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Old 14th March 2005, 22:07   #1
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Default Carbon Fibre

Im doing my IB extended essay on the application of formula one technology in road cars to improve safety eg the use of carbon fibre in the impact zone etc
some help.........
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Old 15th March 2005, 00:27   #2
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wow,

that's pretty interesting

- though i think safety and cars have become a double edged sword - now with cars becoming faster and faster, there seem to be more and more safety issues to tackle.

the other day i read that to test drive super cars that go above 300kmph, there is only 1 road - somewhere in italy...

what's the point then?

anyways...here's my two bit idea ----

with gps and stuff happening everywhere - howabout using a remote (satellite based) top speed governing mechanism, that regulates speeds of cars at dangerous turns etc, so no matterwhat the driver tries to do, the satellite/gps system governs the car top speed as per the laws of physics on that particular turn...

may not be formula 1, but if it helps save lives...
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Old 19th December 2006, 23:25   #3
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was going through my HDD and found the completed essay.


A study of the Economical Application of Formula One Technology in Road Cars to improve safety


Abstract

Formula One cars are installed with some of the most advanced features and use technology to improve their safety and performance. Road cars on the other hand have to sacrifice a lot of these features due to economic constraints and to make them more useable. However there are certain features which are installed on Formula One cars which can be installed in road cars without driving costs up too high or compromising on usability too much. Materials used in the construction of Formula One cars can be used in the construction of road cars, although selectively keeping in mind the high cost of Formula One cars. Several elements of Formula One chassis design can be included in the design of a chassis of a road car to not only make the chassis safer but also make the car more aerodynamic. Besides this there are several components of a Formula One car which can be integrated into a Formula One car such as cockpit design and controls to various functions. Also Formula One tire technology can be used in road cars to further improve safety and performance. Thus it is evident that there are several features of a Formula One car that can be integrated into a road car it is not possible to include all features of a Formula One car due to differences in the demands from the two cars.

Last edited by khanak : 19th December 2006 at 23:33.
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Old 19th December 2006, 23:26   #4
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Introduction

Formula One Racing is considered the pinnacle of motor sport. Highly developed technology makes Formula One cars the most advanced cars in the world. A Formula One car is essentially a single seater car with an open cockpit. They are designed to be aerodynamic and extremely lightweight. This, in addition to an extremely powerful engine, results in Formula One cars being the fastest cars around the circuit a fact that has been proven by shootouts between Formula One cars and other racing cars.

The earlier years of Formula One Racing were plagued with several driver fatalities and motor sport was considered a very dangerous sport. In fact, one of the selling points of motor sport was the danger associated with it. The spectators were always at the edge of their seats and often did not know whether the driver would survive the race or not. Over the years though, safety standards have improved and the number of deaths or injuries occurring during a race have been greatly reduced. Continuous research and development into car constructionand the development of technology ensure that Formula One cars remain safe and any fatalities or casualties are avoided. It is due to these impeccable safety standards that drivers are able to survive 300 kmph crashes at races and still manage to attend the after party.

One of the most commonly used forms of transportation around the world is the motor car. Motor cars are relatively inexpensive to purchase and run and hence have become a popular mode of transportation. Since motor cars are used by civilians, safety should be a very important factor while designing a car. Technological advancements have made motor cars faster and safer than they have ever been. However, despite all the safety features found on modern cars, thousands of people lose their lives every year in road accidents.The high number of cars on the roads makes it impossible to control traffic completely and hence it is essential for road cars to be designed and built in such a way that they can withstand a crash without causing any serious injury to the driver. A civilian driving a motor car deserves a similar consideration for safety as a Formula One driver and while financial restraints make it impossible to include all the safety features found on Formula One cars in road cars, it is possible to construct a road car keeping in mind elements of Formula One car design, which would result in fewer road accident fatalities.

