NASCAR’s Next Gen Race Car Proven Safe by Simulation


NASCAR’s 2018 announcement that it would develop a new type of race cars and truck, called Next Gen, which would be used as a platform by all race teams in the NASCAR Cup Series, predictably raised some eyebrows and triggered an outcry amongst race teams and fans of the sport. With all the things that could possibly go wrong in developing a brand-new race vehicle, why take the threat? And why discard decades of developments created by engineers, mechanics, and chauffeurs to optimize their car’s efficiency?

But NASCAR authorities had their reasons. Fan participation at racetracks was down, and the stock cars and trucks that raced under the banner of the National Association for Stock Automobile Auto Racing (NASCAR) now bore little resemblance to the actual stock vehicles rolling off assembly lines and into dealerships around the world. In reality, though they were touted as the latest in vehicle engineering, the race automobiles were utilizing extremely customized versions of automobile technologies of the 1960s and ’70s, tweaked for ever higher performance by engineers over the years.John Probst

, senior vice president of Racing Innovation at NASCAR, sums up the obstacle as one of “relevance.”

“We need a racing platform that will make us more relevant to our initial devices makers (OEMs) and our fans,” Probst says. “One thing that was afflicting us was that the suspension technology on the car was from the 1960s. We hadn’t truly moved with the pace of the automobile industry extremely well. With regard to that, our race cars and truck bodies were more like sedans than racing coupes. And it’s obvious that the internal combustion engine has a great deal of pressure on it from electrical hybrid and totally electrical powertrains. So, we had to end up being more appropriate to our fans, our automotive OEMs, our stock cars and truck heritage, and the ecological realities.”

On business side of racing, the cost of owning a race cars and truck team was reaching outrageous levels– in the eight figures vary– just to start with a modest group of a couple race automobiles, a driver, and some engineers and mechanics. This was keeping brand-new owners from going into the sport at a time when NASCAR had an interest in broadening. The prepare for Next Gen was for all groups to order standard parts from the exact same suppliers to develop their vehicles so costs might be lowered and kept an eye on, perhaps unlocking to a new crop of group owners.

The Next Gen project begun with a clean sheet of paper and input from NASCAR owners, teams, and drivers, all of whom weighed in on the front end and identified what they desired the brand-new cars and truck to be able to do. How did they want it to race, and just how much did they desire it to cost? All their actions were shown the designers to turn that sheet of paper into a working race car.

With strategies to release the Next Gen race automobiles at the start of the 2020 season, NASCAR had a great deal of engineering to do in a brief time. Ansys LS-DYNA, a standard NASCAR simulation service, was constantly going to play some role in replicating crash tests to lower the high expenses (around $500,000 per test) of running physical crash tests. Then 2020 came and the world stood still. Even the crash test facilities that NASCAR had actually typically used closed their doors since of the COVID-19 pandemic. LS-DYNA was needed more than ever.

Safety First

Intel The NASCAR Next Gen racecar features a new sequential five-speed shifter.

“Safety is our number-one priority at NASCAR,” Probst says. “When we feel like there’s a safety issue, we fix the problem and then go discover the funds to spend for it. I will not say money is no things, but we assault security issues very seriously with whatever resources we require to get to the proper outcome.”

Making sure the safety of the Next Gen race car fell to John Patalak, Handling Director, Security Engineering at NASCAR. Patalak ended up being a transform to LS-DYNA simulation while working on a job with a significant vehicle maker to enhance the crash security of NASCAR motorists. LS-DYNA simulates the reaction of materials to short periods of extreme loading.The first time I was truly very amazed with LS-DYNA simulation work remained in 2011,”Patalak says. The job consisted of a simulated human body design to check the restraint system in the car, consisting of the seats, the shoulder supports, and the rib supports around the upper body of the chauffeur. “Honestly, I was blown away by the level of information that you might get using LS-DYNA and the body design– data that crash test dummies merely just do not supply.”

While working for NASCAR, Patalak went to graduate school at the Wake Forest University Center for Injury Biomechanics, where LS-DYNA was the standard simulation software for studies of high influence on the human body. He soon ended up being a champion of LS-DYNA at NASCAR.

His competence and confidence in LS-DYNA were important to making progress on the Next Gen automobile while crash test labs were closed throughout the pandemic. For the first time, the bulk of the crash testing would be dealt with by simulation.

