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Thread: Choosing an Epoxy

  1. #1
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    Choosing an Epoxy

    Hi, guys. I'm fairly new to FSAE and the forums so excuse me if I make any mistakes, but I chose the task of taking our suspension system from steel to carbon fiber tubes this year.
    I've read many available papers, but a lot of them are outdated as epoxy technology has progressed throughout the years. I've been researching and so far I've come up with G/flex epoxy.
    This seems like a strong and viable epoxy.

    Which brings me to my questions:
    -What epoxy is your team using?
    -Are there any new papers out about a design I can reference to?
    -Is an INSTRON test on inserts and epoxy enough validation for a judge?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtheo View Post
    ... I chose the task of taking our suspension system from steel to carbon fiber tubes this year.
    Mtheo,

    WHY?????

    Z

  3. #3
    Judge: "Hey, Why?" (pointing at the CF suspension tubes)
    Student: "This carbon fiber suspension assembly reduced the toe compliance by xx.x% the camber compliance by xx.x% and unsprung weight by xx.x% so it's awesome"
    Judge: "Cool. And by reducing the compliance by xx.x% and unsprung weight by xx.x%, how much performance gain (=lap time shavery) did you actually achieve?"
    Student: "Doesn't matter BECAUSE RACECAR"
    Judge: "Indeed" (turns around and walks away)
    Sheridan Motorsports troll (2012-2014)
    Cubicle troll (2015 - God knows when)

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Z View Post
    Mtheo,

    WHY?????

    Z
    One of our vehicle goals is to reduce weight, so I assumed that the next step would be to go from steel to carbon fiber.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by onemaniac View Post
    Judge: "Hey, Why?" (pointing at the CF suspension tubes)
    Student: "This carbon fiber suspension assembly reduced the toe compliance by xx.x% the camber compliance by xx.x% and unsprung weight by xx.x% so it's awesome"
    Judge: "Cool. And by reducing the compliance by xx.x% and unsprung weight by xx.x%, how much performance gain (=lap time shavery) did you actually achieve?"
    Student: "Doesn't matter BECAUSE RACECAR"
    Judge: "Indeed" (turns around and walks away)
    I know what you're getting at here. And lets assume that the transfer from steel to carbon fiber provides a minimal gain in lap time. Even though that is true, I believe that if the team wants to reduce mass on the vehicle as a whole, a carbon fiber suspension system will only help.

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by mtheo View Post
    I know what you're getting at here. And lets assume that the transfer from steel to carbon fiber provides a minimal gain in lap time. Even though that is true, I believe that if the team wants to reduce mass on the vehicle as a whole, a carbon fiber suspension system will only help.
    You could also cut weight off that massive aero assembly you guys run...

    Have you done a calculation, just with respect to the mass loss of:

    current car mass --> performance ---> lap time ---> competition points.
    (current car - estimated mass saved) --> points delta.


    I'm curious how much you want to save overall.
    Kettering University Vehicle Dynamics
    Formula SAE 2010 - 2015
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    Boogityland 2015 - Present

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by mtheo View Post
    I know what you're getting at here. And lets assume that the transfer from steel to carbon fiber provides a minimal gain in lap time. Even though that is true, I believe that if the team wants to reduce mass on the vehicle as a whole, a carbon fiber suspension system will only help.
    The fastest formula SAE vehicles don't have CF Control Arms.

  8. #8
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    Can somebody inform me on why running a lighter unsprung mass would hurt the car's performance?

    I mean, fundamentally a key goal to keep in mind is reducing mass. So, if a team can accomplish this efficiently and has the resources to do do, then why not?

  9. #9
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    Mtheo,

    One of our vehicle goals is to reduce weight, so I assumed that the next step would be to go from steel to carbon fiber.
    Why not thinner steel? Namely a more "efficient" design of steel upright/control-arm/etc.?

    Or better yet, why not just toss all the unnecessary junk on the car (I am sure there is a lot of it)?
    ~o0o~

    ...a carbon fiber suspension system will only help.
    Really???

    Have you followed FSAE for long? Do you know what CF-wishbones are famous for?
    ~o0o~

    ... why running a lighter unsprung mass would hurt the car's performance?
    Because if you do not make it through Brake-Test (... because your CF-wishbone exploded!), then your dynamic points = a big fat duck-egg.
    ~o0o~

    Put simply, you would make a very bad chess player. You are making moves that look wonderful for you, but you are ignoring their negative consequences. I doubt you would get ten moves into a game.

    Anyway, try googling "cost-benefit analysis" or "return on investment". Pay special attention to what it says about the inevitable COSTS and INVESTMENTS, and how they can hurt you.

    (In case this is not clear enough, the increased risk of failure inherent in CF-wishbones is a very significant COST.)

    Z

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by mtheo View Post
    I know what you're getting at here. And lets assume that the transfer from steel to carbon fiber provides a minimal gain in lap time. Even though that is true, I believe that if the team wants to reduce mass on the vehicle as a whole, a carbon fiber suspension system will only help.
    I think you're still off point.

    Is your team's 'big picture' goal having the lightest car possible? Or is it reducing weight in order to gain performance to win the competition?
    In other words - Why is your team wanting to reduce mass?

    You're not entering Formula-so-you-think-your-car-is-light contest.

    Also, nothing wrong with carbon fiber suspension. If you have time and money, go crazy with it.
    But, when you're trying to implement something new that involves risk - this kind of project is better suited as a back-burner that you research on the side for the car to build a year or two later.
    Learning things on the fly through expensive mistakes without suffering real consequences (i.e. losing your job) is the beautiful part of FSAE but also the worst pitfall at the same time.
    It's good to be patient, take your time to thoroughly study your plans before jumping the gun.
    Sheridan Motorsports troll (2012-2014)
    Cubicle troll (2015 - God knows when)

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