Mechanical Engineering Department
BS in Mechanical Engineering
Cal Poly’s SAE Baja team undertook a project to measure the loads applied to an offroad buggy via the ground, including any obstacles. Originally, the ground loads pertaining to suspension, drivetrain, and chassis were based on rough estimates and historical part failures. This led to large safety factors, overbuilt parts, unknown part life, and improperly designed points of failure. In order for the team’s designs to advance to the next level of competition, an accurate set of loading cases were required. The main focus of the project was the suspension loads measured with strain gauges and a shock potentiometer, however loading the chassis was also analyzed.