As the days start to get longer and we enter into a new semester, the TAU Racing team have now reached the halfway point of the TAU-20 project. We have asked our Design Heads to take us through some of their biggest developments for this year's car.
The Engine department has seen an overhaul in many of the subsystems with redesigns of the air intake, and fuel and cooling systems, to further reduce weight and improve overall reliability. Using the Triumph Daytona 675 engine as TAU-20's basis, the air induction system has been revised to increase power output while minimising the weight. Our new airbox has been designed using ANSYS Fluent CFD simulation, ensuring optimal flow intake and also complying with the strict air restriction rules set by the IMechE. The new design has been 3D printed by our long-standing sponsor Plastiprint 3D, which will serve as a base for a fibreglass mould and the final carbon fibre product.
This year's fuel system looks to improve on previous experiences and will see a change in design philosophy with the use of active baffling in the tank to improve lateral cornering performance.
Composites and Aerodynamics
With the new nosecone and undertray design for TAU-20 finalised, the Composites and Aerodynamics department are ready to start manufacturing. The team has recently taken delivery of a special high-density foam from our sponsor, Easy Composites. This foam will be cut to shape using the University of Aberdeen's CNC machines to form bucks of the nosecone and the undertray. These will then be used to make our carbon fibre components using vacuum bagged resin infusion. Full optimisation of the aero systems allows the team to increase downforce with a minimal increase in drag while also reducing mass.
Electrical and Electronic Systems
TAU Racing's Electronics department has been working on implementing a CAN bus link between the ECU and an Arduino microcontroller. This will allow the team to have programmable shift lights based on the rpm of the engine while also performing various data logging functions for further analysis and understanding of the TAU-20 car. The team has also been working on implementing a soft rev limiter for use during launches at the acceleration event. This will help to make our launches more consistent and reducing wheel spin when getting off the line.
For TAU-20, the Suspension team have focused on simplifying design philosophy and reducing mass. This led to the decision of removing the push and pull rod suspension and making the move to direct actuation. The Suspension department decided to switch to 4130 steel due to its high strength to weight, improving the vehicle's reliability and reducing the mass. As opposed to TAU's previous model where only one type of suspension tubing was used, this year, parameter optimisation was performed to select the tubing which yielded the desired stiffness for the least weight. By doing this, the team will ensure that every suspension member is optimised for strength and mass.
The Suspension team have also been focusing on analysing the handling characteristics of TAU-20 through the use of Adams Software. Adams is a vehicle simulation software commonly used by professionals in industry during the design stage to understand and predict the vehicle's performance. The team has organised an Adams course in partnership with RGU Racing to improve the use of the software and learn more about the features it has to offer.
The team will now be working flat-out to make their designs a reality by working closely with TAU Racing's partners, which the team would like to thank for their continued support. In the meantime, stay tuned to our social media as there is an exciting announcement coming soon about our plans for summer!