Automotive

We have established a considerable presence within the automotive industry supplying companies from mainstream car manufacturers to niche motorsport organisations.

  • We supply the majority of Formula 1 teams starting on the grid this season
  • We are at the forefront of composite innovation
  • Experience handling and stocking very high tech materials

Other automotive projects include:

  • Exhaust sleeves for both cars and motorcycles
  • Pit equipment
  • Suspension struts
  • Chassis members

Case study –
X-Brace for Bentley Continental Supersports

We have established a considerable presence within the automotive industry supplying companies from mainstream car manufacturers to niche motorsport organisations.

When Bentley decided to release a limited ‘Supersports’ edition of their flagship Continental sports car we were asked to design and supply a structural impact beam used within the cabin to protect the occupants in the event of a
crash situation.

Working closely with Bentley to understand the requirements of the beam we were then able to enter a design phase and develop number of possible constructions. These were initially simulated with our FEA modelling software before physically being tested at the MIRA vehicle testing site. The tubes excelled under test and performed as modelled.

We then entered the production phase of the project and supplied tubes for the entire run of the Continental Supersports.

This project highlights well our ability to offer a complete turnkey solution in terms of composite design, software modelling, prototyping and large volume manufacturing and supply.

Technical insight

This was a particularly challenging task as the tube was required to have both static strength and stiffness properties whilst also having high impact characteristics. This required a very complex mix of composite materials and fibre-angles to match the exacting requirements.

Aramid(Kevlar) Fibres are renowned for their impact properties, perhaps made famous due to their abundant use in body armour and other impact protection. In contract Carbon Fibre, whilst having incredible static mechanical properties, is effectively brittle and has low impact strength. It is perhaps not widely understood the difference in requiring a strong tube against requiring a tube that is strong in impact.

The graph below shows a comparison of different composite materials and their relative impact strengths and we often use S-Glass or Armaid for high impact scenarios. As you can see E-Glass also has great properties for this and is a very cost effective way of achieving impact strength.