Programme

08:00

Registration, Networking & Exhibition


09:25

NetComposites Welcome

NetComposites (Event Organiser)


09:30

Keynote – Composites in Motorsport: A Historical Perspective

Brian O’Rourke - Williams Advanced Engineering

Whilst simpler types of composite material had, undoubtedly, been employed in Motorsport for many years beforehand, the introduction of ‘advanced’ composites to the industry from 1981 represented a step-change in racing car development. In particular, the application of composites using carbon-fibre reinforcement and epoxy resins – supplied in ‘prepreg’ form – to primarily structural duties in Formula 1 fundamentally altered the way in which cars would be built from then on. The initial interest in composite of this type began when it was realised that existing designs exhibited significant deficiencies in their stiffness performance. This restricted engineers in their wish to exploit recent advances in other design fields, particularly those of aerodynamics. In addition to the foremost aim of reducing lap times, a significant additional requirement in F1 since 1985 has been that of improving driver safety; a feature for which it, historically, had never been noted. The introduction by the governing body for motorsport, the FIA, of chassis impact and strength demonstration testing – and its regular incremental changes in severity ever since - has increased the demands of the design task markedly over years. Alongside this, design, simulation and production techniques have advanced rapidly and many efficiencies have resulted. This presentation will take you on a journey on the development in the uses of composites in Motorsport from the perspective of an engineer involved continuously from its beginning to the present day. The changes will be described and illustrated by examples from designs over that period of time.


10:00

Lightweight by Design: From Race to Road

Chris Hamar - Gordon Murray Design Ltd


10:30

Designing Composite Components: The Formula Student Perspective

Din Nurgali - University of Liverpool Motorsport

Composite materials are finding more and more application in modern Motorsport, bringing about significant improvements in performance of vehicles. Advancement of materials and manufacturing processes make working with composite materials more convenient and accessible to students. Formula student has always been a solid stepping-stone to Motorsport and related industries for engineering students, where teams have to design, build and test single seat race cars to strict standards provided by the event organiser. Each season more and more teams are expanding their use of composites in their projects, getting invaluable experience designing and building components with this type of material. Din Nurgali was the Composites Manager at the University of Liverpool Motorsport team in the season 2016-17, when the team made a strategic decision to switch from a steel spaceframe chassis to a full CFRP monocoque for the first time in the team’s history. This presentation will take the audience through the team’s journey of designing, manufacturing, and testing their first composite monocoque at FSUK event at Silverstone. It will describe some of the challenges faced, solutions found and the lessons learnt along the way. The great positive impact from the support provided by companies in the composite materials industry on student experience will also be highlighted.


11:00

Refreshments, Networking & Exhibition


11:30

Composites in Mechanical Systems

Nolan Richmond - Lentus Composites

Composites are used widely in motorsport and other high-performance engineering sectors. The use of composites is well established in the areas of exterior panels, aerodynamic surfaces and chassis. In these applications it is often possible to get the loads into the structures through a combination of bonded joints, inserts and screws. In order to increase the composite content in motorsport and other sectors it is necessary to consider applications within the systems of the vehicle. The further utilisation of composites requires their adoption in more mechanical applications such as suspension systems and gearbox parts. In these system applications the demands on the composite can be very high with operating stresses much closer to the ultimate strength of the composite parts and the parts can be subjected to higher levels of fatigue loading than in the more traditional applications. In order to employ composites to these more mechanical applications, much more consideration of how the loads are going to be transmitted into the composite elements is required. This leads to a level of integration with other materials and the formation of hybrid multi-materials components. This presentation looks at some examples of how composite parts have been used successfully in mechanical systems.


12:00

Design and Manufacturing Innovation: Lightweight Structures and Composite Materials

Andrew Mills - Cranfield University & EPSRC National Centre for Innovation Composites


12:30

Lunch & Exhibition


13:30

Digitalisation of Composite Manufacturing for Rapid Development

Miroslav Stojkovic - Airborne

Performance gains achieved in design increments are often marginal as they require a number of rapid iterations between design, prototyping and testing environment. Airborne have developed automated composite manufacturing solutions connected to the user friendly online portal allowing near instantaneous production of preform designs hence shortening the time between the two design increments. This paper will demonstrate the portal, and the ease with which a preform can be designed and ordered, allowing for an efficient product development process. A live demonstration will be made, via video link, to production of the preform using our Automated Tape Laying facilities. Consideration will be given to the workflow including assessment of formability and draping of the 2D preform.


