Composites in driverless race car

ATL Composites has supplied a range of composite materials to help an Australian student team develop a driverless race car.

The team, Monash Motorsport, comprises around 100 Monash University students from a range of subjects, including engineering, commerce, science, design and law.

Plans are to run the M22 race car in a range of Formula Student competitions.

According to ATL, the vehicle incorporates its twill weave carbon fiber, Kinetix R118 Infusion resin and H126 hardener, infusion tubing and Divinycell H60 foam in various thicknesses.

“They are using the carbon, resin and core materials for the manufacture of their aerodynamics package, which may include the aerofoils, aerofoil endplates and their undertray and various flow conditioning devices,” said Justin McDermott, technical engineer at ATL. “KiNETIX R118 infusion resin is ideal for their purpose due to the low viscosity allowing for easy infusion and great mechanical properties, with the hardener providing good mechanical properties with a short manufacturing time.”

“[We are] designing for minimum mass, greatest downforce, maximum efficiency, and more,” added Michaela Sykes-Turner, head of business for Monash Motorsports. “This is why we contacted ATL composites, because using lightweight carbon fiber composites means we can minimise the mass of our vehicle while still abiding by the strength requirements defined by rules.

“While we aren’t allowed to increase power over 80 kW, decreasing mass will help our car to drive and accelerate faster with more efficiency. We use carbon fiber for the entirety of our aerodynamics package, as well as the monocoque chassis of our car since it has such great material properties.”