Materials Testing


As it pertains to the effectiveness of the Advanced Energy Vehicle, one factor that the team considered was how the weight of the Advanced Energy Vehicle was affecting its performance. As such, the team tested 4 different materials for the base of the Advanced Energy Vehicle (as seen below) to find if heavier or lighter materials would improve the overall distance traveled. Materials were tested with the same configuration and code (as seen below) to eliminate variables of any other factors besides the change of materials.

Material Testing : Standard Configuration

Material  1: Polypropylene (stock)

As this was the given material, at the start of Advanced Energy Vehicle development, it was also the first material to be tested. The material ran the second best overall in terms of distance. However, this was only due to its initial forward movement. The polypropylene failed to work as effectively in the reverse direction. As a result, Team D decided the overall rank of this material was second when compared to the other materials.

Material 2: MDF

The MDF was by far the least effective of the materials evaluated. It barely managed to move in either the forward direction or the reverse direction. It didn’t even manage to reach a total of 0.5 meters, unlike every other material. This data was collected over multiple tests and the material refused to budge. Due to this, Team D ranked this material in last (4th) place as it was not viable at all.

Material 3: ABS

ABS as a material managed to almost tie the polypropylene in terms of total distance traveled. Unlike the polypropylene, the ABS failed when moving forwards, but excelled in its backwards movement. This is almost a full reverse of the polypropylene material, which moved well in the forward direction. Due to this, and the worse overall performance as compared to polypropylene (by only a narrow margin but over many tests, meaning it consistently under performed), Team D chose to rank ABS as the third best material.

Material 4: Acrylic

Providing the greatest distance and the most consistency forwards and backwards, the acrylic material was the best tested. It surpassed both the ABS and polypropylene by ~1 meter. While it did not have the best momentum forwards or reverse in comparison to the ABS and polypropylene, it performed nearly identically forwards and backwards. The consistency between both forwards and reverse movement is far more important than excelling in one direction or the other. Due to this, Team D decided to rank the Acrylic as the number one material and the one the team would choose moving forward.

Supporting Data

The graph above shows each material as the distance that it went over time. The reason only distance over time was shown is because Team D determined that the energy over time graph was not relevant due to each graph being too similar. Each test was conducted multiple times and Team D found that each time the results were close to other attempts.

Conclusions & Results

As Team D moves forward with their project, the team will be replacing the original polypropylene base of the Advanced Energy Vehicle with that of the acrylic base. This base provided the greatest distance and most consistent performance in both directions. This advancement will allow for the AEV to not only be more efficient, but it will allow for it to be much safer due to it being more consistent.

Code

Code Function
celerate(4,0,25,3); Accelerates all motors from 0% to 25% speed over 3 seconds
motorSpeed(4,30); Sets all motors to run at 30% speed
goFor(2); Sets the motors to run at 30% speed for 2 seconds
motorSpeed(4,20); Sets all motors to run at 20% speed
goFor(2); Sets the motors to run at 20% speed for 2 seconds
brake(4); Stops the rotation of the engines for all motors
goFor(3); Keeps the motors braked for 3 seconds to allow the AEV to coast
reverse(4); Reverses the direction of all motors spin for backwards efficiency testing
celerate(4,0,25,3); Accelerates all motors from 0% to 25% over the period of 3 seconds
motorSpeed(4,30); Sets the speed of all motors to 30%
goFor(2); Sets the motors to run at 30% speed for 2 seconds
motorSpeed(4,20); Sets the speed of all motors to 20%
goFor(2); Sets the motors to run at 20% speed for 2 seconds
brake(4); Stops the rotation of all motors

 

 

Note: Code was deliberately used to ensure a backwards and forwards test so Team D could gather as much information as possible about how the craft would perform. Functions for the code are found here.