Composite Engineering carbon fibre component design and engineering


Composite Engineering setting high standards for strength, safety and stiffness in Le-Mans open-top sportscar chassis design.


Team Ascari announced today at the Autosport Show: "Ascari believes its new A410 Chassis sets the standards for strength, safety and stiffness in open-top sportscar design"

The chassis has been designed and engineered by Paul McBride, owner of Composite Engineering, who has been working at the forefront of composites engineering for over 30 years.

Says Paul McBride: "Ascari's objective is to produce a very competitive sports car for the FIA International Sportscar Championship and Le Mans and we believe we have provided the Team with an excellent chassis." Additionally we have carried out the design and detailed engineering for all the carbon composite structures on the car.

The chassis roll hoop and nose box static/dynamic safety tests have been passed with exemplary results.

In the roll hoop test, a load of 15 tons is applied. The maximum allowable deflection is 50mm. In the recent past, meeting this is understood to have created severe problems for some sports racing car designs. The strength of the A410's single roll hoop is such that it sustained only 16mm of deflection.

The corresponding figure with the car fitted with a full width hoop was 17mm. Obligatory chassis rules compliance includes three 2-ton side squeeze tests, with allowable permanent deflection of 1mm. The A410 sustained zero deflection.

The nose box dynamic/static test involves withstanding a ballast weight of 1050kg travelling at 12 metres/second. The impact must be contained within an area in front of the soles of the driver's feet. The A410 withstood the impact 150mm in front of the chassis, some 333mm in front of the driver's feet, a highly satisfactory performance.

Says Paul McBride: "Ascari's objective is to produce a Le Mans winner and commensurate investment has been made in R and D, no compromises have been made. Nothing has been done to dilute the engineering integrity of the car to make it easier to manufacture a run of A410's for any customers that may emerge.

Our focus has been on the production of robust and forgiving chassis and bodywork possessing the reserves of strength necessary to withstand the stresses imposed by racing at Le Mans and, by implication, in the tough environment of the various international series for sports racing cars. In terms of structural quality, the goals set for the A410 have been attainted."

Composite Engineering is a project management, design and engineering company that specialises in the development of advanced composite structures. Paul McBride has pioneered the application of this technology following his graduation in the late seventies, his career encompasses senior positions in both Formula1 motor racing and within the composites industry prior to establishing the company.

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