DynamicΣ PRC: production of a composite material aerodynamic package

From June Issue of Compositi Magazine

Jacopo Muzio – Press Office DynamiΣ PRC

How can an aerodynamic profile be translated from a tridimensional computer designed model to a component ready for assembly? Today, DynamiΣ PRC engineers are going to explain us
 

DynamiΣ PRC, racing department of Politecnico di Milano, was born in 2004 on the initiative of the Mechanical Systems Engineering Department, that have made available for some students a place to be used as lab and workshop to realize the first University’s Formula SAE prototype.

After some development years, the students still in the project decided to refound the team, setting it up with a business approach. This, results in the subdivision of the Team in departments, with the assignment of clear managerial roles, and an increase of the participants number from fifteen to sixty, up to a hundred thirty during the last seasons, selected after an accurate
evaluation process.

The new general organization and the subdivision of the different tasks, allow DynamiΣ PRC to renovate every year the prototype, that is enriched step by step with several cutting- edge technical solutions like the carbon fiber monocoque, the data acquisition system, the usage of aerodynamic appendages on the sidepods and an always more relevant usage of composite materials.

Last developement regards the change of category from Combustion Vehicle to Electric Vehicle during the 2019/2020 season. During the 2016 season, the ultimate breakthrough was reached, when the Aerodynamic Department designed and realized the first complete package, using mainly composites reinforced with carbon fiber.

It was equipped with front and rear wings and lateral sidepods, accessorized with flaps to generate more downforce, that is vertical load, that allows a better grip in the turns. Since this, the development of the aerodynamic package has inserted new and always more light appendages related to the generated downforce, thanks to the usage of new structural simulation techniques and to the choice of always better raw materials and manufacturing processes.

One of the most important aspects connected with the production of an aerodynamic package is the correspondence between the CAD designed model and the final component. It is fundamental to perfectly replicate the surfaces of main wing profiles, flaps, suports and turning vanes, so that, when they are assembled all together, they work as desired. Variations in the curvature, in the chord length, in the camber and of the camber line generate unwanted effects.

An example

Mistakes in the production of the principal front wing shapes, that create a condition of flow difference form that one that was simulated, could makes useless all the studied done on the flaps that are behind it. Working in a wrong flowcondition in confront of the forecasted one, the flaps would be inefficient.

Between 2016 and today, the DynamiΣ PRC engineers have experienced several manufacturing processes to produce aerodynamic components that, on the base of the situation, they need or the realization of a model or they go directly to the production of a mold. This choice is influenced by various factors, some examples can be the:

  • dimensions of the component
  • deformation risk during curing phase
  • need of a perfect finishing or in both upper and lower surfaces, like for profiles and laps, or on only one surface, like in the case of the floor, and then for requirements due the extraction of the component from the mold.

 

 
 

 

 


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