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Thread: Rules Reduction Recommendations

  1. #41
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    Dunk,

    I guess I was not clear enough. I will try again.

    Here are some of the BAD parts of the "AF" section.

    "AF1.4 Notice of Intent - Teams planning to build a vehicle to this alternative rule set...
    ... must notify the Rules Committee ... by the date specified...
    ... detailing your team’s finite element capability and showing you can meet all [ALL!!!] analytical requirements...
    ... must include the email addresses and phones numbers of the team members who can answer any questions ...
    ... include ... your analysis approach, what software you used, the element types, mesh quality ... boundary conditions [blah, blah]...
    ... The Rules Committee will ... try to respond with their approval/disapproval within 15 days...
    ... SRCFs must be submitted no later than the due date ... Penalties ... will be imposed...
    ... Good analysis practice must be used ... all assumptions ... are subject to approval...
    ... A Nastran analysis deck and supporting documentation must be submitted...
    ... Tubes with wall thickness less than 0.047 inches ... cannot be included...
    ... Holes in tubes ... need to be applied to a shell or solid model of the tube with the hole or cutout geometry modeled...
    ... Offsets between tubes at nodes need a detailed analysis..."


    Clearly, this tells the Teams they must wade through massive amounts of BUREAUCRATIC RED-TAPE, starting day one!
    ~o0o~

    Here is one of the GOOD parts of the "AF" section.

    "ARTICLE 4: STRUCTURAL REQUIREMENTS
    AF4.1 Main Roll Hoop, Bracing and Bracing Supports
    AF4.1.1 Load Applied: Fx = 6.0 kN, Fy=5.0 kN, Fz=-9.0 kN
    AF4.1.2 Application point: Top of Main Roll Hoop
    AF4.1.3 Boundary Condition: Fixed displacement ... of the bottom nodes of [F&MRH]...
    AF4.1.4 Max Allowable Deflection: 25mm
    AF4.1.5 Failure must not occur anywhere in structure."


    Brief, and to the point!

    The above is then followed by these similar "functional" load-test requirements.

    "AF4.2 Front Roll Hoop...
    AF4.3 Side Impact...
    AF4.4 Front Bulkhead...
    AF4.5 Shoulder Harness Attachment...
    AF4.6 Lap & Anti-Submarine Harness Attachment...
    AF4.7 Front Bulkhead ... Off Axis..."


    Note that some of these could be combined into one test, such as pushing rearward on Front Bulkhead (= 4.4) while restraining the car with the seat-belt mounts (= 4.5 + 4.6). Also, I would do an upward push test on the floor, as mentioned last post, and/or other variations...

    So, if the above are taken to be "real-world test" requirements, then the Team is being told to build a car, bring it to comp, and then expect the car to be poked and proded in all the directions that are thought necessary to ensure the safety of the driver. There is NO RED TAPE!
    ~o0o~

    But, most importantly, the above functional requirements apply regardless of whether the Team wants to build a steel-tube-spaceframe car, or a CF/Aluminium-sandwich-monocoque, or a bamboo-reinforced-concrete-canoe. Any construction material/method is fine, just as long as real-world tests prove it strong enough to protect the driver.

    So, all these following sections can be deleted from the Rules (along with much pruning of other sections).
    "T3.4 Baseline Tubing...
    T3.5 Alternative Tubing ... Geometry...
    T3.6 Alternative Steel Tubing [with attendant "H-tests"]...
    T3.7 Aluminium Tubing...
    T3.8 Composite Materials...
    T3.9 SES and SCRF [= much red-tape]...
    ...
    T3.24 SIS for Tubeframe...
    T3.26 Composite Spaceframe...
    T3.27 Monocoques General +++++ [with many equivalency calcs and tests...]..."

    ~o0o~

    To summarize.
    * The idea of allowable "keep-in" zones is good.
    * Also good are the "cockpit/percy templates" (effectively, "keep-out" zones internal to the car).
    * Also good are real-world load test requirements (to help ensure driver safety), the seeds of which are in the "AF" section.
    So, keep the above parts in the Rules.