Last edited by khanak : 19th December 2006 at 23:30.
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Old 19th December 2006, 23:27   #5
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Formula One Cars

A Formula One car is very different from a road car. It is designed to seat only one driver and its shape is rather different from a road car. A Formula One car is not made of steel like a road car but is made of a revolutionary new material called carbon fiber. Carbon Fiber weighs a fraction of what steel weighs and is several times stronger than steel. The body of a Formula One car is made of high density woven exterior laminate panels on the exterior and a strong but light honeycomb structure inside. A Formula One car is assembled bit by bit after the carbon fiber panels are made ready in the workshop. It is not just the materials used in a Formula One car that make it superior to a road car. Formula One cars are designed to have a very low centre of gravity making them extremely stable around corners and therefore enabling the driver to go around bends faster and shave precious seconds off lap times. The driver’s low, central driving position in addition to the low ride height contribute to the low centre of gravity of a Formula One car. The aerodynamics of a Formula One car are more or less perfected after the extensive wind tunnel tests that are carried out by the teams. The settings of the wings and spoilers on a Formula One car provide the perfect balance between down force and reduction of drag. This is achieved by using Bernoulli’s principal which states that as the velocity of fluids increases its pressure decreases. Therefore by having the air move at different velocities above and below the car, the engineers are able to give the car the required down force which helps to keep the car rooted to the track around fast corners. It is a combination of all these technical innovations that make Formula One the pinnacle of motor sport by combining high speeds, technical superiority and impeccable safety standards.

Formula One cars were not always as safe as they are today. Crashes and driver fatalities were a common occurrence. The numerous crashes however forced the authorities to make legislation regarding the minimum safety features a Formula One car should be fitted with. Gradually Formula One became a safer sport which resulted in fewer deaths every year. There are several safety features incorporated into the design of a Formula One car that help to make it as safe as it is today. Formula One cars are designed in such a way that in the event of a crash, the driver’s cell remains intact. In this case the crash structures would bear the impact of the crash as the deformation length is elongated. The tires are fastened to the chassis with the help of cables thereby reducing the chance of the tires flying off and hitting a track marshal or a spectator in the event of a crash. One of the requirements a Formula One car must meet is that its driver must be able to get out of his car in five seconds without removing anything but his steering wheel which he would then be able to put back on the car in another five seconds. Several features that are found on road cars today were first fitted on Formula One cars and then adapted for use in road cars. There are several safety features found on a Formula One car which are far superior to a road car. It is these safety features which help Formula One racing to maintain its scratch free reputation of being one of the safest sports.

Last edited by khanak : 19th December 2006 at 23:30.
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Old 19th December 2006, 23:27   #6
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Road Cars

Motor cars were once exclusive to the richest members of society but slowly became more affordable and within the reach of the public. Today one of the most commonly used forms of transportation is the motor car as it is relatively inexpensive to purchase and run and can comfortably transport around four adults to their destination. Research and development have ensured that motor cars become increasingly advanced. More and more powerful engines have been fitted into motor cars making them faster and therefore more vulnerable to accidents. Legislation has forced car manufacturers to fit their cars with a minimum number of safety features but a large number of people continue to die in car accidents. Effectively cars get safer as car manufacturers introduce more safety features in cars.

There are several safety features found on most cars today. Features like traction control, anti lock braking system and launch control have found their way into many road cars. These driver assists play a major role in reducing accidents caused due to human error as the systems will respond to the accident much quicker and in a much better way than any human can.

There have been several improvements in body construction too thus making the vehicles stronger, lighter and more stable at high speeds. Although most cars are still made of steel, several designers are experimenting with materials and trying to improve the construction of the chassis to improve the overall strength, weight and stability of the chassis. A few road cars today feature Formula One technology to make them safer and faster than before. Cars like the Mercedes Mclaren SLR, the Ferrari Enzo and the Porsche Carrera GT feature revolutionary design and construction with several features borrowed from a Formula One car. Apart from complete carbon fiber body work, these cars also feature sophisticated aerodynamics and chassis design which help to make these cars perform. These cars however are extremely expensive and cannot be afforded by the common man. Thus there is a need to introduce Formula One Technology into more common road cars to improve their safety so that better safety can be made available to the common man.

