Composite Engineering carbon fibre component design and engineering

Project Management

A case study is here

Le Mans Sports Car Chassis

Design

A case study is here

Hybrid car chassis

Engineering

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High speed machinery

Profile of Paul McBride, prior to establishing Composite Engineering

Formula 1 Motoracing

Paul's background in Formula One grand prix car composites engineering and other career-long carbon composites design and manufacturing involvement provides our clients with the technical, practical and commercial knowledge that ensures successful projects.

Paul has contributed to the design and development of Grand Prix racing cars's primarily for the Wolf and Williams teams. This effort resulted in a total of 31 Grand Prix victories, 2 Drivers World championship victories and 2 Constructors World championship victories.


Walter Wolf Racing

After graduating in the late seventies Paul worked with the Walter Wolf Racing, Formula 1 motor racing team. At that time Formula One cars employed stressed aerospace-type alloy paneled tubular space frame chassis and hand lay-up glass fibre bodywork. Paul initiated the development and manufacture of glass fibre prepreg / honeycomb bodywork panels, followed by primary wing structures.

For the production of these units, he was responsible for the design and development of a curing oven process and a vacuum bag system for materials consolidation. This work culminated in the WR7, the first F1 car to utilise a honeycomb panel monocoque chassis and carbon composite primary structures.


Williams Grand Prix Engineering

Paul subsequently joined Williams Grand Prix Engineering as head of composite structures R&D. Responsibilities included composite structures design and engineering, establishing a carbon composite component manufacturing facility, the retraining of metal fabricators and the day-to-day running of the composites department.

Notable pioneering achievements at Williams include the first F1 car to employ primary carbon composite structures and the first F1 team to have an in-house composites facility. During the 1981 season the cars utilised the following carbon fibre composite structures - chassis 'underwings', sliding 'skirts', front and rear wing elements and bodywork. For the 1983 season, Paul designed and developed the first composite nose crash structures.


Independant design and manufacturing facility

Established in the late eighties

Following his successes with Williams, Paul went on to set up a composites design and manufacturing business. Operating from a 930 m3 facility in Oxfordshire, he assembled a highly skilled engineering team that set new standards in race car structures engineering.

Clients included:

  • Formula1
    • Arrows
    • Beartrice Force
    • Leyton House
    • Tyrell Racing
    • Williams Grand Prix Engineering
  • Indy cars, F3000 and F3
    • Lola Composites
    • March Racing
    • Ralt Cars
  • Group C and Sports prototype
    • Aston Martin
    • CG Motorsport
    • Lola Composites
    • Richard Lloyd
    • Vern Shuppan Racing
  • British saloon car championship
    • Brodie Britain Racing
  • Aerospace
    • Dunlop Aerospace

Aston Martin AMR1 Le-Mans Sports Prototype

In the late 1980s, the company was selected by Aston Martin Lagonda to consult on, and build, the composite structures for their AMR1 Le Mans cars. Utilising carbon composite chassis with integral roll hoops, the structure of these cars broke new ground in being essentially constructed from three sub-components, a top section that incorporated the roof and sides, a seat / fuel tank moulding and a one piece floor secured to the top section using an integral tongue and groove joint.

The bodywork was produced from carbon / kevlar prepregs and an aramid honeycomb core material. All the composite structures were laid up in high temperature carbon / epoxy tooling.

Four complete cars were built and during 1989 and placed 11th in the Le Mans 24 hour race, 4th in the Brands Hatch 500km, 8th in the Nurburgring 500km and 6th in the Donington 500km.


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