Motorsport race wing process engineering
radical sportscars limited
SCOPE OF WORK
To evaluate and re-engineer the manufacturing process in the production of carbon fibre aerodynamic wing panels for a global class leading motorsports company.
Using our extensive knowledge and experience of materials, production development, testing and prototyping, MTAG were asked to improve on an established manufacturing process to deliver a superior product.
Whilst exhibiting at Advanced Engineering 2019 at the NEC, MTAG were approached by the client to explore potential production capacity for GRP and CFRP motorsport components. Several projects ensued, including bodywork for the SR3 and SR8 high performance track cars which has led to serial production at MTAG’s main site in Coningsby, Lincolnshire. Following this success, a proposal was tabled to evaluate a race specification wing for these track cars and propose a manufacturing solution using out of autoclave carbon fibre infusion.
As a benchmark, the existing manufacturing process created variations in the geometry which were identified by comparing CAD files supplied by the client with 3D scan data captured by MTAG. In addition, structural weaknesses were identifiable on bonding seams on the leading and trailing edges – something that could cause total part failure when loaded to 1.9G during racing.
In partnership with the client, technical specifications were developed to encompass as many of the characteristic of the original as possible, whilst remedying the weaknesses to engineer a product capable of generating the desired amount of downforce whilst minimising weight added to the car.
The Engineering team at MTAG quickly identified several manufacturing solutions which were trialled in-house using a combination of materials identified to give maximum performance whilst balancing cost and visual appearance criteria. By developing techniques to suit the product, MTAG were able to produce a viable solution over a short period enabling Radical Sportcars to evaluate the wing during the 2020 racing season.
The key to the success of this project was MTAG’s ability to utilise a full in-house production system to develop a process from scratch, build moulds and produce first off parts on significantly shorter lead times than prepreg materials used in press moulding or autoclave manufacture. The project utilised on-site R&D, engineering, mould making, production facilities and in-house paint finishing to give the wing that all important high-class aesthetics demanded by the client.
Ensuring each wing was identical with fully traceable materials used knowledge developed through the serial manufacture of the RS Aero single handed racing boat – where both situations required identical performance benefits for each driver/sailor. Plans are now in place to ramp up production of the wings which will be made available to teams competing in the UK and across the globe in Radical Series Cups held almost on every continent.
MTAG Composites Ltd, Unit 6 & 7 Coldham Road, Coningsby, Lincolnshire LN4 4SE, UK
Telephone 01526 343790