AS Physics CFRP Help

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Post Sat Oct 29, 2011 1:19 pm

Hi, I'm doing a Physics project on why carbon fibre is used to make F1 cars, and I'm making a comparison with Aluminium. I've got the densities of the two materials, and trying to do a calculation to show the difference in mass you would get, if you made a certain part of the car from the two different materials. So does anyone know the dimensions/volume of a front wing/end wing/chassis or any other part of the car that is now made from cfrp but was once made of aluminium?
Thank you :)
Joined: 29 Oct 2011

Post Sat Oct 29, 2011 3:44 pm

Its not so simple. Mass depends on load. Volume is secondary, it is function of material and load.
I suggest u at school, right? To make your research u need to know something about material strength. Once u'll get there, it will become clear for u why they use carbon fibre.
numbers don't lie
Joined: 7 Sep 2011

Post Sat Oct 29, 2011 3:49 pm

I doubt you will get anything like that from anyone in F1, try looking at passenger cars. The Nissan gt-r uses an aluminum hood, so does the evo x, they also make cf versions of the hood and trunk, I'm pretty sure you can find specs online somewhere.
The height of cultivation is really nothing special. It is merely simplicity; the ability to express the utmost with the minimum. Mr.Lee
Joined: 16 Jan 2010
Location: Miami FL

Post Sat Oct 29, 2011 6:55 pm

You don't need specific examples to demonstrate whether one material is superior to another. Look at ratios like strength or stiffness per unit volume. You can probably calculate some very simple examples using something like an i-beam as an example.

Another consideration is the implication of chosen manufacturing methods, and its influence on material selection, but this is probably moving away from the remit of a physics assignment.
Joined: 4 Mar 2009

Post Sat Oct 29, 2011 11:56 pm

One issue to address is that when you talk about "aluminium" you're really talking about an aluminium alloy. And each alloy will have different properties to another alloy. Some will have higher strength, for example, but perhaps be more brittle. Likewise, CFRP is actually a group of materials each with its own properties both in terms of the fibres themselves but also how they're laid.

Also, the materials aren't used alone. CFRP might have a nomex or aluminium alloy honeycomb core, for example. Likewise, aluminium F1 cars would have had cores in the panels too. Most likely aluminium in that case.
Joined: 31 Jan 2010

Post Sun Oct 30, 2011 4:38 pm

Okay, thanks everyone for your help.
I've finished the rest of my project, and already compared the properties of the two materials (which shows why cfrp is better). I just have to also show why cfrp is better by making a car-related calculation which links directly to why it is used in F1.
I guess I'll just have to think of another calculation which shows this. Thanks.
Joined: 29 Oct 2011

Post Sun Oct 30, 2011 5:38 pm

A wing would be very difficult to do a valid calculation for. Maybe you could use something like a suspension member as these could be reduced to a simplified section which you could do tension/bending/buckling calcs on.
Joined: 4 Mar 2009

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