Go Back   Team-BHP > Buckle Up > Motor-Sports > Indian Motorsport


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 31st March 2016, 12:32   #1
BHPian
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Chennai,Nairobi
Posts: 129
Thanked: 236 Times
Default Building a Formula SAE Race Car

Hello Everyone,

In response to my recent intro, @S2 suggested I share some info on the FSAE project that I did while I was at university in India. Thanks for the recommendation @S2! I'll try to keep it as brief as possible considering the process is incredibly detailed.

The FSAE (Formula Society of Automotive Engineers) competition is an Indian inter-college/university competition with the aim of empowering students to design, build and race a track racing car. (I think it's called Formula Student India now). Some colleges/universities sponsor these activities for their teams but we had to source sponsorship for ourselves, which was quite a challenge to say the least!

That year over 200 institutions applied and only 50 cleared the technical presentation phase. These 50 go on to build and race the cars.

The 2012 season of this competition was the first time it was held at the Buddh International Circuit. I'll give more details as we go along in this post.

We began around August 2011 by creating the entire design with CAD. The frame is based on a Maruti 800cc MPFI engine's dimensions given to us by Maruti who were the title sponsors.

There are several elements like stress analysis and suspension analysis that need to be accounted for and shown to the judges for review. Here is the full design on CAD:

Building a Formula SAE Race Car-img_1512.jpg

After confirmation of the final design and freezing on dimensions (using SAE models of humans), we began with creating a mock-up using plastic tubes to ensure that our design is achievable in reality (remember we had to minimize on cost wherever possible). Drawing the outline on the ground and laying of pipes:

Building a Formula SAE Race Car-img_1160.jpg

You then achieve a full scale model of the frame:

Building a Formula SAE Race Car-img_1453.jpg

There will still be some minor adjustments needed in terms of width or length of the cockpit to accommodate the driver's dimensions. This is also reflected in the CAD layout.

The presentation was in February 2012 and the race scheduled for September of the same year. Once we were selected, we began our work in full swing.

Both metal frame work and body work went on simultaneously to save on time. This is the right side pod mould fiber glass template made out of styrofoam.

Building a Formula SAE Race Car-img_1714.jpg

Several iterations with balsa wood and plumbing foam lead to a template for the fiber glass mould.

Building a Formula SAE Race Car-img_2377.jpg

Building a Formula SAE Race Car-img_2365.jpg

The fiber glass was laid with the templates:

Building a Formula SAE Race Car-img_2456.jpg

Same process for the front cone, side walls and the left side pod.

Building a Formula SAE Race Car-img_2564.jpg

Meanwhile, the frame steel is also taking shape. We had to use rollers to bend the steel for the cockpit wall based on the template we drew. I think we did TIG welding to get the frame up to shape:

Building a Formula SAE Race Car-img_1788.jpg

Building a Formula SAE Race Car-img_1841.jpg

Building a Formula SAE Race Car-img_1843.jpg

Building a Formula SAE Race Car-img_1955.jpg

Then the bracket fabrication work startedfor holding all the components onto the frame like the suspension, steering and even the engine mounts. We got the help of some local welders and fabricators to bend the parts for us.

Once these are welded on, we started assembling the basic items onto the car like the engine, suspension and wheels:

Building a Formula SAE Race Car-img_2586.jpg

Building a Formula SAE Race Car-img_2591.jpg

Building a Formula SAE Race Car-img_2717.jpg

Then you get the fiber glass parts, derived from the moulds, onto the car for a fit check and do any sanding if necessary to achieve the perfect fit.

Building a Formula SAE Race Car-img_2642.jpg

Building a Formula SAE Race Car-img_2734.jpg

All the system assemblies and fiberglass parts come together to create the basic car:

Building a Formula SAE Race Car-img_2834.jpg

We did some intensive testing with and without these body parts to ensure that nothing will come loose during the race. For e.g. hard braking, tilt testing (to ensure no fuel leak) and rapid acceleration.

Building a Formula SAE Race Car-img_2797.jpg

Building a Formula SAE Race Car-img_2805.jpg

Once we were completely satisfied, then the vehicle started its final painting and stickering process to get it up to race condition. The frame, any system assemblies and fiberglass parts are all done independently.

Building a Formula SAE Race Car-img_2647.jpg

Building a Formula SAE Race Car-img_2850.jpg

Building a Formula SAE Race Car-img_2859.jpg

We got some sponsored some sweet rims too.

