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The inerter

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Inerters first surfaced in the secretive world of Formula One when McLaren began using a suspension component dubbed the J-Damper. This was in fact an inerter, a component that while elementary in theory, provides a powerful additional tool when controlling chassis movement. The inerter was developed by a Professor Smith, of Cambridge University, England, as a solution to the age-old problem of balancing ride compliance with stiffness. A regular suspension set-up, be it on a car or...

Carbon composite exhausts

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In the V8 era of Formula One, which ended with the introduction of new turbocharged and ERS-equipped power units in 2014, the level of component optimisation undertaken was, frankly, incredible. With many years of regulatory stability, teams looked to every quarter in order to find performance gains, with the key areas of investigation being aerodynamics and weight reduction. This led to the development of some unique components that used lightweight materials in areas where they had not...

Formula One side impact structures

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For many years the regulations governing Formula One car construction have paid great attention to reducing the loads experienced by drivers during front and rear impacts. However, despite having to undergo side intrusion tests, it is only relatively recently that concerted efforts have been made to mitigate the loads exerted during a side impact. To this end, 2014 saw the introduction of new side impact structures on cars, designed to absorb energy in the event of such an impact. The...

Additive manufactured safety structures

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In a previous F1-Monitor, Dan Fleetcroft highlighted the advances made in rapid prototyped composite parts. Continuing on from this, another major development has been the ability to the manufacture metal components using selective laser sintering (SLS). The basics of the metal-based SLS are exactly the same as with polymer-based SLS systems; however, the engineering challenge in its development was ensuring that the components produced have the mechanical stability to perform on a par...

Composite automation

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Carbon fibre reinforced polymer (CFRP) parts make up the majority of a modern Formula One car by volume. The combination of light weight and high strength makes them ideal for car construction, but they do have their disadvantages. One of the most notable is the cost, in both time and money, of producing the complex parts used in a Formula One chassis. Even Formula One teams have finite budgets, so the latest developments in automated composite production are of increasing interest. These...