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IIDEA Manufacture Components for SHU Racing 2016 Car

IIDEA Manufacture Components for the Sheffield Hallam University SHU 2016 Student Racing Car Project

As a number of members of the IIDEA team, both past and present are ex-Sheffield Hallam University (SHU) graduates we were thrilled to be asked to manufacture some components for the 2016 SHU Racing Formula Student Project.

SHU Racing is an organisation founded and run by students on a voluntary basis from a variety of SHU departments. The students balance SHU Racing activities with their other studies and activities. Each year, the SHU Racing team aims to design and build a bespoke single-seated racing car to compete in the IMechE Formula Student event at Silverstone against universities from all over the world. The team has doubled in size since last year to include a Team Manager and dedicated management team of Mechanical Engineers working together with the rest of the team of students on the project.

Only a small proportion of components are out sourced as typically 90% of the vehicle is produced in house by the students to ensure compliance with the regulations and to demonstrate an on-going development of the vehicle each year.

IIDEA Ltd were asked to provide assistance with the manufacture of two pairs of hubs for the vehicle; 2 off front free-hubs and 2 off rear drive-hubs. Incoming information comprised a CAD files and pdf drawings of the hubs showing the critical tolerances and material specification. IIDEA were also loaned a sample splined drive shaft to ensure correct fitting drive-hubs.

The CAD files were imported to our CAM software and work commenced on programming and manufacture of the hubs from solid EN24T bar material. Machining operations were relatively straight forward with turning operations taking place on our DOOSAN Lynx 220 and milling operations on the DOOSAN DNM650 utilising the Nikken 5 axis table and bespoke fixturing.

The next step in the process was locating a supplier who could machine the female splines into the finished hubs. The initial plan was to find a supplier who could do this by broaching as this would allow for fine tuning of the fit. Despite a number of claims in the ability to produce the required splines, several hours of effort contacting a number of supplier’s ended empty handed. The best offers were to produce custom tooling or wire erode the parts if we could supply a correctly dimensioned drawing.

This part of the manufacturing turned out to be more complex than envisaged. Initial research found very little detail readily available for the geometries and tolerances of “standard” automotive splines. Close inspection of the sample part determined it to be an involute spline. With this knowledge measurements were taken from the sample shaft and, combined with a great deal of background work researching correct involute spline geometries, Tom was able to create CAD drawing for the spline which could be used to wire eroded the part. Test trial number one resulted in a very slightly oversize fit requiring a small alteration to the file, the second attempt was a perfect tight sliding fit and allowed delivery within the required timescale.

What is Formula Student?

Formula Student is an international competition, organised by the Institute of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE). The UK Competition is the main event of the year, held at Silverstone; the home of British Motorsport. The IMechE describes the event as the most prestigious educational motorsport competition, with the aim for teams to design, develop, innovate, build, test and race single seated racing cars. There are both static and dynamic events which include a rigorous scrutineering process, also being judged by experienced industry specialists. Ross Brawn, ex-Formula 1 principal at Mercedes AMG Petronas, highly values the competition praising young engineer's talents and ingenuity.

For more information on the Sheffield Hallam University entry please follow this link

For more information on the IMechE Student Racing project follow this link

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