Name:  IMG_2872.PNG
Views: 8154
Size:  751.8 KB

Building a Formula SAE Race Car-img_2878.jpg

The final car looked like this:

Building a Formula SAE Race Car-img_2884.jpg

We then had to ship the car via truck to the circuit in Delhi. Here are some snaps of the car on location with other competitors:

Building a Formula SAE Race Car-img_2954.jpg

Building a Formula SAE Race Car-img_2962.jpg

Building a Formula SAE Race Car-img_2971.jpg

We cleared all the pre-race tests but during the race, our front right suspension bracket broke during a hard braking corner. Sadly the race was over but overall this was probably the most significant learning experience in my personal and professional life. I was incredibly proud of all my team mates (7 dedicated souls) and truly grateful that I was allowed to lead our team for this event.
qr20de is offline   (35) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 31st March 2016, 13:03   #2
Senior - BHPian
 
S2!!!'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: Mumbai
Posts: 1,799
Thanked: 8,942 Times
Default re: Building a Formula SAE Race Car

Thanks for sharing qr20de. I'm glad that you went ahead and posted a report about this project vehicle.

I know that these projects are generally on a tight budget but if you don't mind sharing, how much did it cost you to build and how many man hours went in its development?

Also, what gearbox did it use - 5-speed or 4-speed? Did you guys manage to weight the car?
S2!!! is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 31st March 2016, 14:14   #3
BHPian
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Chennai,Nairobi
Posts: 129
Thanked: 236 Times
Default re: Building a Formula SAE Race Car

@s2!!! So I think the entire cost of the project, including transportation to and fro came to just over INR400,000. Some of the members put in their money too towards the end to cover for some final costs.

In terms of man hours, we started the project approximately in August of 2011 and completed in September 2012. I think we could estimate about an hour everyday during the week and about 6 total on the weekends. So in about 11 months that would be like 500 hours per person, with about 5 of us full time involved. This is a broad estimate.

I'm pretty sure it was a 5 speed transmission.
qr20de is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 1st April 2016, 12:13   #4
BHPian
 
srinitdas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Daman
Posts: 42
Thanked: 72 Times
Default Re: Building a Formula SAE Race Car

Thanks for sharing qr20de.

The Formula SAE India and the Baja SAE India are the two best things that happened to the automobile enthusiast engineering students of the country.
Baja SAE India was started in 2007 by the likes of Pawan Goenka, KC Vohra and Behram Dhabar themselves.
I was part of the Baja team from my institute for 3 editions and also the race driver. I still remember the nightmare that Dhabar sir used to be during technical inspection. His standards were really stringent as they should be. It was popularly remarked by Mr. KC Vohra in BAJA 2011 event, that if you can pass a technical inspection by Dhabar sir, then you can pass a technical inspection anywhere in the world.

I think you would agree that that insane amount of blood and sweat we put into this race is totally worth it. I can totally understand the pain of arranging funds. But the exposure we get so early on in life is certainly going to help immensely in the long run.

Quote:
Originally Posted by qr20de View Post
Meanwhile, the frame steel is also taking shape. We had to use rollers to bend the steel for the cockpit wall based on the template we drew. I think we did TIG welding to get the frame up to shape:

Name:  IMG_1841.JPG
Views: 7542
Size:  77.6 KB
What I see is an Oxy-Acetylene torch in this pic. I think you used that for bending the frames. But that's not the point. It is extremely dangerous for the guy in the pic to be wearing bathroom slippers and standing so close to the torch. Nobody can be allowed into the workshop without shoes, let alone stand anywhere remotely close to a welding torch. I guess, as young students, the excitement overshadows reason. I would ask you to exercise caution for the subsequent editions. If you are a current student, then take it upon yourself to enforce safety discipline. If you have already graduated, please make it very clear to your juniors, that such acts can permanently impair body parts.

Thanks again. It got me so nostalgic that I opened my old laptop to take a look at all the pics and videos from those events. Those were the best part of my engineering days.
srinitdas is offline   (6) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 1st April 2016, 12:19   #5
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 225
Thanked: 211 Times
Default Re: Building a Formula SAE Race Car

Thanks qr20de for posting this as a thread. I'm a big fan for the FSAE college competition. I'm sure you would have found out just how big a gap there is between the college classes and practical implementation.

Was the engine a new one or a refurbished piece? Also what happens to the car once you are done with it. When we did these competition the college kept the car to display it since they paid for the costs, but you mentioned that you guys arranged the financing for this project.
VellVector is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1st April 2016, 13:15   #6
BHPian
 
EPMV's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2016
Location: Bangalore
Posts: 66
Thanked: 268 Times
Default Re: Building a Formula SAE Race Car

Thanks for posting with as much as possible details and pics. I can imaging the hard time you went through while searching for sponsors, though I never had any experience. You should have got a good exposure on auto-mobile stuff from the scratch to race tracks, nice opportunity you got there. Any such projects in your mind now? or ongoing?