14:00

Additive Manufacturing in High Performance Composites

Kieron Salter - K W Special Projects


14:30

Refreshments, Networking & Exhibition


15:00

Get Your Flax Straight: Using FRPs in Leading-edge Applications in Motorsport

Gareth Davies - Composites Evolution


15:30

Formula Student: Methods for Low Volume Composite Manufacturing

Joe Jones - Oxford Brookes Racing and James Ganderton - Oxford Brookes Racing

Formula Student involves designing, manufacturing and competing with a single race car each year. All of this is done with limited resources - this includes budget, as well as tools, machines and most importantly, knowledge and experience. This requires the student engineers to use the most suitable manufacturing methods for this special scenario. Oxford Brookes Racing, for many years, used a classical method of manufacturing composite materials for structures such as wings. Even for small, and relatively complex elements, an upper skin would be made on one mould, a lower skin on another. Internal ribs and transverse beams would be moulded separately, and the whole structure would then be assembled by hand and bonded with limited jig use - resulting in an aerodynamic component with limited accuracy to that which was tested in CFD. A new manufacturing method is now in use for such elements, where no bonding is required, and element accuracy is governed by the machines used. The method uses a machined, low-density closed-cell foam core, wrapped in adhesive film and pre- impregnated laminate, enclosed in a mould. We have been able to use two types of mould, the first being multiple machined components of traditional tooling board which are then dowelled and bolted together to enclose the component. The second utilises stereolithography rapid prototyping, provided by our technical partner, RPS, to create more complex moulds. This method has multiple benefits, including a continuous thickness across the whole part, meaning heat penetration throughout the part is consistent, avoiding ‘dry’ and ‘wet’ areas and therefore a consistent join between core and laminate. This also allows us to avoid the cost of tooling board and complex machining and frees the resource of the machines for other components. Both methods result in the desired external surface, upper and lower, to be exactly as designed; a continuous leading edge with no seam; lighter and stiffer components which vibrate less. This presentation will demonstrate how Formula Student have used this technology in our Formula Student car and how it may be suitable for other high-performance, low-volume applications.


16:00

Tour of Sir Frank Williams’ Private Collection & Drinks Reception


08:00

Registration, Networking & Exhibition


09:00

Keynote – F1 & Motorsport- Taking Advantage of Light, Strong, Stiff Structures

Prof. Willem Toet - Sauber Aerodynamics

In Motorsport, especially in F1, we spend huge sums on lightweight, mainly composite structures. Exactly the things discussed here. But why? Of course, weight itself is a key performance differentiator. However, in virtually all motorsport categories, there is a minimum weight. Nonetheless, teams strive to remove weight as much as possible. In this presentation we will explore the ways teams have taken advantage of the advances in composite technologies for safety and performance. Much of this is structural, but a great deal relates to the ability to make ever less plausible aerodynamic shapes and the weird and wonderful ways that F1 teams have exploited structural gains to win an advantage. The impressive safety improvements that have been made are also because of advances in composite and other materials technologies, and these have saved many lives. We will look at some examples of advances in safety, why and how they have been implemented. Then we will show some of the secrets behind the strange and complex aerodynamic shapes used with the reasons behind them. Modern composite capabilities continue to advance at pace. Just imagine trying to create a modern Formula 1 car without these amazing composite capabilities. Aero super freaks like me would have to curb their enthusiasm – and we’re not used to that! Thanks to advances in materials technology we don’t have to. On TV the aerodynamics is discussed publicly – some real heroes are not acknowledged as often – but in this conference you have a chance to hear from them.


09:30

Flexible Automation for Complex Composites

Christian Fleischfresser - Cevotec

Composites have been used extensively in motorsports since the late 1970’s. Although vehicle design has evolved dramatically since then, the industry has seen limited advancement in production technologies regarding composite part manufacturing. This is especially true of complex carbon fiber parts, where design cycles are time-consuming and manual manufacturing is slow and expensive. If a process came along that could slash design cycle time and improve part quality, while providing flexible and fully automated complex composite layup capabilities, it could open up new and exciting possibilities for an industry that continuously designs, tests and modifies its parts. This is exactly what Fiber Patch Placement (FPP) has set out to deliver. FPP technology allows manufacturers to create complex 3D preforms, fully automated, removing cumbersome steps in the process, such as cutting, kitting and manual layup. By additively placing unidirectional fiber patches on a 3D tool in precise positions and orientations with the help of robotics, FPP production systems create fiber preforms in record time. In addition, switching from one part to the next in production is as simple as changing the machine program and tool – in less than 10 minutes. Parts are designed with an FPP-specific CAD/CAM software, allowing engineers to design a patch laminate, generate machine data and produce a preform significantly faster than with current methods. Simply put, Cevotec’s Fiber Patch Placement technology offers the first automation option that makes practical and economic sense to the motorsports community.