Safety Features Intel After more than 5,000 Ansys LS-DYNA crash test simulations, it took just 2 physical crash tests to validate and verify that the design was safe. Putting LS-DYNA to the Test” From the first prototype cars and truck level, we dedicated to meshing out and developing

a complete LS-DYNA cars and truck design,”Patalak states.”That immediately enabled us to begin examining the automobile in all the different crash modes that our race cars and trucks encounter: frontals, roofing crashes, lateral side impacts, rear impacts, and oblique impacts. We then focused our efforts on particular areas where we wanted to alter efficiency or where we saw opportunities to make things better.”Since designs alter rapidly in the model stage, LS-DYNA was especially handy in enabling engineers to make a change and instantly evaluate it in several crash modes.For example, the team was trying to get more contortion out of the front clip(the front area of a vehicle’s frame, which is created to crush when it hits another car or a wall)at various points as the task advanced, but they likewise wished to make sure that the modifications were not unwittingly introducing unfavorable effects for other crash modes, such as a T-bone.” With LS-DYNA, we’re able to run all crash situations and examine the impacts of a style modification,”Patalak says.”Was it holistically a favorable modification or a negative change, or what were we missing? These are things that you just do not have the resources to do using physical screening. Being able to quantify these effects with simulations truly enhanced the level of self-confidence we had in the total design of this brand-new lorry.”During the style procedure, Elemance, an engineering business committed to human-centered style using the virtual human body model developed by the International Body Models Consortium (GHBMC), performed tests for NASCAR utilizing Ansys LS-OPT, a design optimization and probabilistic analysis package. LS-OPT uses an inverted process of first defining the performance criteria and then computing the best design according to a formulation.Thousands of bumper simulations were run using LS-OPT, and quickly NASCAR ended up being so pleased with the outcomes that they committed to having actually these parts constructed without any physical crash test data. “These were not model parts however pre-production parts,”Patalak says.” When we lastly had a possibility to physically crash test them later on,

the validation and correlation between the physical test and the simulation design was astonishing.” Getting Next Gen to the Starting Line Over the course of the Next Gen style job, NASCAR and Elemance ran

more than 5,000 Ansys simulations to ensure the new vehicle would be safe in any crash situation. They began with a third-party cloud solution early at the same time, then changed to Ansys Cloud, worked on Microsoft Azure in mid-2021 to get the benefits of having a single source for

their simulation software requirements. They identified the HC-series Virtual Device, which includes 44 Intel Xeon Platinum 8168 processor cores, as the very best hardware setup both in regards to efficiency and cost.One of the greatest benefits of using a single software application provider for simulations, according to Patalak, is that you have only one company to contact us to solve any problems that develop. There is no other business to blame. “The truly nice feature of running tasks on Ansys Cloud was that it was all internal,” he says.” I had very couple of concerns, but simply getting anything up and running on a brand-new platform, it spends some time to discover

the settings and which clusters to send out tasks to, the memory settings, and so on. It was nice because it was never ever somebody else’s fault. The turn-around time and the assistance from the Ansys Customer Excellence( ACE)group was excellent– it was

a one-stop buy repairing and answers. “After more than 5,000 crash test simulations, it took just two physical crash tests to confirm and confirm that the style was safe and the outcomes of the LS-DYNA simulations were precise.”From an engineering standpoint, our confidence in Ansys simulation is high. The outcomes of a physical crash test are not a surprise to us any longer,”Patalak says.Gentlemen, Start Your Engines!But would the Next Gen cars and truck be ready for the very first demonstration race at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum, a stadium converted

into a one-quarter-mile short-track racing venue, on Feb. 6, 2022? In spite of the doubters and the ups and downs of the style process, it was– much to Probst’s

relief.” If we didn’t have Ansys LS-DYNA, I’m not exactly sure the Next Gen automobile would have been prepared for the 2022 season because of whatever being so interrupted by the pandemic,”Probst says

. Intel The Next Gen race vehicles made their public debut in May 2021 and were first shown in an early February race. In the end, the coliseum race was successful, and was

an appropriate lead-in to the most awaited occasion in the NASCAR season: the Daytona 500, which kicks off every NASCAR Cup Series. Held Feb. 20, it resulted in 23 crash reports from the 40 cars in

Nascar track the race, without any substantial injuries to the motorists. The Car Club Speedway 400, held in Fontana, California, on Feb. 27, was likewise effective

.” We were happy leaving Daytona with the understanding that what we expected to see from our modeling work was playing out on the racetrack, “Patalak states.”At Fontana, we had more and various kinds of crashes and, once again, excellent outcomes. The results are matching extremely carefully with our expectations that were formed through LS-DYNA, which is showing itself to be real on the racetrack in genuine crashes.”Probst agrees.

“From a greater level, I would state that we feel like we’re off to a remarkable start with regard to all the targets around the Next Gen task, “he states.”There’s still a lot of work to do. We’re happy but never ever pleased on our end. But when you look at a few of our fan metrics, when you ask someone something as simple as’Was that an excellent race?,’those numbers are in fact off the charts right now, which we think bodes really

well for this car.”For more details please contact Ansys at Copyright © 2022 IDG Communications, Inc. Source

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