Intake manifold design using computational fluid dynamics

Matt Porter


Formula SAE is a relatively unique motorsport formula in that power is limited not only by size of engine but also by means of a restrictor placed in the intake system. This restrictor is the ultimate limitation in the power production of these vehicles. In order to provide the best air delivery to these engines an investigation was conducted into the internal geometry of a Formula-SAE intake manifold. An investigation into the effects internal geometry had on flow through an intake manifold was done utilising the Computational Fluid Dynamics package Fluent. The determination of strengths and weaknesses of different manifold designs was achieved through a comparison of flow characteristics through individual stages of the manifold, and finally through the manifold as a whole. With an improved understanding of the internal flow characteristics within restricted intake manifolds an improved design was produced for use on the 2009 ACME Racing vehicle.

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