10:00

Refreshments, Networking & Exhibition


10:30

Integrating Laminate Optimisation Techniques into the Uncompromising World of Motorsport

Martin Gambling - GRM Consulting Ltd

Optimisation techniques provide engineers with the opportunity to develop designs for maximum performance and minimum mass, which is especially suited to MotorSport. What on the outside seems a clear symbiosis of techniques and requirements does, however, encounter issues presented by the inherent time pressures of the MotorSport industry. Since 2003, GRM have been working closely with Formula 1 teams to develop and refine composite laminate optimisation tools. These identify the most efficient ply shapes and laminate definitions to meet stringent loading requirements. Now in its 16th year, GRM continues to supply and work with all major Formula 1 teams, providing and continuing to develop techniques for laminate optimisation and, more recently, has seen these methods extend into the Formula E arena. This presentation will focus on the real world application of these techniques and the continued drive to streamline their application into the day-to-day development process. Experience, which will be presented, has demonstrated that combining optimisation techniques with good engineering practice delivers the most robust benefits of both ‘human experience’ and numerical methods. A more recent focus on developments is the creation of efficient reporting methods, which convey the laminate designs created in the simulation environment to manufacturing. This transition has been observed to be a time-consuming step. Identified by many teams, it is an area requiring further focus, key to realising the potential performance gains predicted in simulation. Techniques and solutions to streamline this key step will be presented.


11:00

Accelerating the Development of Highly Optimised EV Composite Structures through Multi-scale Technology

James Eves - Altair

Developing the Design from early concept to ply-book details, requires both a deep knowledge of the material behaviour itself, on micro and macro level, as well as the characteristics of the full structure. This presentation will discuss how the usage of multiscale methods, in combination with classical numerical analysis and optimisation methods, can speed up the design process, whilst increasing the knowledge of your material, providing confidence in your early design studies and improving the predictivity of final design evaluations.


11:30

Outperforming Carbon Fibres: Stiffening a Thin Shell Walled Element with Novel Natural Fibres

Johann Wacht - Bcomp Ltd

High-performance, sustainable light weighting solutions for bodywork – Bcomp’s highly engineered natural fibre reinforcements constitute a real alternative to carbon fibres. The market is ready – the powerRibs received both the “Most Innovative New Motorsports Product of the Year” by the World Motorsport Symposium 2018 and the Autosport International “Innovation Award” 2019. By applying the latest lightweighting & composites knowledge, Swiss high-tech firm Bcomp Ltd has developed proprietary solutions with up to 30% better cost efficiency compared to carbon fibres at maintained performance – and significantly improves safety without toxic carbon dust and sharp shattering. At end of life cycle, components can simply be incinerated together with normal waste. In addition, the fibres are CO2 neutral over their life cycle. This is made possible by the patented powerRibs™ reinforcement technology, inspired by leaf veins that provide stiffness with minimal weight, designed to create a ribbed structure on one side of a thin-walled shell element. The result is an extremely lightweight, high-performance natural fibre composite reinforcement grid that optimizes mechanical and geometric properties. Bcomp has established itself as a global leader in high-performance, lightweight renewable reinforcements, and guides customers through the process with significant engineering power. As a result, today Bcomp also has development projects with global automotive OEMs, within commercial air as well as within the European Space Agency Clean Space program; its innovations been awarded numerous JEC Innovation Awards and ISPO awards.


12:00

Lunch & Exhibition


13:00

Formula E: Lighter. Faster. Stronger.

Lewis Butler - Mahindra Racing Formula E Team


13:30

How Additive Manufacturing Composite Materials Drive EV Motorsports

Josè Antonio Almenara - CRP Technology


14:00

Structural Materials in Racing Over the Years: The Big Paradigm Change with Carbon

Ricardo Divila - Motorsport Industry Association School of Race Engineering

Ricardo Divila is one of the most experienced Race Engineers of his time. During the last 59 years he has competed in over 2,500 races, working with a total of 46 teams. He has engineered in 286 F1 Grand Prix’s, 25 IndyCar races, 31 Le Mans 24 hours and even 5 Dakar rallies to name a few! He has worked with 171 drivers in total, including the likes of Keke Rosberg, Mario Andretti and Sebastien Loeb.


14:30

Refreshments, Networking & Exhibition


15:00

VW-ID R into the Clouds – An Alliance of Aerodynamics and Composites

Marco Merlin - YCOM

This presentation will start from the development of the Volkswagen I.D. R for Pikes Peak, explaining the important role played by aerodynamics and use of composites. High downforce and low weight are fundamental in this race. With 35% thinner air at the high altitudes of Pikes Peak, downforce is a corresponding 35% lower than sea level, compensated for, among other things, by the huge rear wing. Weight plays a key role in hill climbing. Bodywork and wings had to be stiff but extremely light. Technology and processes from F1 & LMP1 such as hollow structures, internal ribs and ultra-thin material were used to minimize weight and meet the challenges of these extreme conditions. After this achievement, the following target was the electric car record in Nürburgring. Race condition are completely different from Pikes Peak, and a deep review of all the aero was needed. Many bodywork components were modified. The Rear End in particular was designed from scratch, with completely new wings and endplates, stiffer pillars to reduce the natural frequencies and the introduction of the DRS system to reduce the drag in the long straights of the Green Hell.


15:30

Motorsport: The Drive Forward

Chris Aylett - Motorsport Industry Association (MIA)


16:00

Close of Conference