Tuesday, September 22, 2009

F1 Composites Interview with Renault Formula 1 Racing Engineer Ian Goddard

Nice interview on Composite Manufacturing's Blog with Renault Formula 1 Racing Engineer Ian Goddard

A small clip from the piece:

How are composites used in F1 automobiles?

Composites are used extensively in F1 because of their lightweight and high-strength properties, which is what you look for in the ultimate performance car. Around 80 percent of the car by volume is carbon fiber composites, but contributes only 20 percent to the total weight. We race two cars each year, and we get around $2 million of raw prepregs and carbon composite materials; if you unrolled it, that’s about 15 miles of cloth per year supporting our race team. Although it’s a single-car assembly we’re producing, we use over 30 different fabrics and seven different composite resin systems.

How long does an average car take to manufacture?

Every season we have to create a completely new car from scratch to incorporate the absolute latest technology into the car, particularly in the chassis assembly. We limit ourselves to a 16-week turnaround for the entire design, analysis and manufacture cycle. By squeezing it down to that window, we can push the theoretical developments very late and still achieve the preseason testing ahead of the first race.

For the rest of the interview visit: