Interface has a long history of supporting higher education in force measurement, empowering students to explore and innovate in STEM fields.
A prime example of this commitment is our collaboration with Gopher Motorsports, a student engineering group at the University of Minnesota that designs and builds race cars for the annual Formula Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Series. Interface fuels student innovation by bridging the gap between theory and track with precision force measurement tools, as detailed in this case study.
The Challenge: Building Top-Performing Race Cars for Competition
Each year, Gopher Motorsports aims to design and build two vehicles, one internal combustion (ICE) and one electric (EV), to compete in the global Formula SAE Series. The competition demands speed and performance on the track, meticulous engineering, efficient manufacturing, and sound business planning.
To meet these rigorous criteria, Gopher Motorsports needed a reliable and accurate force measurement solution to optimize their car’s performance. They turned to Interface and our partner, Minnesota Measurement Engineering Inc., for expert guidance and state-of-the-art equipment.
The Solution: Interface Mini Load Cells for Precise Data Acquisition
Interface recommended several Mini Load Cells ideal for Gopher Motorsports’ needs. They utilized:
- 10 SSM Sealed S-Type Load Cells: These compact and robust sensors are perfect for measuring forces in harsh environments like racetracks.
- 2 SM S-Type Load Cells with 1,000 lbf capacity: These higher-capacity load cells provided accurate data points for critical components experiencing greater forces.
The load cells were strategically mounted in line with the suspension on their Go4-23c vehicle. This setup allowed the team to collect crucial data during extensive track testing sessions, enabling them to fine-tune their suspension system for optimal performance.
The Results: Lighter, Stronger Parts and a Competitive Edge
The data acquired using Interface’s load cells proved invaluable for Gopher Motorsports. As Jacob Henderson, a team member, stated, “Based on the data from the SM-1000 Load Cells, we will be able to update load cases through all the suspension components to more accurately simulate our system response to loading before the parts are ever manufactured. This will allow our parts to be lighter and stronger!“
Interface’s support, including a student discount on the load cells, made this critical testing possible. By providing Gopher Motorsports with the tools they needed to gather accurate force data, Interface played a key role in their quest to build competitive race cars.
Interface: Your Partner in Higher Education STEM Innovation
This case study showcases Interface’s dedication to empowering the next generation of engineers and scientists. By providing top-notch force measurement solutions and collaborating with educational institutions like the University of Minnesota, Interface helps students translate theoretical knowledge into practical skills and push the boundaries of innovation.
Formula SAE isn’t just a competition; it’s a launchpad for the next generation of engineering superstars. Student colleagues, fueled by passion and ingenuity, design, build, and race a sleek, open-wheeled race car. That’s the essence of Formula SAE, an international collegiate competition organized by the Society of Automotive Engineers.
If you’re involved in a university or college STEM program and require reliable force measurement solutions, Interface is here to help. Contact our experienced team today to discuss your needs and explore how we can support your educational endeavors.
Together, let’s build a brighter future through the power of STEM education and accurate force measurement!
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