Even I had the same question raised by VellVector above.

Quote:
Also what happens to the car once you are done with it. When we did these competition the college kept the car to display it since they paid for the costs, but you mentioned that you guys arranged the financing for this project.
500 hours per person X 5 dedicated souls = 2500 hours = 104 days of full time work + 4 Lacs investment + all of your pocket money. Finally where it is resting now?
EPMV is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 1st April 2016, 13:40   #7
Distinguished - BHPian
 
Join Date: Jul 2007
Location: MUMBAI
Posts: 3,059
Thanked: 4,571 Times
Default Re: Building a Formula SAE Race Car

Quote:
Originally Posted by srinitdas View Post
The Formula SAE India and the Baja SAE India are the two best things that happened to the automobile enthusiast engineering students of the country. Baja SAE India was started in 2007 by the likes of Pawan Goenka, KC Vora and Behram Dhabhar themselves.
I was part of the Baja team from my institute for 3 editions and also the race driver. I still remember the nightmare that Dhabhar sir used to be during technical inspection. His standards were really stringent as they should be. It was popularly remarked by Mr. KC Vora in BAJA 2011 event, that if you can pass a technical inspection by Dhabhar sir, then you can pass a technical inspection anywhere in the world. The exposure we get so early on in life is certainly going to help immensely in the long run. Those were the best part of my engineering days.
Dear Srinitdas - thanks for your gracious compliments! . By the way, which 3 years were you there in Pithampur?

You have correctly mentioned the exact reason why I was what I was in Baja SAEINDIA: "The exposure you got so early on in life is certainly going to you help immensely in the long run. Those were the best part of your engineering days", wasn't it? You will agree that in today's times, laptops, excel sheets and power-point presentations take priority over actual making of the car. Which other forum will give you such an opportunity to actually make a car having a 10bhp petrol engine and a 3-wheeler transmission which can actually run on a dirt track for 4 hours?

I have seen a distinct difference in the outlook of BajaSAEINDIA background engineers as compared to other engineers. In hindsight, the whole thing was worth it! . I have also got a lot of photographs, I'll see them today at home.

Best regards,

Behram Dhabhar

Last edited by DHABHAR.BEHRAM : 1st April 2016 at 13:42.
DHABHAR.BEHRAM is offline   (4) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 1st April 2016, 13:48   #8
BHPian
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Chennai,Nairobi
Posts: 129
Thanked: 236 Times
Default Re: Building a Formula SAE Race Car

Quote:
Originally Posted by srinitdas View Post

What I see is an Oxy-Acetylene torch in this pic. I think you used that for bending the frames. But that's not the point. It is extremely dangerous for the guy in the pic to be wearing bathroom slippers and standing so close to the torch. Nobody can be allowed into the workshop without shoes, let alone stand anywhere remotely close to a welding torch. I guess, as young students, the excitement overshadows reason. I would ask you to exercise caution for the subsequent editions. If you are a current student, then take it upon yourself to enforce safety discipline. If you have already graduated, please make it very clear to your juniors, that such acts can permanently impair body parts.
@srinitdas, I completely agree with you a 100% and I'd also add that that was a great catch. Safety is paramount in any engineering project, especially one with high temperatures and dangerous materials. I learnt that the hard way.

I'm glad I was able to refresh your memory about your experiences. It was a wonderful experience and as you rightly said, a wonderful learning experience. To be honest that's what got me my first job and I haven't looked back since.
qr20de is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 1st April 2016, 13:52   #9
BHPian
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Chennai,Nairobi
Posts: 129
Thanked: 236 Times
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by VellVector View Post
Thanks qr20de for posting this as a thread. I'm a big fan for the FSAE college competition. I'm sure you would have found out just how big a gap there is between the college classes and practical implementation.

Was the engine a new one or a refurbished piece? Also what happens to the car once you are done with it. When we did these competition the college kept the car to display it since they paid for the costs, but you mentioned that you guys arranged the financing for this project.
@VellVector; I would honestly say that my experience and learnings from this event were probably 80% of what I am as an automotive engineer. It was not only a technical experience but management, marketing, communication and financial one. Simply amazing.

The powertrain we used was taken off the previous year's car from our university. I think for new teams they were given new engines.

Once we finished the race, we 'donated' the car back to our university. We hoped that under the professor's care it would be used for learning. But I am really scared to go back and see what's the situation. I'd rather not be heart broken.