The high cost of Formula One technology makes it impossible for it to be within the reach of the common man. Formula One technology is cutting edge and is relatively unused and hence is extremely expensive due to the high development costs involved. Also Formula One technology uses the most superior materials which help in driving up the costs. There are however several ways by which the costs of such a project can be minimized. The research and development costs can be reduced by introducing this technology in a larger number of models thus sharing the costs and reducing the cost per vehicle. Also the expensive materials can be used only in certain vital areas such as the crash stress areas and impact zones. Thus it is possible to use Formula One technology in road cars economically.

Last edited by khanak : 19th December 2006 at 23:29.
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Old 19th December 2006, 23:28   #7
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Materials Used

Formula One cars are made entirely out of Carbon Fiber which is a revolutionary new material which is several times stronger and lighter than steel and thus is considerably more superior than steel in automobile construction. Carbon Fiber starts as a special piece of cloth. It is then cut and shaped according to the moulds after which it is joined together like a giant puzzle. The carbon fiber is then introduced to an oven where it is exposed to very high levels of temperature and pressure after which the carbon fiber body is ready. There are several advantages of using carbon fiber as a building material in these road cars. Apart from being several times stronger than steel, carbon fiber also weighs a fraction of what steel weighs and therefore has the two factors which are most important in automobile construction – strength and weight.

The first motor cars were made of wood with a wooden body built on a wooden chassis. As speeds began increasing there was a need to make the chassis stronger and so designers replaced wood with steel and designed the chassis to be stronger and more rigid so that the car can be driven safely at high speeds. The fuel shortage then forced designers to make cars more fuel efficient and therefore lighter. Thus the designer today has to consider two factors while designing cars- strength and weight
.
A Majority of road cars are still made of steel. This is because steel is a relatively strong material and is economical to produce. Cars are manufactured by injecting the molten steel into the moulds. The steel is then allowed to cool after which the final shape of the road car is ready. There are several disadvantages of using steel in vehicle construction. Steel is quite heavy and hence a considerable amount of the engine’s power is used up in moving the heavy steel chassis. Also steel tends to rust when exposed to moisture if not finished properly. Also although steel is a very strong material it is not as strong as other materials such as Carbon Fiber.


Designers have been researching alternative materials to use in cars instead of steel due to the disadvantages of using steel. Designers have been experimenting with aluminum for a long time now and some see it as the metal that will replace steel in car construction in the future. Aluminum has a considerable number of advantages of over steel. Aluminum weighs a fraction of what steel weighs and can absorb up to twice as much energy as compared to steel. This will result in fewer injuries to passengers in case of an accident as the energy of the impact can easily be absorbed by the aluminum chassis. Also aluminum can be made up to two and a half times stronger than steel thus resulting in a much stronger chassis. Also aluminum collapses in a predictable way during an accident and hence the chassis can be designed in such a way that there is minimum damage to the occupants during an accident. Aluminum however is a lot more expensive to fabricate than steel and is therefore not used as much as steel is. Several designers have used aluminum in the manufacture of cars such as the Audi A8 which features an all aluminum chassis and body.

Carbon Fiber a revolutionary composite material used in Formula One cars is finding its way into a few road cars today. Carbon Fiber weighs less than aluminum or steel and is also a lot stronger than these two metals. The use of carbon fiber in road cars is restricted by the high cost involved in its production. Carbon Fiber thus can only be used in the most expensive sports cars. However due to the several advantages of carbon fiber there are several attempts to commercialize it. Using carbon fiber in a road car will result in 68% reduction in weight and up to 40% reduction in fuel consumption. There have been several attempts to mass produce carbon fiber in an economical manner so that it can be used in road cars.

