TU Graz, Austria, Racing Team

The TU Graz Racing Team is a Formula Student Team of the Graz University of Technology in Austria. The name of the car is TANKIA, and it was built in 2004. TANKIA is an acronym for "There Are No Kangaroos In Austria."  The team consists of about 50 students of many different kinds of studies, such as architecture, English, civil engineering, sociology and, of course, mechanical and electrical engineering.
The TU Graz Racing Team is using ANSYS software products as early as possible in the design phase to optimize parts and components and, thus, increase the performance of the car. Weight reduction and optimized flow around the car are targets.

For weight reduction, the team uses ANSYS Mechanical for different parts including the uprights, differential mounting, wishbones and many more. Since many parts are manufactured of carbon composite material, ANSYS software offers the ability to optimize the weight and stiffness of the monocoque and other structural components. Use of ANSYS simulation tools has enabled the team to downsize uprights (see figure below) as well as increase their stiffness of them.

Figure 1. Front upright during maximum braking

Figure 2. Front upright during maximum lateral acceleration

For fluid dynamics simulation, the team uses ANSYS ICEM CFD and ANSYS CFX to simulate and improve the flow around the car. Fluid dynamics simulations focus on the side ports and underbody, since those have the biggest influence on the car regarding engine cooling and downforce. Using ANSYS simulation tools, the team has significantly improved both downforce and engine cooling.

Figure 3. Side view of the car in the flow field 

Figure 4. Underbody pressure distribution

Figure 5. Temperature distribution at the grille/side ports

In summary, the use of simulation becomes more and more important in the development of products, especially if there is a very short design cycle — as in Formula Student.


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