Quote:
Originally Posted by EPMV View Post
Thanks for posting with as much as possible details and pics. I can imaging the hard time you went through while searching for sponsors, though I never had any experience. You should have got a good exposure on auto-mobile stuff from the scratch to race tracks, nice opportunity you got there. Any such projects in your mind now? or ongoing?

Even I had the same question raised by VellVector above.


500 hours per person X 5 dedicated souls = 2500 hours = 104 days of full time work + 4 Lacs investment + all of your pocket money. Finally where it is resting now?
@EPMV Finding sponsors was incredibly difficult but a great learning opportunity on how companies think of their marketing (and/or financial strategies).

Currently, I'm not working on anything similar but do get my hands dirty helping out friends fixing parts and or servicing. I prefer not to lose that skill.

Last edited by aah78 : 1st April 2016 at 23:20. Reason: Posts merged.
qr20de is offline   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 1st April 2016, 14:47   #10
BHPian
 
srinitdas's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Daman
Posts: 42
Thanked: 72 Times
Default Re: Building a Formula SAE Race Car

Quote:
Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post
Dear Srinitdas - thanks for your gracious compliments! . By the way, which 3 years were you there in Pithampur?
You are welcome, sir. It is an honour to hear from you. I was at Pithampur for BAJA 2011-2013. In fact, you were one of the panelists for our Virtual BAJA 2010 presentation, held at India Habitat Centre, New Delhi, July 2010.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post
You have correctly mentioned the exact reason why I was what I was in Baja SAEINDIA: "The exposure you got so early on in life is certainly going to you help immensely in the long run. Those were the best part of your engineering days", wasn't it? You will agree that in today's times, laptops, excel sheets and power-point presentations take priority over actual making of the car. Which other forum will give you such an opportunity to actually make a car having a 10bhp petrol engine and a 3-wheeler transmission which can actually run on a dirt track for 4 hours?
The dirt track at Pithampur is like no other. BAJA SAE India gave the taste of real racing to so many enthusiasts in the country. I could never have dreamt of getting behind the wheel in an open wheel racecar, if not for BAJA. It is a surreal experience to be driving wheel to wheel in a track where you cannot see beyond 10 feet initially (All that dust thrown up by 100 sets of wheels).


Quote:
Originally Posted by DHABHAR.BEHRAM View Post
I have seen a distinct difference in the outlook of BajaSAEINDIA background engineers as compared to other engineers. In hindsight, the whole thing was worth it! . I have also got a lot of photographs, I'll see them today at home.
It was well worth it. Thanks to the efforts of the Indian automotive industry, the level of the competition is rising every year. For example, most cars weighed almost 350-400 kg during the 2011 event, which came down below 300 kg by 2013, and by now, few teams might be breaching the 200 kg mark. Someday, we will surely see Indian engineering students flourishing in the international level as well.
srinitdas is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 1st April 2016, 16:58   #11
BHPian
 
AJ-got-BHP's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Calcutta
Posts: 560
Thanked: 1,944 Times
Default Re: Building a Formula SAE Race Car

Good to see this thread on the Forum and as a matter of fact would like to mention that I had come across the SAE India Stall at the Auto Expo 2016 - Main Show @ Noida this February itself.

Sharing a picture of their Stall in Hall 2 of the 1st Floor :
Building a Formula SAE Race Car-main-show-1.jpg

I was pretty much amazed to know about the Off Road Vehicle made by Team Jatayu who are a Racing Team from Maharaja Agrasen Institute of Technology. Their project was building an ATV (All Terrain Vehicle) right from scratch. They said that their team comprised of around 25-30 dedicated and hardworking students who have designed and fabricated an ATV for 2016 racing season. The season will consist of 3 competitions :
  • Baja student India
  • Baja SAE INDIA
  • Baja SAE USA

Sharing a picture of their build :
Building a Formula SAE Race Car-main-show-2.jpg

Building a Formula SAE Race Car-main-show-3.jpg

I was pretty much fascinated with the entire idea of "Build Your Own" and had gone through the Videos of Team Jatayu on YouTube as well. Luckily had it bookmarked, so sharing it here :



AJ-got-BHP is offline   (3) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 1st April 2016, 17:48   #12
BHPian
 
Join Date: Jan 2014
Location: mum,lko,kolkata
Posts: 645
Thanked: 605 Times
Default Re: Building a Formula SAE Race Car

Going through this thread and the posts was an uplifting experience for me and, I'm sure, for many others from my generation. It indicates better than all the hype just how far the interaction & synergy between industry and the academic institutions has come, over the past few decades.