    Then, most of the rest of pages 24 to 87 can be deleted. This will give a clearer Rule Book, which is also more conducive to "educating young engineers"!

    Z

    (PS1: Much better tubeframe designs would be possible without the currently overly restrictive/prescriptive "Baseline" Rules.
    PS2: I agree "minimum wheelbase" could be tossed...)
    Last edited by Z; 08-14-2016 at 10:57 PM.

  2. #42
    Nick and Z,

    I agree with you both. If it were down to me I would absolutely have full wheel fairings, and physical testing of vehicle safety. But if we're trying to put something together that would be presented to the rules committee (a dream, I know), then it has to be something they might actually be willing to consider.

    To do that it's got to stick with a lot of what's already there, but work towards the teams' needs for clarity and simplicity.

    The vast majority of the overly complicated, inconsistent part of the rules, were added by the rules committee to suite they're image of what FSAE should be. Whether their reasoning is right wrong, flawed, petty, or otherwise. That's not going to change any time soon. So for now at least, we have to play by their rules (pun intended).

    ---

    I would make one note with regards to simply setting "real-world-test" requirements, instead of prescribing a few extra specifics.

    So many teams would fail this! Most teams currently pass the structural requirements in scrutineering because they have to pre-submit designs for approval, then at the event they just chack they have indeed made what they said they would.
    But if they had to actually come up with their own design, do calculations, and run simulations using that super accurate tool that is FEA? There would be some many mistakes in those calculations, and faulty assumptions that the FEA numerical results were accurate. At least half the teams would present at the event, only to see their months of work crushed or torn apart by the scrutineers.
    The teams that don't have this happen, will be the ones that could afford to build their chassis early, test it, scratch their heads because it collapsed, then build another one twice as heavy just to be safe. Or they will be teams that got their calculations wrong in the opposite direction, and turn up with an over heavy car in the first place.

    It's a nice idea. But it pains me to say it, a lot of the teams simply aren't at that level. Another failing of the higher education system I'm afraid, Z.
    Dunk
    --------------------------------------------------------
    Brunel Racing
    2010-11 - Drivetrain Development Engineer
    2011-12 - Consultant and Long Distance Dogsbody
    2012-13 - Chassis, Bodywork & Aerodynamics manager

    2014-present - Engineer at Jaguar Land Rover

  3. #43
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    Dunk,

    But if we're trying to put something together that would be presented to the rules committee (a dream, I know), then it has to be something they might actually be willing to consider.
    Sadly, the RC have shown that they are NOT willing to consider ANY "outside" input.

    (Over the years I have pointed out many typos, inconsistencies, or poorly worded sections of the Rules that could be fixed very EASILY. These fixes would not change any "intent" of the Rules, but they would make them a lot clearer. EG1 - "Main Hoop Bracing Supports" are defined in terms of "Main Hoop Bracing", but NOWHERE is "Main Hoop Bracing" defined! And much more like that...)

    Anyway, the reason the RC ignores any input is because they can. They are a monopoly, the only show in town.

    So I think the best way forward, for the sake of future FSers, is to put together a draft version of a reworked Rule Book, and SUBMIT IT TO THE TEAMS. I accept that a first draft version should not be too radical a departure from the existing Rules. Perhaps just a heavy pruning of the existing Rules, with some small additions to fix the inconsistencies (like adding a definition of "MHB"!).

    I reckon that if a significant majority of Teams in the UK show support for the "new Rules", then the FSUK organising body (IMech?) would feel compelled to adopt the new Rules. And if they do NOT adopt the new Rules, then get a new organising body! Say, the Teams themselves, somewhat like the way FSG operates.
    ~o0o~

    ... with regards to ... "real-world-test" requirements ... So many teams would fail this!
    ... At least half the teams would present at the event, only to see their months of work crushed or torn apart by the scrutineers.
    Yep, pretty much what happens now on the Enduro track!

