One of the most critical components is the nose tip for the car, which will be the very first part to break through any new land speed record and is subject to forces as high as 12 tonnes per square metre. To cope with such loadings, a prototype tip has been designed in titanium and will be bonded to BLOODHOUND’s carbon fibre monocoque body which forms the front-half of the car.
Renishaw, a leading additive manufacturing company in UK, is providing the nose tip on its laser melting machines, which use an additive manufacturing process to fuse together very thin layers of fine metallic powders to form highly complex functional components.
Dan Johns, lead engineer at BLOODHOUND SSC responsible for materials, process and technologies, says: “We believe that the key benefit of using an additive manufacturing process to produce the nose tip is the ability to create a hollow, but highly rigid titanium structure, and to vary the wall thickness of the tip to minimise weight. To machine this component conventionally would be extremely challenging, result in design compromises, and waste as much as 95% of the expensive raw material.” …
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Ridiculous. 12 tons per square meter translates to only 1.2 bars of pressure. Or about 18 psi.
hmmm, metric ton? 😉 Not sure how this works, but the racing team involved have tackled a number of land speed records and probably know their stuff. click on Bloodhouse SSC further down in the piece to go directly to the piece in question — my source for this story has … a lot of enthusiasm but sometimes some pretty major typos. (but who’s pointing fingers!)
I’d love to hear thoughts on how this design might work — at this point, racing design has shaved off almost everything mechanical that might be an obstacle, so it seems to be a game of materials and counter-intuitive discoveries related to turbulence.