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Formula Student Team Uses Henkel’s Epoxy Adhesives for Carbon-fiber Wishbones

Published on 2018-07-26. Author : SpecialChem

TAGS:  Epoxy Adhesives    

LOCTITE® products from Henkel are set to play a pivotal role in helping the University of Sunderland achieve a high placing at Formula Student 2018, Europe’s most established educational motorsport competition.

Short of Budget but Not of Innovations

Loctite adhesives in formula car
University of Sunderland Formula Student team used LOCTITE
adhesives for their car

Despite only having a modest budget in comparison with many other Formula Student teams, the University of Sunderland is aiming for a top 30 finish, which would be no mean feat from a starting list of nearly 100.“We only have a budget of around £30,000, from which has to come entry fees and on-site camping fees – so that’s £4000 gone already,” states Automotive Technician Paul Smith, who heads up the Formula Student team at the University of Sunderland.

While the budget may be modest in Formula Student terms, there is no shortage of innovation going into this year’s car, which is almost entirely revamped from the 2017 version.

“Everything is new, which is not a bad thing as the rules state that only a small percentage of the car is allowed to be retained from the previous year – your design score goes down if there is not sufficient modifications and improvements,” explains Mr Smith.

Henkel Supports Formula Student

A tight budget also means that the support of sponsors such as Henkel is critical. Here, LOCTITE® products are useful in many respects, especially regarding performance, design innovation and speed of processing.

“This is the second year we have been sponsored by Henkel and we are using LOCTITE® products more and more,”
says Mr Smith. “We use it on our engine surfaces, nuts and bolts, wheels and bearings. We are even testing out LOCTITE® epoxy adhesives for our carbon-fibre wishbones with aluminium inserts, although that will be for next year’s car. I really like LOCTITE® as it does what it says on the label. For instance, LOCTITE® threadlockers really do lock the threads – there is no loosening whatsoever due to vibration, which would, could be potentially disastrous during the event.”

Different Attributes being Checked

Formula Student differs from many motorsport competitions in that it is not just about dynamic events such as sprint and acceleration, but encompasses design, cost and sustainability attributes, as well as technical and safety scrutineering. The latter is particularly challenging, even for teams with large budgets, and takes three days to complete.

Along with a new chassis, gearbox, hubs, brakes and exhaust, the University of Sunderland is also changing its engine for the 2018 car, opting for the KTM450 with shorter crank.

Formula Student has a 650cc top limit, along with a restriction in weight,” says Mr Smith. “So in essence what we end up building is a racing car with a motorbike engine.”

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