The modern technologies are being used by the young constructors at WUT in order to build a Formula Student race car.
Different parts of it will be made with use of Rapid Prototyping which is a group of techniques used to quickly fabricate a scale model of a physical part or assembly using three-dimensional computer aided design (CAD) data. Construction of the part or assembly is usually done using 3D printing or “additive layer manufacturing” technology. They will also be using composite structures and nanomaterials. To great extent, the car is students’ proprietary project.
Thanks to the cooperation with WUT’s Materials Science and Engineering Faculty, some elements of the car will be made of nanocrystal steel. The steel will be used for manufacturing driveshafts and hubs. These elements carry heavy loads, and what’s more, because of frequently changing loads- resulting from accelerating and braking of a car- are more vulnerable to fatigue destruction says Szymon Marciniak from WUT, member of the NanoSteel project and he adds: The structure of steel resembles composite material because it comprises of two layers put alternately – one is hard and durable ferrite and the other is austenite which is ductile and ensures fracture resistance. Additionally, those layers are very thin – nanometric which makes this steel classify to/in modern nanocrystal materials.
The main aim of this project is the development of the members of the WUT Racing Team. The knowledge gained in class is put into practice in a small workshop where students are building their vehicle. In this year’s car we will be testing ECU – an Electronic Control Unit designed by our colleague says Marek Gulka, the manager of the Team.
Most of the work is done by the students themselves. They have designed and prepared: the vehicle frame, the bodywork and aerodynamic elements (wings and diffusor), gas tank, seat and steering wheel.
Tubes from which our frame is made have their mechanical properties increased and they were cut with laser which enables us to do the welding ourselves – says Filip Pasternak, member of the Technical Department. We have prepared a special assembly workplace that will facilitate its positioning.
The next stage after designing and building of the car is testing it so that students can find out how their solutions work in practice. Not many teams do the aerodynamic tests of the car whilst it’s moving. We also measure the temperature of the tyres using the thermal imaging cameras just like in the Formula 1 races – says Piotr Duda, head of the Aerodynamics Department.
The first race car was constructed in 2012 and took part in the race in Varano de Melegari. Getting to the 25th place, was a big success for a debuting team. They were one of 49 teams taking part in the combustion engine category. Later, the car was improved and succeeded by achieving the best result out of all Polish teams in Silverstone (UK) in 2013.
Designing and building of the vehicle was not all. Because of the uniqueness of the project, some parts of the car were ordered to be made externally and that generates additional costs. Finalising of the project and start in this year’s races is estimated to have costed 130 thousand PLN. Getting the funds for building of the car was a big challenge for us. We are still looking for the main sponsor of the project says Tobiasz Mayer, head of the Marketing Department.
Between 20th and 23rd August the new race car WUT 2 took part in its first competition – Formula Student Hungary in Györ. It was a debut for many of the WUT Team members and they classified at the 33rd place. One month later, WUT 2 participated in Formula SAE Italy 2015 at the Autodromo Riccardo Paletti Race Track. According to the rules of the competition, Students from WUT had to take part in various static events ie.: design presentation, cost analysis, business presentation as well as the dynamic events such as: acceleration, skid pad, autocross, endurance, efficiency.
The cost analysis and business done by our Team impressed the judges the most. The score in both categories led WUT Racing Team to the 9th place. In the general classification WUT Racing Team got to the 17th place. There were 43 teams from all over the World in the combustion engine category. The result of our team was the best among all Polish teams!