Programme

09:00

Keynote – Composites in Motorsport: A Historical Perspective

Brian O’Rourke, Williams F1

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.


09:30

Design and Manufacturing Innovation: Lightweight Structures and Composite Materials

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


10:00

Design 2 – to be announced


10:30

Refreshments & Exhibition


11:00

Design 3 – to be announced


11:30

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.


12:00

Production 2 – to be announced


12:30

Lunch & Exhibition


13:30

Additive Manufacturing in High Performance Composites

Kieron Salter, K W Special Projects


14:00

Formula Student: Methods for Low Volume Composite Manufacturing

Joe Jones, 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.


14:30

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.


15:00

Refreshments & Exhibition


15:30

A Comprehensive Process for the Optimisation of Composites for the Motorsport Industry

Composite structures offer unmatched design potential as the laminate material properties can be tailored almost continuously throughout the structure. Composite laminate can be manufactured to fit the ideal shape of a structure for aerodynamic and other performances. However, this increased design freedom also brings new challenges for the design process and software. To innovate in the ultra-competitive environment of Motorsports requires design teams to continuously explore new processes and technologies to ensure that the potential of composite materials are being delivered. Design optimisation technology is well suited to exploit the potentials that composite materials offer. This presentation will discuss a comprehensive framework for composite optimisation at the macro and micro levels, leading the design from concept to ply-book details. The process consists of three optimization phases. Phase I focuses on generating ply layout concept through Free-Size optimisation; Phase II further refines the number of plies for a given ply layup defined by Phase I; Then Phase III completes the final design details through Stacking sequence optimization and the simulate of nonlinear material behavior including ultimate failure at the micro-scale to satisfy all manufacturing and performance constraints. Examples will be given for this process being used on live programmes in both the Motorsport and commercial vehicle sectors.


16:00

Applications 2 – to be announced


17:00

Drinks Reception & Tour of Sir Frank Williams’ Private Collection


09:00

Keynote – F1 & Motorsport Teams: The Quest for Light, Strong and Stiff Structures

Prof. Willem Toet, Sauber Aerodynamics

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09:30

Electric Motorsport Technology – title to be announced

Steven Atlas, Lightning Motorcycles


10:00

Electric Motorsport Technology 2 – Title to be announced

Lewis Butler, Mahindra Racing Formula E Team


10:30

Refreshments & Exhibition


11:00

Outperforming Carbon Fibres: Stiffening a thin shell walled element with novel natural fibres

Christian Fischer, 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.


11:30

Materials 2 – to be announced


12:00

Lunch & Exhibition


13:00

Materials 3 – to be announced


13:30

Cost Reduction – to be announced


14:00

Cost Reduction 2 – to be announced


14:30


15:00

Close of Conference