The powertrain design so far has been achieved by Leeds Gryphon Racing working incredibly hard under the guidance of Powertrain Team Leader, Theo Gwynn. The team have been working in-house at Leeds University and with engineering solution providers, Ricardo. Ricardo are specialists in the development of powertrain design, testing, integration of high performing engineering solutions for transmission, final drive, intake, the engine, and exhaust systems.
An investigation of header length has started which will involve analysing the best engineering solution to achieve peak torque; as the dimensions of the header alter, the horsepower and torque curves can be manipulated up or down depending on the size of the header pipe. This is no easy task as the huge range of engine performance variables provides a complex calculation process- the aim is to get the exhaust gases exiting the combustion chamber quickly and effectively yet maintaining pressure in the chamber to promote torque through effective scavenging and reduced exhaust restriction.
They are also busily calculating theoretical expansion chamber sizes to ensure the best use of the sound waves created during the combustion process. This process will effectively ‘supercharge’ the engine by sucking the spent gasses out of the cylinder which will also draw fresh gas/air mixture into the chamber (charge) which will then be pushed back into the cylinder to create greater pressure than would be achieved by just enabling the exhaust to vent with no further processing. These will then be tested to ensure they conform to the noise and performance criteria of the Formula Student IMechE rules.
The shape of the fuel tank also went under investigation- a trapezium shape has been identified as optimal and this is planned to be constructed from ‘Torlon’, a polyamide-imide which has higher impact resistance and compressive strength than most other engineering plastics, this also will enable the complex design to be easily 3D printed.
Theo’s team are working on more complex plenum geometry by creating solid CAD models of potential plenums which will be then be assessed through computational fluid dynamics (CFD) to look for the design that will provide the most effective pressure equalisation for even distribution.
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