Currently carbon fiber is being used only in high end sports cars such as the revolutionary Mercedes Mclaren SLR roadster which features Formula One technology including Ceramic Brakes, superior aerodynamics and a carbon fiber chassis and bodywork. Other cars which feature a carbon fiber chassis and bodywork are the Mclaren F1 road car, the Porsche Carrera GT and the Ferrari Enzo. Several car tuners and modifiers have realized the advantages of carbon fiber and replace several steel components of the cars with carbon fiber parts in order to reduce weight. Thus carbon fiber is becoming slightly more affordable and more commonly used. However in order for carbon fiber to be used in the manufacture of standard road cars it is essential for it to be even more economically available. Projects such as Hexcel Carbon Fiber’s Low Cost Carbon Fiber Project are investigating ways in which carbon fiber can be economically used in the production of automobiles. Also if carbon fiber is used selectively in the manufacture of an automobile chassis, it might help in producing a carbon fiber chassis based car. Thus carbon fiber can be used in areas of the chassis where strength is most critical such as the occupant’s cell in the chassis. This will result in a strong yet light chassis finding its way into a relatively economical car such that the high standards of safety found in Formula One cars can be accessed by the civilians at a reasonable price

Last edited by khanak : 19th December 2006 at 23:29.
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Old 19th December 2006, 23:28   #8
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Chassis Design

The chassis design of a Formula One car ensures that the driver is protected in the event of a crash. The chassis of a Formula One car is designed to include a driver’s survival cell in it. This survival cell keeps the driver safe in the event of a crash. In the event of a crash the components of the chassis will crumble and absorb the energy of the impact thus minimizing the energy transferred to the driver. The survival cell of the Formula One car is in the form of a monocoque, a single piece chassis. Since the chassis has to seat only one person and does not have to include any features such as doors for the driver to exit the vehicle it is more rigid than that of a motor car and hence is able to withstand more force on impact.

The chassis design of road cars has progressed a lot since the invention of the motor car. The earliest motor cars consisted of a wooden frame with wooden body panels mounted on it. The limited power that the engines of those times possessed made this chassis sufficient. However as engines became more and more powerful there was a need for a stronger chassis design and metal sheets on a wooden frame became very common in road cars. The most commonly used chassis design was the body on frame design. However after the gas shortage there was a need to make the chassis lighter to minimize fuel consumption and hence the monocoque chassis design became popular among manufacturers. Recently even road cars have adapted a monocoque chassis design. A monocoque chassis design helps in reduction of weight as well as distributing the energy on impact throughout the chassis so that the occupants are kept safer in case of an accident.

The fact that a car chassis has to accommodate four passengers and must include doors and windows in the chassis means that a road car chassis cannot be as rigid as a Formula One chassis. Though the requirements of the two chassis are different it is possible to include certain features of a Formula One chassis in a road car such as the driver’s survival cell which can be adapted to form a passenger survival cell in the case of a road car. The construction of the Formula One car’s driver survival cell helps to give the chassis its strength and rigidity. Beneath the high density woven exterior panels there is a strong honeycomb structure. A honeycomb design greatly increases the strength and rigidity of the design. This helps to give the chassis its strength by which it is able to survive high speed crashes without killing the driver. Thus the chassis of a road car can also be made in the same design which will help to increase its strength and rigidity.
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Old 19th December 2006, 23:30   #9
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Aerodynamics

Formula One cars feature the most advanced aerodynamic styling. Designers are busy trying to achieve a balance between down force and drag- trying to minimize drag while trying to increase downforce. Aerodynamics play a crucial role in the design of a Formula One car with even the slightest change in wing angles causing the car’s aerodynamics to become drastically different. Designers of road cars too have realized the importance of aerodynamics. Road cars now also feature aerodynamic body style with an emphasis on reducing drag as down force is not that important in road cars due to the low speeds involved. Mercedes’s Bionic concept car is the perfect example of the designers attempt to reduce drag. Several cars have also been fitted with spoilers, skirts and other components to help to improve the aerodynamics of a vehicle. These components are useful when traveling at high speeds on highways but serve a more cosmetic function in the city.
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Old 19th December 2006, 23:31   #10
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Cockpit

The steering wheel of earlier Formula One cars used to be made as large as possible so that it would not require much effort to turn. But then as cockpits became smaller and smaller the steering wheel also became smaller. Today Formula One cars have power assisted steering systems. The steering wheel of a Formula One car has all the controls of the car excluding the brake and accelerator pedals. This prevents the driver from getting distracted while trying to locate switches or while trying to change settings. Even the gear shift is located behind the steering wheel such that the driver does not have to take his hands of the steering wheel for any reason during the race. This integration of all controls into the steering wheel is very advantageous and can help to prevent accidents as the driver is allowed to put all his concentration into the race.

