Formula SAE (FSAE) is an international student engineering competition that allows students to design, manufacture and race a formula-style race car to compete with other universities. This season the Purdue University Northwest (PNW) Formula SAE Team required a means of evaluating potential performance characteristics and optimizing future design concepts for the intake manifold system prior to manufacturing, to reduce the overall time and cost. The air intake system is a critical powertrain system component that requires numerical study and experimentation to validate any meaningful design. Without simulation and testing, an efficient intake may only be designed by chance.
This project focused on replicating the characteristic flow behavior witnessed in the 2017–2018 PNW FSAE intake system using the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software named STAR-CCM+. A 3D printed test model was manufactured and tested on a flow bench to gather boundary conditions and pressure data from multiple locations within the intake manifold. The physical testing results of the 2017–2018 intake system were with the CFD results in order to validate the simulation models.