Category Archives: Aerodynamics

Hancha BRZ/FR-S/GT86 Front Bumper Design

Lawrence has been hard at work to get started on our front bumper design.  This is what he’s done so far.  This is not a final design, we are going to keep tweaking the aesthetic, then run it in OpenFoam to get the results, then tweak it a bit more based on our results.

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Midwest Tour

So I’ve been travelling the Midwest the past few days to visit some of our manufacturers.  First, I went to see our suspension parts being made.  They have a large facility with a lot of CNC 3 and 5 axis machines, lathes, mills, benders, water jet, and welding stations.  This is only about 1/3 of the whole shop floor.

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IMG_8242They can do just about anything you can think of

IMG_8239Being able to do MIL-spec work, they are certified in just about every material, which shows in the stock they have

IMG_8243I have been discussing with them the idea of building our radiators and oil coolers.  They showed me the Denso core we would end up using for the FR-S/BRZ/GT86.

IMG_8245Then I went to visit our in autoclave composite manufacturer.  The tool for our SEW V2

IMG_8317Their large autoclave is 10’x20′, and is one of the largest in the country.

IMG_8312They work with teams at the highest levels of racing in the US as can be seen here

IMG_8326Since they had a bunch of defense projects laying around, I wasn’t able to take more pictures due to security reasons.  Then, I got to catch up with some of my old college friends and was told they were going to a 7 post rig test at ARC, so I watched that as well.

20130516_144147ARC also has a wind tunnel testing facility, but the team I was visiting didn’t have any wind tunnel time booked, so I didn’t get to see that.  Because the body panels were off the car and the guts were exposed, I couldn’t get any pictures of the car on the rig.  Sorry.  It’s been a very enlightening last few days, but I can’t wait to get back home tomorrow.

Aero Development Begins

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We got our hands on some OEM bumpers and I will begin designing a lip kit shortly and Paul  will tweak it based on his CFD results.  Lawrence will get started on designing our aero kit shortly, but here is the basic concept

We wanted to create something simple and clean.  For BRZ owners, you will be able to retain the DRL (since it’s one of the coolest features).  For FR-S owners, you can retrofit BRZ DRLs or use one of the optional covers we will make.  The front bumper will cover the bumper beam as well as have a lower, flatter, even chin for a cleaner look

There also be an optional lip as well as splitter available.  The pieces will be made of fiberglass, but we may offer a carbon fiber option.  We are still working on designing the rear bumper and diffuser concept.

Splitter Mock Up

Thanks to our decision to use domestic suppliers, we get incredible turnaround time on our parts.  I ordered this mock up template on Tuesday, received in on Thursday.  Even I was shocked to see such them fill an order so fast.  The supplier has vast experience in building products for NASCAR, IndyCar, and Grand-Am, and now I see why.

This is a mock up the splitter currently

IMG_8207From a top view

IMG_8210The front edge was a bit short so it will be further out in the production model.

This is the first Hancha project that both Paul and I have collaborated on.  Paul being in Indianapolis, is doing CFD testings while I, being in Chicago, have been taking the physical dimensions for packaging purposes.  The final product will be made of composite Polypropylene plastic.  This is a sample of the material

IMG_8211We have chosen to make our splitter out of this material for a few reasons:

1. It’s stiffness-to-weight ratio is phenomenal.  For the same mass, it is 18% stiffer than carbon fiber
2. It’s light.  It’s density is .78 g/cc, less than half of that of carbon fiber.
3. It’s tough.  So tough, it can be used as ballistic armor.  It also doesn’t splinter or shatter like carbon fiber.
4. It’s resistant to abrasion.  It wears similarly to aramids.
5. It’s easily machinable.  It allows us to put recessed holes to keep mounting fasteners out of the clean air stream.
6. It’s fully recyclable.  Since the material is made purely of plastic, if and when it breaks, if the part is no longer salvageable, you can place the material in the recycling bin.  This helps reduce waste energy.
7. It’s (relatively) cheap.  It is about a tenth of the price of carbon fiber.
8. It’s a proven material. NASCAR, IndyCar, and Grand-Am cars use this material for various purposes (splitter, skid plate, etc).
9. It looks cool.

This is why we have chosen this material.  We are firm believers that this is currently the best material available on the market to produce splitters.