The groundbreaking applications could be used beyond the automotive industry.
Williams Advanced Engineering, an offshoot of the once successful Formula 1 team, has showcased its new carbon composite innovations, which will offer benefits to many industries, including the automotive industry.
The patent-pending works are known as 223 and Racetrak offer similar performance to established composite solutions, but with added benefits, one of which being lower costs. Williams Advanced Engineering is describing them as 'end-to-end, whole-life solutions', and they make use of recycled carbon fibre reinforced polymers (CFRP).
"Racetrak and 223 are just two examples of a new generation of technologies, developed and commercialised by Williams Advanced Engineering," said Chief Technology Specialist, Lightweight Structures Iain Bomphray, who came up with the new solutions. "With this approach, we have the potential to develop new, growing areas of business that will also make significant contributions to the industries in which we work."
CFRP has an exceptionally high strength-to-weight ratio, impressive stiffness and excellent fatigue and environmental resistance which makes it an ideal for a wide variety of industries and applications. For the automotive industry, its lightweight properties means its perfect for achieving fuel economy targets.
High costs have held back the adoption of CFRP in the past, with it usually being around 20-times the cost of other composite carbon applications, but that is something Williams Advanced Engineering has overcome with its new findings.
"We are focussing our expertise on energy management, aerodynamics, thermodynamics and lightweighting. As tools for efficiency improvement, these are all highly synergistic, so considering them as an integrated system allows us to increase significantly the total benefits," said Williams Advanced Engineering Technical Director Paul McNamara. "While we have undoubtedly learnt a great deal from success in Formula 1 and Formula E, they are high-profile examples of what we do. Behind closed doors, we are solving challenging problems for world-class companies across a wide range of sectors and working with some of the most highly-regarded manufacturers on next-generation, low carbon technologies."