    (Only had time for brief check of attrition rates at FSUK and FSG-16, but after ~30 years of these comps they are still dropping like flies! Can it really be that hard to "... build a car that drives 30 kms, at an average speed of 50 kph..."??? )

    But seriously, the size of the load tests given in the AF section are quite mild, and easy to do (eg. clamp car to stout build-table, attached heavy-duty ratchet-strap to top of MRH, hook other end of strap to table, fit large fish-scale somewhere in-line, and ratchet away!). Teams SHOULD be doing lots of these tests just to "validate" their designs, namely to get pretty graphs for Design Event. And such (simple!) tests would go a long way to improving their lap-times (because better "toe/camber-stiffness", etc.).

    The "threat" of a Team's car very embarassingly crumpling-up like a tissue box during scrutineering, may actually improve their chances of finishing Endurance.

    Z

    (PS1. Now let me count the number of times I have seen a wheel go AWOL during Brake-Test... <- Another "real-world test" that I like.
    PS2. A very well-re$ourced Team at a recent Oz-comp managed to fail the "foot-box template" test. Ah, students! [!exasperated-emoji!]
    PS3. The large number of wheel AWOLs from fatigued wheel-centres makes "Article 11. Fasteners" redundant. No point spending ages lock-wiring all your Grade 8.8 fasteners when the wheel-centre falls apart. Fortunately, it is the slow "AutoX" speeds that make all these failures relatively safe.)
    Last edited by Z; 08-15-2016 at 09:38 PM.

  4. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by Z View Post
    Yep, pretty much what happens now on the Enduro track!
    I just don't want to make it worse.

    For fun, could we impose a mandatory submission of a project plan, with timing, physical test plans, manufacturing schedule, etc? Non-submissions, or submission of an inadequate project plan would disqualify that teams entry. Similar to FSG's Vehicle Status Video or Report, only immediately after team registration.
    Dunk
    --------------------------------------------------------
    Brunel Racing
    2010-11 - Drivetrain Development Engineer
    2011-12 - Consultant and Long Distance Dogsbody
    2012-13 - Chassis, Bodywork & Aerodynamics manager

    2014-present - Engineer at Jaguar Land Rover

  5. #45
    Quote Originally Posted by Dunk Mckay View Post
    I just don't want to make it worse.

    For fun, could we impose a mandatory submission of a project plan, with timing, physical test plans, manufacturing schedule, etc? Non-submissions, or submission of an inadequate project plan would disqualify that teams entry. Similar to FSG's Vehicle Status Video or Report, only immediately after team registration.
    Dunk,

    FSG did that back when they introduced the Electric class. I think it backfired quite a bit because it took a long time, and especially arrogant teams (like Zurich was back then ) did not take it serious and handed in bull.. that just was not a good thing.

    For me, the target would be to make just "Safety" rules (like FSG does with Scrutineering now) and then we will find a simple solution to reduce the performance of the teams to a safe level (e.g. like the super simple Aero rules I suggested) and that should be it.
    If you get the support from the teams, that will have a chance.
    Just reducing the wording and submit it to the Rules Committee is waste of time.
    Monash proposed some nice Aero rules back when the "wings were cut" but they were 100% ignored by the Committee.
    -------------------------------------------
    Alumnus
    AMZ Racing
    ETH Zürich

    2010-2011: Suspension
    2012: Aerodynamics
    2013: Technical Lead

    2014: FSA Engineering Design Judge

  6. #46
    This is a copy of what I have just posted under the discussion on the FS DQ. But I now see Julian and Dunk have opened a new thread.

    A couple of comments about rules in general, and then for the benefit of all, I suggest we move on.

    1. Dunk, I don't think becoming a Design Judge at Formula Student is a way to influence the rules. It would not get you a vote directly. But I would think that Neill Anderson is always looking for good people.

