ME 4603-Finite Element Analysis
Term Project (Spring Semester, 2018)
Finite Element Analysis of Disc Brakes
Figure 1: Diagram of the majors parts of a full suspension bicycle
Figure 2: Disc brakes mounted on a bicycle and a brake lever
Figure 3: (a) Contact of brake caliper and (b) hydraulic brake lever
Project Description:
You are a new mechanical engineer in the Design and Analysis Department at The
Alamo High Performance Bicycle Company located in San Antonio. Your first project
will work on redesigning and optimizing disc rotors. A diagram of the major parts of a
high performance bicycle as well as its rotors is shown in Figure 1 below. Figure 2
demonstrates how a disc brake system is typically mounted to a bicycle. A cross section
of a disc brake caliper with brake pads in contact with a brake rotor, hydraulic brake
lever, and frictional/pressure forces are further shown in Figure 3. The major task of your
project is to evaluate and improve your designs by performing the stress analysis using
commercial finite element software. As you know that there exist a few patented designs
for bicycle disc brakes in bicycle industries, to avoid any potential infringe of patented
products, you plan to submit your first report to your manager on the stress analysis of
your own two initial designs by referencing only one patented product from a brake pool
shown below.
Figure 4: Patented bicycle disc brake rotors
Materials for disc brakes are either 6061 aluminum alloy or7075 aluminum alloy. Your
technical report should include:
(1) Introduction;
(2) Designs of disc brake rotors;
(3) Finite element models for each designed disc brake profiles;
(4) Result contours on stress and deformation for various loading conditions:
(a) counterclockwise and clockwise frictional forces applied between pads and discs;
(b) fully mounted and partially mounted cases;
(c) large and small pad cases.
(5) Elastic analysis: by increasing in frictional load on pad areas until maximum vonMises
stress reaches yield strength;
(6) Discussion, summary, and recommendations;
(7) References; and
(8) Report should not exceed 20 pages.
Checking Point: Submit one page of your designs on April 2 (Monday) (20% credit
for the project)
Due Date: Please submit your final report to Dr. Liu office at EB-3.04.12 before 7:15
pm on May 7, 2018 (Early submission is highly encouraged)
Warning: Discussion among classmates for this project is highly encouraged.
However, each should work your own design, analysis, and report. Your project
score will be recorded by zero if your designs and analyses are similar to others.

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