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F1 undertray

F1 undertray

F1 undertray

Hey! I'm doing a project on the undertray of F1 cars.  I'm having a hard time finding information on the contruction of the undertray and what materials are used.  If someone could help direct me to sites, pictures, information, it will be greatly appreciated!  I really need pictures! Thanx!

RE: F1 undertray

You are unlikely to obtain information regarding material composition for any F1 component unless you know someone at an F1 team.  I can provide an educated guess for this component: carbon fiber reinforced epoxy (or bismaleimide if high temps involved) for the outer skins, and Nomex or Al honeycomb core.

For pictures, try:


RE: F1 undertray

Obtaining information on the exact fibers and matrix resins used in contemporary F1 is quite difficult.  Peter Wright's excellent book on F1 Technology (published by SAE in 2001) mentions a couple of fiber and resin tradenames, and this information can be considered to be at most a couple of years out of date.  I will re-read the section and reply with the information later.  You can purchase the book for around US $ 40.00 from www.sae.org.

I also have a couple of older technical articles that are from ~ 1991, I believe, which have a lot of info on the fibers and matrix resins used in F1.  Again, I don't have this info immediately at hand, so I will reply later on, if this would be beneficial to you.

In addition to the websites that CoryPad mentioned, you should try to find back issues of the racing magazines Racecar Engineering and RaceTech for photos and information on construction techniques.  Both of these magazines have websites (do a search on www.google.com for the exact address).  Other sources of information would be Competition Car Composites: A Practical Guide by Simon McBeath (a frequent contributor to Racecar Engineering) and any of the F1 Technical Analysis books by Giorgio Piola (mass market published for the past three years).  You can find these books at www.amazon.com.

RE: F1 undertray

Ok, I have culled together everything I could find that was relevant to this topic.  First, as I mentioned in my earlier reply, Peter Wright's book Formula One Technology, published by SAE, has a section on composites.  The fibers that he quotes to be in use are PAN-based (Polyacrylonitrile) carbon fibers from Toray: T800 for high strength, M55J for higher stiffness, and M46J as an intermediate compromise.  Toughened epoxies are used as the matrix material, with Cytec Cycom 950-1 being commonly used in F1.  Websites for Toray and Cytec are included below.



Next, an article in the March/April 1999 issue of High-Performance Composites (http://www.raypubs.com/hpcmag/hpcmain.lasso) discussed construction methods for the 1999 Swift champ car.  Again, T800 fiber was used, as well as T300 and M40J.  Toughened epoxy was the matrix material.  Cytec and Advanced Composites (http://www.advanced-composites.com/index_ie.htm) were mentioned as suppliers of pre-preg and matrix materials.

Two other articles from 1991 may be of interest to you as well.  The first was authored by Dr. Gary M. Savage of McLaren International, who is now with Arrows, I believe.  It appeared in the October 1991 issue of Metals and Materials, which was a publication of the Institute of Materials in the UK, I believe (now called Materials World).  Toray T800, T1000, M46J, and M55J are all mentioned.  Hercules grades IM7 and UHMS were also mentioned, but Hercules was bought by Hexcel, so the appropriate website for more information is http://www.hexcelfibers.com/default.htm.

The second article was authored by Brian P. O'Rourke of Williams Grand Prix Engineering, who is still employed there I believe.  It appeared in a UK magazine called Automotive Materials.  I don't think it is still published.  There is excellent info on construction techniques, including the undertray.  A brief synopsis: one-piece construction, skins of carbon and aramid (Kevlar) prepreg either side of a thin honeycomb core.  Both skins are cured and the skin/core bonds formed in one operation, with trimming effort being reduced by using edge molding techniques.  Since the rear was subjected to exhaust gas, a 175 C curing epoxy was used, and ablative materials were incorporated around the outlet where temps were ~ 500 C.  Ablative materials would be something like Nextel ceramic fibers from 3M ( http://www.3m.com/market/industrial/ceramics/materials/nextel.jhtml).

RE: F1 undertray

Dear WaLLy863,

Try http://www.f1mech.com

They have a lot of interesting information (and photo's) on the construction of these cars.



RE: F1 undertray


Thank you CoryPad and TVP for the extensive and very informative posts.  Your information has REALLY helped me ALOT. Again, THANK YOU!

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