A Formula One car has specially designed racing seats which hold the driver tightly in place and ensure that he does not move around too much while cornering, braking or accelerating as this will cause great discomfort to him due to the large magnitude of forces involved. Also the driver must be fully supported while in the seat in order to minimize injury during a crash.

The cockpit of a motor car is designed so that all the controls are within easy access to the driver. However the driver still has to take his hands of the steering in order to access some controls. Recent developments include a Formula One style paddle shift found on some newer cars today. This paddle shift, similar to the one found on Formula One cars helps to reduce any distraction caused to the driver while changing gears. Also there have been several attempts to include all the controls of the cockpit on the steering wheel so that the driver will not have to locate buttons or switches while driving. However due to the sheer number of gadgets found in road cars, it is not possible to include a control to all of them, it is possible to atleast include controls to some of the basic features such as heating, windshield wiper controls and controls to basic functions of the music system.

Seats in road cars have to be comfortable and should not cause any discomfort to the driver even on long journeys. However at the same time the seats should also give the driver some support so that the driver can be held in place while cornering, braking or accelerating. There are several options of aftermarket racing seats available today. These seats are similar in design to the seats found in a Formula One car and offer more support than the stock seats. The original seats found on cars however offer sufficient support for the speeds at which road cars are allowed to travel and these racing seats are suitable for more extreme applications.
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Old 19th December 2006, 23:31   #11
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Tires

A tire is one of the most important components found on a car as they are the only link between the car and the road. The tires fitted on a Formula One car are designed to give it optimum performance as durability is not really an issue although recent rule changes have increased the importance of tire durability. Formula One tires have a wide tread in order to ensure that the car gets maximum grip on the road surface. There are different sets of tires for different track conditions. Tires in a road car are designed to last a lot longer than Formula One car tires. Also the tires found on road cars to not have as wide a tread as those found in Formula One cars and hence do not need to have as much grip as Formula One tires. However since the road cars do not travel at as high speeds as Formula One cars, the tires found on cars today are sufficient although there is continuous research and development going on in the areas of tread design and tire compounds.
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Old 19th December 2006, 23:32   #12
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Conclusion

Formula One technology is far superior as compared to road car technology and there are several aspects of Formula One design which can be included in the design of road cars to improve their performance and safety. Formula One cars are designed for extreme use and hence have a lot of features on them which are not required on road cars. However there are several features which are found on Formula One cars that can be installed in road cars without compromising too much on usability of the car or driving prices up too much. There is a lot of research and development taking place to make road cars safer and adopting Formula One technology selectively might just be the answer.
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Old 19th December 2006, 23:32   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cream
the other day i read that to test drive super cars that go above 300kmph, there is only 1 road - somewhere in italy...
Not a road....it is the Nardo speed bowl.

@Khanak ---- Nice info. Will take an hour off and read it after exams
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Old 19th December 2006, 23:35   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nikhilb2008 View Post
Not a road....it is the Nardo speed bowl.

@Khanak ---- Nice info. Will take an hour off and read it after exams
thanks a lot man...really had to break my head writing this essay. especially after i lost half of it and had to redo it after my laptop crashed.
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Old 10th February 2007, 04:44   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cream View Post
wow,

that's pretty interesting

- though i think safety and cars have become a double edged sword - now with cars becoming faster and faster, there seem to be more and more safety issues to tackle.

the other day i read that to test drive super cars that go above 300kmph, there is only 1 road - somewhere in italy...

what's the point then?

anyways...here's my two bit idea ----

with gps and stuff happening everywhere - howabout using a remote (satellite based) top speed governing mechanism, that regulates speeds of cars at dangerous turns etc, so no matterwhat the driver tries to do, the satellite/gps system governs the car top speed as per the laws of physics on that particular turn...

may not be formula 1, but if it helps save lives...
sounds like turning on automatic brake assist in superbike game... No matter how hard you press the up arrow key your bike will not go fast..sometimes you get a feel like you take the corners nicely!!
Good idea cream!!
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