    2. As far as I can make out, the Rules Committee is made up of:
    - A chairman appointed by SAE-I for a 2-3 year term (The last one was Andrew Deakin from FS UK, an RPI and Leeds FSAE/FS alum.)
    - A vice chairman appointed by SAE-I who will be the next chairman.
    - The FSAE Program Manager from SAE-I (Kaley Zundel)
    - The 2 lead technical inspectors from FSAE US.
    - One senior Design Judge.
    - One representative from each of the non-US FSAE/FS competitions that are a part of the official Competition Series, i.e. Australia, Brazil, Italy, UK, Austria, Germany and Japan.

    Yes, it is US focused, but SAE-I is the lead organizer and they are a US based organization. They publish the base rules.

    3. Posting suggestions for rules changes or asking for rules changes on this Forum are unlikely to go anywhere. While there are a handful of design judges who frequent the Forum, I do not believe that any of the current members of the Rules Committee do so.

    If someone wants a specific rule changed, I think the only way to get it considered is to send the proposed change to the Rules Committee through www.fsaeonline.com or through your competition's rep. on the Committee, quoting the existing rule and then the wording of the proposed rule AND giving a detailed reason why the rule should be changed. That last is most important, because the first thing the Committee will do with any submission is ask, "is there a good reason for a change?" And just saying "we don't like the rule" won't get very far! Bear in mind that 95-98% of the technical rules are safety related in some way. Very few are performance related, e.g. restrictor diameter and wing sizes. I believe that the Committee is receptive to clarification of existing rules.

    Now, back to answering questions for FS UK and Formula Hybrid.

    Michael Royce

  7. #47
    So, FSG 2017 rules are out.

    https://www.formulastudent.de/filead...s2017_V1.0.pdf

    Scrolling through the document I spotted quite a few interesting changes, especially in the aero section.....

  8. #48
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    Harry,

    My first impressions from a very quick skim.
    ~o0o~

    GOOD - At first glance of the Contents pages it seems a logically well-structured document. Much better than the FSAE version.
    ~o0o~

    GOOD - Only 126 pages compared with 184 for current FSAE-2017/8-Rules. A ~30% reduction is a great start, especially considering the FSG Rules include extra sections on Driverless Vehicles. More pruning please!
    ~o0o~

    BAD - "A3.1.2 All team members are required to cooperate with, and follow all instructions from the officials." Really? Follow ALL instructions, regardless of what they are?

    How about, "For smooth running of what is primarily an educational event, all team members are requested to cooperate with all reasonable instructions from the officials."

    After which these next two (modified) Rules can be used.
    "A3.2 Official Instructions
    A3.2.1 Failure of a team member to follow any reasonable instruction or command directed specifically to that team or team member will result in a twenty-five point penalty to that team.
    A3.3 Arguments with Officials
    A3.3.1 Unreasonable argumentation with, or disobedience toward, any official may result in the team being eliminated from the competition."


    So, ask them nicely first, but if they get really stupid about it, then kick them out.

    (And I suggest similar changes to other similar Rules. So make it "velvet glove" most of the time, and only pull out the "iron fist" on those very rare occasions that it is needed.)
    ~o0o~

    GOOD...ish - The general Technical section, starting at "T 1 GENERAL DESIGN REQUIREMENTS, T1.1 Vehicle Configuration...", is a bit better structured than the FSAE version, but could still be improved a lot. I think there is still too much carryover from the FSAE Rules.

    For a start, the "keep-out zones" are good, but they need more accuracy in the way they are defined. Specifically, they need more clarity in the way they will be scrutineered.

    I suggest a ~0.5 metre wide by 3 metre long "plank" be used as the notional "horizontal ground-plane". This plank would be raised up under the car, supporting the car so its tyres are OFF the ground. Most dimensions would then be referenced from this plank. (The FSG SIS-rules seem to do something similar now). All references to "vertical" in the Rules would then mean "in a direction perpendicular to the plane of the plank".

