An Investigation into Formula SAE Performance Exhaust Design and Analysis

Anthony McLeod


The Formula SAE competition demands that teams pursue synergistic designs in creating a competitive high performance vehicle. As a result, the design of each component fitted to a vehicle, including that of the exhaust, must be undertaken with a sound foundation of technical understanding in conjunction with creativity and innovation. Exhaust design is shown to make a significant contribution to engine performance, economy and noise attenuation. Hence, this work aims to assist the ADFA Formula SAE team of 2012 develop an understanding of current exhaust analysis and tuning techniques such that they may be innovatively applied to the design of a high performing exhaust system as a part of a holistic engine tuning approach. Extensive research has been conducted into the mechanisms by which an exhaust design may enhance engine performance and attenuate noise. In particular, an exhaust design is understood to effect engine performance via influences upon engine scavenging. Furthermore, the action of automotive silencers was identified to be governed by their ability to manage the mass flow rate from the exhaust outlet as opposed to that of acoustic theory. In addition, research has identified methods such mechanisms may be analysed and predicted. Engine simulation software Ricardo WAVE was used to demonstrate and analyse the performance and noise attenuation implications of exhaust system componentry and their design parameters. A volume restricted silencer design proposed by Professor Blair of the University of Belfast formed the basis of further experimental and theoretical analysis of the governing principles of silencer operation. Specifically, a derivative of this design concept was manufactured with in-built variability to enable an experimental investigation of the design and to also help validate data obtained using WAVE. Finally, WAVE was used to enable a theoretical analysis which underpinned a design proposal for a high performing silencer.


Ricardo WAVE; Silencer design; Performance Exhaust

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