeastern University¶s design team has found the simplicity andstrength of a handlebar and bell crank type method of steering to be advantageous overthe conventional steering wheel and rack and pinion. The rules regarding the framegeometry and driver safety must be considered as well The design of the cars suspension will be unequal length A-arms in the front and a swing-arm in the rear.This tube is what will be used for the majority of the frame design. 2 5 0 . MaterialDiameter(in)WallThicknessBendingStiffness(lb*in^2)BendingStrength(lb*in) Round 1 0 1 8 1 0 . Bending is less time consumingand when properly done show a much lower stress concentration. the next step of the design process is tobegin the solid modeling of the design. As the frame andsuspension designs are extremely intertwined.25 inch square tubing with a 0. However theequivalency of 1 inch and 1. Solidworks was chosen over other packages because of its simpleinterface for creating three dimensional sketches. for this reason they areattached in Appendix A. Theserules were constantly referenced throughout the design of the frame to ensurecompliance.065 inch wall thickness wereverified for member that required to be used to mount other components of the overallvehicle design. checking
.As with the material type. These include such details as intended steering and suspension design and alsointended fabrication methods. 0 7 3 1 1 2 . 0 6 5 1 0 5 7 0 7 8 .
Solidworks interferencecheck and motion simulation are as simple as point and click.The design was done over an approximate 180 hours of design time. due to thenumber and complexity of bent members in the intended design. Where many packagesrequire the user to redefine the position. the parametric properties allowed the changeof a single part to automatically change the design of all parts interacting with it. As so manyfactors interact in the design of the frame. Some notable features are the fact that thedesign consists of 4 main members: the roll hoop. This time was takento make the model fully parametric. rollover impact. Theseanalyses are shown in the next section. and simulatingmotion. side impact. The simplification of multiple members
Perimeter hoopsRoll hoopHorizontal hoopFigure: 7 Initial DesignAs mentioned above the design was made using the Solidworks solid modeling package. Initial Design The initial design is shown in the Figure 6. The three dimensional sketching ability was extremely important. and the twoperimeter hoops.interferences. This isespecially important when ensuring the roll cage envelope considerations as well as thesuspension and drive train mounting. Solidworks allows the user to drag the part orassembly through its intended motion. The function also has an interference tool built inthat allows the user to choose between multiple notification methods. and suspension forces. This means the features of the model are based uponthose preceding it.In this design there are a few important loading situations that should be analyzed.These include frontal impact. and will change according to any modifications to the parent features.
. the horizontal hoop.The usage of parametric design was extremely important with this design.
Figure 20: Shock Mount Loading ± Overall Stress ViewFigure 21: Shock Mount Loading ± Detailed Stress View
A side view of this addition is shown in Figure 22. The additionalbrace ties the shock mount into a nearby load and also will help brace the perimeter hoop.
. the analysis was re-run using identical parameters. The recommended method used was toadd supports between the side members and the perimeter hoops that also contacted theshock hoop.The analysis resulted in the following stresses as shown in Figure 23.After reviewing the results of the finite element analysis is evident that some additionalbracing is required to the shock mounting hoop. Additional Bracing Figure 22: Additional Shock Bracing After adding this additional bracing.
Figure 23: Shock Mount Loading ± Final stress
5 G load on the cage. Figure 24 shows the point of applicationfor the loading on the roll cage. Figure 24: Rollover Impact ± Loading Point of Application An overall view of the resulting stress is shown in Figure 25.The Loading was applied to the upper forward corner of the perimeter hoop with acombination vector sideways and downward. This is equivalent to a loading force of 1875 lbf.
. The load was chosen to be on a single corner as thiswould be a worst case scenario rollover.Rollover Impact The Final step in the analysis was to analyze the stress on the roll cage caused by arollover with a 2.
Figure 25: Roll Over Impact ± Overall Stress View
Figure 26 shows a detailed view of the upperforward bend of the perimeter hoop to show if the addition of additional bracing in theroof would be useful.5G loading. The ideal method of support would be the addition of a support from the sidemember to this bend. The Roll hoop sees significant loading at the point of contact with theshock hoop supports as well as the point of the upper forward bends in the perimeterhoops. The problem is that this member would not work with thesuspension or steering designs decided upon.
. there is extreme stress on the rollhoop design. and would also impede the driver¶s abilityto get out of the vehicle in and emergency.As can be seen in Figure 25 even with a 2.
These failure points are de3monstrated with arrows in Figure 30. there was a problem with the rollover impact loading. side impact. The suggested member is drawn inred. Whilethere was absolutely no issue with the frontal impact. This addition is shown inFigure 27. it does validate theanalysis performed in the course of this thesis. The vehicle landed ajump at an awkward angle. Real World Testing Results In the course of the usage of this frame design during the 2004-2005 MiniBaja season. or shock mountloading. the car was subjected to a high speed rollover. steeringmethod and driver safety it is the authors recommendation that future frame design havethe following support member as shown in Figure 29. Thiscan be seen below in Figure 30. caught a corner and flipped at high speed (approximately35mph).
Point of Failure Figure 30: Actual Roll Cage Failure
. The cage bent in the fashion predicated in the Rollover Impact Analysis. Whilethis can be considered a failure in the terms of structural integrity. As can be seen by the displacements. The addition of the member discussed inthe previous section and shown in Figure 29 would have most likely prevented thefailure. In the course of theSuspension Event. Figure 29: Future Design Recommendation The difficulty with the addition of this member is that it will either require an entireredesign of the suspension and steering design or a complete redesign of the frame.the structural properties of the frame came into account on multiple occasions.Figure 26: Rollover Impact ± Detailed Stress View In an effort to stiffen the roll hoop the addition of a cross member in the roof totriangulate between the two perimeter roll hoops was added. Theweakness of the cage in this spot was however a feature that was kept in mind during theusage of the vehicle.
design of this frame do to pre existing conditions such as the suspension design. This weakness proved evident in the real world usage. the majority of thestresses were at the bend and the point at which the perimeter hoop meets the shock mount bracing.
Point of FailureFigure 31: Roll Cage Failure in FEA
.The following illustration shows the areas of failure in the equivalent finite elementanalysis.
The usage of finite element analysis was invaluable to the design and analysis of theframe for Northeastern¶s MiniBaja Car. Even though a fix was unable to be implemented in this frame design. While a viablesolution to the stresses seen in a rollover type impact could not be found due to the setdesign constraints. the finite element analysis gave a very accurate prediction of wherefailure would occur in this situation. thefindings from the finite element analysis and the actual failure will allow future designersto integrate a solution to this problem into their design from the beginning
. This prediction was validated in an actual rolloveroccurrence. The analysis allowed the addition of threeimportant and key structural components to help the vehicle with stand front and sideimpacts as well as the forces due to the loading of the shock mounts.