Oxford Brookes Racing 2021 Chassis design – Racecar Engineering


The 2021 Formulation Scholar UK competitors is simply across the nook. Engineering college students in universities worldwide have been exhausting at work designing, creating and testing their race machines forward of the competitors set for Silverstone in Late July this 12 months. 

A kind of opponents, Oxford Brookes Racing (OBR), has designed and manufactured a moulded carbon fibre monocoque for its 2021 Formulation Scholar automobile. In line with OBR Group Chief Alejandro Garcia, the crew believes, ‘Designing the monocoque from moulded carbon fibre will broaden the crew members’ data and develop versatile graduates who can excel in high-performance racing groups.’ 

OBR 2021 automobile design


To get began, OBR produced some preliminary designs as CAD fashions to generate important knowledge to fulfill design parameters, together with mass and predicted stiffness. The crew put preliminary design and analysis data right into a criteria-based decision-making system referred to as a Pugh matrix. That allowed the crew to attribute numerical values to design components and decide one of the best answer for its Formulation Scholar automobile chassis — the end result: moulded carbon fibre monocoque.

Being the automobile’s core, the chassis should accommodate all programs on board, together with suspension hardpoints, aerodynamic ingredient mountings, the automobile’s battery, driver cockpit and security programs and so forth. Moreover, the design should take into account automobile dynamics which dictates the chassis’ stiffness requirement.

OBR 2021 automobile design

‘It’s sophisticated to precisely predict the chassis’ required stiffness, particularly in a fancy composite design’, notes Garcia. ‘We used Altair’s Hypermesh software program to do that, and it has confirmed to be indispensable for composite simulations at OBR. We inputted distinctive laminates into the software program and carried out laminate optimisations for mass discount. Mixed with the software program’s meshing capabilities, the crew achieved consultant stiffness knowledge, as that gathered from a torsional rig take a look at.’


Manufacturing started with sample making from tooling blocks (particularly LAB 975N) adopted by carbon fibre moulds from which the chassis was laminated. The crew selected this method to cut back the chance of points throughout curing and supply one of the best end, highest high quality and highest power chassis potential.

OBR 2021 automobile foam moulds

Building of the patterns included blocking up, machining and sample preparation. OBR used patterns made out of tooling block (epoxy) for the chassis manufacturing course of. Garcia notes, ‘Formulation Scholar groups not often develop patterns constructed from tooling block. Sometimes, they use options, resembling MDF or foam. Nonetheless, with the assistance of sponsor Sika, the crew might use tooling block LAB 975N. This materials exploits superior floor end post-machining than MDF or foam, offering much less work on the closing preparation stage on the patterns earlier than laminating, thus saving the crew time.’ 

OBR 2021 automobile design

The crew made prepreg carbon fibre moulds utilizing Complete Composite Options materials to make sure related coefficients of thermal growth between the mould and the half. ‘Carbon fibre moulds have been chosen as excessive variations in growth might result in bag failures,’ says Garcia. ‘Moreover, carbon moulds result in a greater floor end, thus a better high quality half.’

As for the patterns, Tygavac’s offered consumables that gave the crew confidence within the bag’s security, serving to keep away from any points in the course of the course of. As soon as the moulds have been bagged and checked for leaks, they went into Silverstone Composites’ autoclave following the prepreg’s curing specs given by Complete Composite Options.

OBR 2021 automobile chassis curing

The chassis building is constructed from T700S carbon fibre prepreg from Solvay with an aluminium honeycomb construction from Corex. A 3 treatment course of is usually thought of to offer the very best quality sandwich construction for carbon fibre elements. Nonetheless, having Silverstone Composites’ data and high-quality merchandise from Solvay and Corex, OBR determined to comply with a two-stage treatment course of to save lots of time while nonetheless having a high-quality chassis. 

OBR 2021 automobile tub

From patterns to moulds and a closing cured element, the chassis is designed and constructed to the best cheap specification, as per the crew’s targets. OBR’s 2021 Formulation Scholar challenger is present process closing preparations forward of the competitors in the summertime. 


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