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Torsion of a racing car aerofoil

Torsion of a racing car aerofoil.

An aerofoil is manufacturing from a carbon fibre reinforced polymer skin thickness 1.5mm  with the geometry, lengths and areas given in the accompanying assignment XL spread sheet containing a corresponding SET No. ranging from 1 to 14.

use SET No 6.

A schematic of the cross-section is shown in fig A1. Using this information complete the following tasks stated below and answer the questions at the end of the tasks.


PositionLength (mm)


AreaSize (mm2)






Table A1, for your actual lengths and areas see your set number in the spreadsheet at the appendix.











Assume for the skin the following properties, Mean E fibre = 350 GPa, volume fraction = 65%, design strain 0.5%, and effective length is 1.6m.

Task 1 (40%)

Assuming the car can achieve a maximum speed of 220 mph with a lift coefficient of 1.6 for the aerofoil and the centre of twist is approximately is 15% of the chord length AE;determine the maximum angle of twist and shear stress induced in the aerofoil for this case.


Task 2 (10%)

The actual aerofoil however has closed ends with a small plate of the same material. Estimate how this will change your predicted answer and indicate the positions along the length were this is most affected using a simple sketch.

Task 3 (25%)

If under race condition the section is subject to an impact at the mid-point between the end plates which damages section FG. Estimate the increase in angle of twist and the maximum induced shear stress due this impact.

Torsion of a racing car aerofoil Supplementary questions

  1. If the aerofoil was manufactured from aluminium comment on how the behaviour of the aerofoil would react to the conditions in tasks 1 to 3 inclusive (10%)
  2. Describe how the “centre of twist” affects the loading (5%)
  3. Describe briefly how the composite part would be joined and how you could estimate the stress in the adhesive. (10%)



LOs for this work are as follows:

Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the scientific principles of mechanical and related engineering disciplines (US1m

Demonstrate an awareness of developing technologies related to mechanical engineering. (US4m)

Submission method


On completion of your task you will need to upload your solution via the moodle link provided by your module tutors.




   AreaSize (mm2)     AreaSize (mm2)
AB78 ABH960  AB75 ABH945
BC86 BCGH2700  BC83 BCGH2685
CD60 CDFG2300  CD57 CDFG2285
DE38 DEF160  DE35 DEF145
EF38     EF35   
FG64     FG61   
GH92 SET 1   GH89 SET 5 
HA80     HA77   
CG36     CG33   
AB82 ABH976  AB72 ABH930
BC90 BCGH2716  BC80 BCGH2670
CD64 CDFG2316  CD54 CDFG2270
DE42 DEF176  DE32 DEF130
EF42     EF32   
FG68     FG58   
GH96     GH86   
HA84 SET 2   HA74 SET 6 
CG40     CG30   
AB86 ABH991  AB68 ABH918
BC94 BCGH2731  BC76 BCGH2658
CD68 CDFG2331  CD50 CDFG2258
DE46 DEF191  DE28 DEF118
EF46     EF28   
FG72     FG54   
GH100 SET 3   GH82   
HA88     HA70 SET 7 
CG44     CG26   

The grading system and assessment criteria are those as described in the module handbook in sections 11, 13 and 14.



Torsion of a racing car aerofoil

Last Updated on February 10, 2019

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