ME 4233/6233 Fundamentals of FEA

Analysis of a Baja SAE Chassis from a Static Drop



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The MSU Baja SAE team designed an all-terrain sport vehicle for national competition. This vehicle was made with a fully welded, tubular 4130 steel frame chassis, which takes the abuse from rollovers, vehicle impacts, and rough terrain. A team member of the Baja team requested the project group to perform a Finite Element Analysis on the chassis during a vertical drop. This scenario tested the chassis’ performance and long-term endurance during suspension loading from four to five feet drop in the air. The initial simulation used a simple wireframe model of the chassis to test the assumptions, boundary conditions, and loading conditions during axial loading. After gaining understanding of the model’s reaction during the simulation, the team enhanced the model into a solid body to run a secondary analysis and mesh refinement. The results of the second analysis were used to optimize the cost and design of the chassis within the SAE requirements and constraints.


Engineering | Mechanical Engineering


James Worth Bagley College of Engineering


Department of Mechanical Engineering

Analysis of a Baja SAE Chassis from a Static Drop