    My key point here is that a car that is in post-event re-scrutineering might have lost some air from its right-side tyres during the event. This means that the car leans a little to the right, even on horizontal ground. So now the rear wing might be leaning a little over the RR wheel, based on a "vertical plane" drawn from the ground. I think a DQ here (due to lost air in tyres) would not be in the spirit of this competition.
    ~o0o~

    VERY BAD - "T1.6.1 Steering systems using cables or belts for actuation are prohibited."

    Aaack!!! Cable-controls have been so successful on so many (big!) aeroplanes over the years! I am absolutely sure I could do a cable-steer system that is stronger, stiffer, lighter, lower friction, less bump-steer..., than the vast majority of FS steering-linkages out there. And at MUCH LOWER COST!

    Ahh, too much suppression of progress...
    ~o0o~

    ALSO BAD - "T1.6.3 The steering system must have positive steering stops that prevent the steering linkages from locking up. The stops must be placed on the rack..."

    Firstly, for a lot of good engineering reasons "steering-stops" are best placed as near to the wheels as possible. (Ie. "stops-on-the-rack" can still let a wheel go "over-centre" due to flex/slop of the tie-rods. Stops-at-the-wheel prevent this from happening.)

    Secondly, and more importantly, why the implicit assumption that there will be a "rack"? Why not some other form of gear system, such as that used very successfully by ECU? And why not direct, go-kart-style, Pitman-Arm steering? Perhaps 60 degrees lock-to-lock, with E or H-power-assist, for lightning fast, feather-light, steering? (BTW, I once converted a 30 ton four-wheel-loader to 60 degree go-kart steering. Worked great!)

    Again, this implicit requirement to have a "rack" prevents progress.

    Best fix for these T1.6 Steering Rules is the delete button.
    ~o0o~

    GOOD - "T2.2 Definitions ... Roll hoop bracing..."
    Yeay! At last the RHB gets a definition.
    ~o0o~

    VERY SIGNIFICANT - "T7 Aerodynamic Devices... T7.3 Devices Forward of the Front Axle Centerline... T7.4 Devices Rearward of the Main Hoop..."

    These changed aero-rules make a massive change to the potential performance of different concepts. From my quick read these new rules make much more rear-biased aero-downforce possible, whereas the old (FSAE) rules made it easier for forward-biased downforce (wrt the wheels).

    These new FSG aero-rules make a "60+R%, brown-go-kart-with-aero-undertray" an even more awesome prospect than before. I can see the massive rear-endplates now, with their "active aero-Fy/Cz-vectoring technology" (ie. "steer-by-rudder")!
    ~o0o~

    And many more minor comments, such as, "T7.6 Minimum Edge Radii of Aerodynamic Devices. T7.6.1 All forward facing edges of aerodynamic devices that could contact a pedestrian must have a minimum radius of 5mm for all horizontal edges and 3mm for vertical edges."

    What about edges that are NOT H or V (ie. sloping or curved edges)?

    Easier just to shorten to, "... All forward facing edges and corners of aerodynamic devices that could contact a pedestrian must have a minimum radius of 3mm.". It is impossible to cut anything with a 3 mm radius edge.
    ~o0o~

    IN SUMMARY - A great start, and definitely headed in the right direction.

    I just hope that a good system is now also put into place that will take comments and suggestions for future changes to the Rules from the students, then discuss (= argue about) the merits or otherwise of those suggestions, and finally use some sort of rational process to keep improving the Rules. For example, I have already noticed quite a few spelling errors and grammatical glitches, and a formal, and preferably "open and transparent", process for notifying those deficiences would be good.

    Z
    Last edited by Z; 10-28-2016 at 10:43 PM. Reason: Ahh, spelling!

  9. #49
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    Hosed Again

    Steer by hose (aka hydraulic pump/motor combo) is not unreasonable. My boat seems to like it. It should be popular in the UK because of the potential for designed-in leakage.

  10. #50
    Z,

    thanks for your insight. There is a way for you to directly submit your feedback now:

    https://www.formulastudent.de/feedback

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