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The Mini-Baja Project

Project Objectives Design Methodology Boundary Conditions Mini-Baja Frames Results Conclusions Questions

Project Objectives
To develop a frame that conforms to the SAE standards
To develop a frame that is streamlined, low-weight and safe for the driver and other competitors. Optimize the Stress-Weight tradeoff.

Cost effectiveness.

SAE Specifications for the Mini-Baja

The roll cage must satisfy SAE requirements for space and strength (minimum size 1-inch ODx0.083 thickness DOM steel tubing).
Side bars with a height of 8-inches (min.) above the lowest point of the seat of the pants of the driver. Maximum time for a driver to exit the vehicle is five seconds. Transportable via standard pickup trucks with eight foot beds. Consider the aesthetics of the frame as well as the strength and size requirements.

Design Tasks

Perform simulation on all Mini-Baja models.

Analyze and Evaluate the stress distributions.

Drivers safety First

Optimize Stress Vs Weight relationship.

Modify and finalize the model

Model Development
Pre-Processing Element: Linear Isotropic 1 D Beam Element with Circular Cross-Section Material: 1020 DOM Steel (Driven Over Mandrel) Apply Boundary Conditions
Symmetry/ Anti-Symmetry

Processing Meshing Solve the model using I-DEAS Post Processing Data Analysis Make informed choices to meet the design objective

Loading Cases
Six loading conditions: 1. Rollover 2. Front Bump

3. Rear Bump
4. Frontal Collision 5. Heave 6. Twist Ditch

Frontal Collision Test

Test: Frontal Collision Model used: Half model Condition: Symmetry Loading: a uniformly distributed 1680 lb force in X-direction at the front of the vehicle Boundary Condition: Rear corner:Trans X=Y=Z=0 Opp.Rear corner:Trans X=Y=0 Front corner:Trans Y=0 Opp.Front corner: Trans Y=Z=0

Heave Loading
Test: Heave Loading Model used: Half model Loading: Engine and Driver load = (100 +210)*3= 630 lbs Boundary Conditions: One rear corner: X,Y & Z =0 Opposite rear corner: X &Y = 0 One Front Corner: Y = 0

Rollover Test
Test: Rollover Model Used: Full Loading: Rollover loading considered is 9.42G acting on one of the top front joints of the frame Vertical load: 4200lbs Fore & Aft load: 3080lbs Lateral load: 840lbs

One Front Wheel Bump Test

Test: Front Bump Model used: Full model Loading: a point force of 1680 lbs in the Y-direction of the front corner node Boundary Conditions: Rear corner:Trans X=Y=Z=0 Opp.Rear corner:Trans X=Y=0 Opp.Front corner: Trans Y=Z=0 Other corner: Simulate the force equal to 3 X Total Vehicle Weight = 1680 lbs

One Rear Wheel Bump Test

Test: Rear Bump Model used: Full model Loading: 1680 lbs in Y-direction of the rear corner node Boundary Conditions:

Front corner:Trans X=Y=Z=0 Opposite Front corner: Trans X=Y=0 Rear corner: Trans Y=Z=0 Other corner: Simulate the force equal to 3 X Total Vehicle Weight = 1680 lbs

Twist Ditch Test

Test: Twist Ditch Model used: Half model (AntiSymmetric)

Loading: Engine and Driver load = (100 +210)*3= 630 lbs

Boundary Conditions: One rear corner: X,Y & Z =0 Opposite rear corner: X &Y = 0 One Front Corner: Y = 0

Designed Frames
Model 1- Bubble This is the base model given to us by the problem definition
Model 2-Buttercup An over-designed version in order to first pass the model successfully through the six severe loading conditions Model 3-Blossom Getting the right mix between stress reduction and weight optimization paradigm

Model 1 - Bubble
Model 1 (the original frame)
Elements are all 1 x 0.083 inch tubing Six loading tests

Nodes and Elements-Bubble

Nodes 26

Elements Length (in)

Width (in) Height (in)

46 75.74
27.35 44.83

Weight (lbs)


Elements are 1 x 0.083 tubing throughout the frame

Bubble Results
Passed: Frontal Collision Failed: Rollover :34 elements

Twist Ditch

Front Bump : 16 elements

Rear Bump : 25 elements

Rollover Test
Real Time Model Displacement Von-Mises Stress
Green: Pass Red: Failed

Model 1 test results and observations

Roll over and Bump tests were the most severe Von Mises Stress is used as a critical design parameter The model needs to be beefed up in the drivers compartment Decide viable way to increase the stiffness of the overall structure

Essentially the major goal for the next step was to pass the model
Minimization of overall weight

Modeling Tasks for Model 2

Reconfigure the roll cage.
Making sure the frame passes rollover and bump tests. Add cross members to the top of the drivers compartment and back windshield in order to triangulate the stresses

Separate the drivers compartment from the engine compartment by adding a beam.
Add members to the side of the drivers carriage (below). Resist the temptation to add a cross member that would block the drivers access in and out of the Mini-Baja.

Model 2- Buttercup
Tube Sizes Induces Drastic Weight Changes

Tubing Chart Color Tubes

Orange Blue

1 x 0.083
1 x 0.15 2 x 0.125

Light Blue

2 x 0.100
3 x 0.1400

Test results and Observation

Buttercup passed all the tests

Weight: 128 lbs

5 types of different Tubes

Modeling Tasks for Model 3

Design Reform Experiment with curve beam Difficulties Solutions
Point Load Distributed Load

Model 3

Curve makes everything Beautiful


Rollover Test Distributed Load

Rollover Test Point Load

Blossom Test Results

Strength: Weight and Aesthetic The weight : 120lbs 4 different Types of Tube Passed all the six loading cases Aerodynamic shape

Tubing Sizes Model 1 46 0 0 0 Model 2 41 9 0 6 Model 3 44 0 0 0

dia x wall thickness (inch)

1.0 x 0.083 1.0 x 0.15 2.0 x 0.083 2.0 x 0.1

2.0 x 0.125
2.0 x 0.145 2.0 x 0.175 2.0 x 0.21 3.0 x 0.14

0 0 0 0

0 0 0 4

1 4 2 0

Total Members
Weight (pounds) Cost ($)

61 504

128 1250

120 1050

Bubble was the lightest but it failed miserably under most of the loading conditions
The second model-Buttercup was developed by modifying the first model making changes in the tube X-section and adding more elements. It passed all the loading conditions but was really heavy to be used as our final design Blossom: Great Looks with Excellent Performance


We extend our sincere thanks to all the people who made this project possible
Our special thanks to Dr. Panos Charalambides for providing the opportunity to gain an insight into the finite elements intricacies

We also would like to thank UMBC for providing us with the facilities required to complete the project

We wish all the best to our classmates who are graduating this semester . -GOOD LUCK GUYS