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How can I calculate forces on a vehicle frame?

  1. Sep 24, 2012 #1
    I am working on an SAE Baja vehicle for a competition as part of my coursework requirements. Right now I am trying to come up with a method to estimate the forces that the frame will be subjected to. I need help doing this. I know that the top speed will be 30mph and that the vehicle will weigh 500lbs. To calculate the force of an impact I would also need to know the impulse or time of impact. I'm kind of stumped on where to start.
  2. jcsd
  3. Sep 24, 2012 #2

    Simon Bridge

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    Impulse time depends on the type of collisions and where it strikes - you presumably have bumpers and shock absorbers at strategic places?

    A back-of-envelope approach would model the impact as a spring contact ... if you have actual springs then this should be easy otherwise you have to work something for the rigid frame bending/flexing. If the idea is to figure out what sort of shock-absorbers to include then you can just put in the spring constant (or however the absorbers get rated) as a variable in the calculation.

    The kinetic energy of the impact has to be absorbed by the springs.
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