Loctite products help Formula Student teams accelerate performance

Loctite products help Formula Student teams accelerate performance

Following an association with Formula Student – Europe’s most established educational motorsport competition – that dates back to 1999, LOCTITE® products from Henkel will again play a pivotal role in helping a number of UK teams simplify the assembly of racing car components, while delivering optimum strength.

For the 2016 Formula Student competition, the University of Hertfordshire (UH Racing) is among those that is once more leveraging the benefits of LOCTITE® adhesives and threadlockers on a number of key assemblies.

“One of the main differences with the 2016 car, which was officially launched on 25 May, is the laser cut profile of the aluminium aerofoil, which is bonded into the carbon fibre wings with LOCTITE® 9466 before being mechanically fastened to the end plates,” explains Dr Howard Ash, Principal Lecturer in Automotive Engineering and Programme Leader for UH Racing.

A two-part epoxy, LOCTITE® 9466 is a toughened, multiple-purpose structural adhesive with high bonding strength for substrates that include metals and most plastics. Structural adhesives such as LOCTITE® 9466 represent a more-than-viable alternative to conventional joining techniques. Bonded assemblies have proven to be as strong as overlap welds and two times as strong as those bolted together. Structural adhesives also offer more uniform stress distribution over the entire bond face. Further benefits include weight saving, as users can specify thinner gauge material compared with the equivalent gauge required for welding. Moreover, the joints are fully sealed to prevent galvanic corrosion between different materials.

“Another major change is the powertrain of the car, which takes advantage of various different LOCTITE® threadlockers,” says Dr Ash. “We used threadlocking adhesives extensively in last year’s car and they proved very successful – nothing worked its way loose as a result of vibration. LOCTITE® products are also used to seal the covers on the car’s new Honda CBR500 engine.”

Although UH Racing retains Henkel’s principal support, LOCTITE® products are also being used by a number of additional universities competing at Formula Student 2016, including the University of Bath, Oxford Brookes University, University of Central Lancashire and the University of Sheffield. In all cases, technical guidance from Henkel UK is offered.

Organised by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Formula Student comprises several affiliated competitions around the world. In the UK, over 100 teams are attracted to the annual Formula Student event at Silverstone. Although the cars can do 0-60 mph in less than 4 seconds, the teams have to prove their worth in a number of different disciplines, including skid pan testing and endurance/efficiency testing. The cars are also judged on factors such as design, cost, manufacturing and sustainability.

In 2016, the Formula Student UK event will be held on July 14-17 at Silverstone. UH Racing will also compete in Formula Student Germany, which takes place on August 9-14 at Hockenheim. The UH Racing car will compete at both events with the LOCTITE® logo emblazoned across its tailfin.

“As always it will be a very tough competition as we are up against some very quick and very expensive electric cars – cost is the reason we do not have an electric car. However, we are aiming to be in the top 10, which out of 126 teams at Silverstone, would be a good result,” concludes Dr Ash.

Related posts