Kudos to qr20de, srinitdas and all the other team members for their splendid work! And huge credit to Team-BHP too for highlighting such efforts.
shashanka is online now   (1) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 2nd April 2016, 04:08   #13
Newbie
 
sharkashwa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Bangyland
Posts: 16
Thanked: 20 Times
Cool Re: Building a Formula SAE Race Car

Hey Guys,

Happy that someone started a thread on FSAE. Being a sort of "veteran" in this field, I'm happy that FSAE is being represented in a forum like Team BHP.

I was part of the Ashwa Racing team from R V College of Engineering, Bangalore as the vehicle dynamics lead (chassis and suspension). Took part in the FSAE Italy competition both in 2010 and 2011.

FSAE is a great experience, something that I just could not get out of my system. I am now the testing systems engineering lead with the Cornell FSAE Team and will be competing at FSAE Michigan this year.

This thread made me relive my days being part of that team, most of the guys are still close buddies with me even now, a trait I believe is common with most FSAE team members. The surprising part is that some of the foreign teams are still good friends with me and always go out of their way to help the team out.

I am attaching a few pictures of our team campaign in Italy. Have a looksie and I'll be more than happy to explain on any of the pictures.

Also, let me know if you guys wanna see the Cornell team's car. It's way different compared to our mild steel spaceframe concept in that theirs is a Carbon Fiber tub with a turbocharged engine and wings. Lots more components that might fail means a lot more work for me to develop test methodologies for them!

Cheers !
Sharath

Name:  2011 concept.jpg
Views: 5098
Size:  34.8 KB

Name:  chassis.jpg
Views: 5234
Size:  65.9 KB

Name:  Tecg inspection.jpg
Views: 5064
Size:  67.4 KB

Name:  tilt table.jpg
Views: 5212
Size:  84.9 KB

Name:  brake test.jpg
Views: 5130
Size:  84.2 KB

Name:  Design presentation.jpg
Views: 5025
Size:  47.4 KB

Name:  INA FAG pic.jpg
Views: 5031
Size:  87.9 KB

Name:  After event.jpg
Views: 5026
Size:  79.4 KB


Wow, I never know our car was written about in Team-BHP. But I guess not many people knew about it then. Link attached below:

http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/c...ow/9104931.cms

Last edited by aah78 : 2nd April 2016 at 05:24. Reason: Post edited for grammar & spacing. Merged.
sharkashwa is offline   (5) Thanks Reply With Quote
Old 2nd April 2016, 10:41   #14
Distinguished - BHPian
 
sudev's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Gurgaon
Posts: 3,435
Thanked: 1,914 Times
Default Re: Building a Formula SAE Race Car

Lovely narration and supporting pictures.

Caution the steel pipe bending process by use of heat reduces the structural strength and pipe wall thickness around the "bends" it is recommended to use cold bending techniques.
sudev is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 2nd April 2016, 11:31   #15
Newbie
 
sharkashwa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Bangyland
Posts: 16
Thanked: 20 Times
Default Re: Building a Formula SAE Race Car

Quote:
Originally Posted by sudev View Post
Lovely narration and supporting pictures.

Caution the steel pipe bending process by use of heat reduces the structural strength and pipe wall thickness around the "bends" it is recommended to use cold bending techniques.
Definitely, but to support what was said by Sudev in context of the FSAE rules, the thickest section of pipe required by the chassis is 0.1 inch thick and 1 inch outer diameter pipe used for the roll hoop structure seen on any FSAE car. Such wall thicknesses are considered thin and can be easily mandrel bent to the required angle. Due caution has to be given to negate the spring back effect of the pipes which will require you to bend that bit more in order to get the perfect angles required.
We used a specially built fixture table to constraint the pipes in all 6 degrees of freedom in order to have precise location of the suspension points to match with our design on CAD. Furthermore, the entire welded area underwent tempering where it was heated up to 650 C and cooled in air to prevent brittle cracking of the adjoining martensitic areas of the pipe after fatigue loading.
sharkashwa is offline   (2) Thanks Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Help needed Formula SAE Team Fateh amannarwal Indian Motorsport 12 4th February 2015 23:49
Bangalore Students Design Formula Race Car BulZire Technical Stuff 0 5th July 2011 13:06
SAE 50 grade oil for Yezdi & Land Rover Sudarshan Technical Stuff 7 24th June 2011 18:45
SAE 2009: all-electric Tata Indica getting ready for Norway, then the world frankmehta The Indian Car Scene 18 18th September 2009 21:11
IIT Delhi students making formula car for Formula SAE rishibravo Technical Stuff 12 24th April 2008 19:53


All times are GMT +5.5. The time now is 06:07.

Copyright 2000 - 2017, Team-BHP.com
Proudly powered by E2E Networks