Formula Student’s Brunel Racing turns to Renishaw for metal AM manifold part

July 19, 2019

Renishaw has produced a metal additively manufactured manifold part for Brunel University London’s Formula Student race team (Courtesy Renishaw)

Renishaw plc, Wotton-under-Edge, Gloucestershire, UK, has produced a metal additively manufactured manifold part for Brunel University London race team as it participates in the Formula Student racing competition. The manifold part is installed on the team’s BR-XX car, which will race at FS-UK in Silverstone and FS-ATA in Italy this month.

Now in its 20th year, Formula Student is an educational motorsport competition which is run in the UK by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE). Prior to working with Renishaw, the Brunel Racing team had produced carbon fibre and aluminium fabricated manifolds, but this method proved to have limitations due to the design geometry. This year, the team worked on a more ambitious design including additional features such as dual stage fuel injection and improved port matching between exhaust manifold and the engine to increase efficiency.

Brunel Racing provided Renishaw with the original design geometry for the manifold part and then worked with the company to optimise the part for production on its multi-laser RenAM 500Q AM system. This included splitting the part into smaller assemblies and looking at how to eliminate overhangs where possible.

The exhaust manifold produced by Renishaw for Brunel Racing’s Formula Student effort, featuring each team member’s name on the pipes (Courtesy Renishaw)

Matthew Crouch, a Mechanical Engineering student and one of the managers of the Brunel Racing team, stated, “Renishaw’s expertise and advice on how to design a part for the Additive Manufacturing process was invaluable. To design for AM, overhangs could not be over 55° from the vertical axis on both overhangs and each part requires smooth transitions of cross sectional thickness.”

“Additive Manufacturing proved itself to be a much more suitable manufacturing method than a traditional approach,” he added. “The final part performs better in the car due to its increased strength and we also had the added benefit of reduced post-processing.”

“The applications of AM are broadening into ever more industries,” commented Joshua Whitmore, Applications Engineer at Renishaw. “In many examples, it offers clear benefits over traditional manufacturing methods as you can simplify the manufacturing process or increase part performance. The growing use of multi-laser machines, such as the RenAM 500Q, allows for higher build rates, vastly improving productivity and lowering cost per part.”

Renishaw’s Additive Manufacturing technology has been used in a diverse range of sporting and racing applications. The company is currently working with Ineos Team UK in its bid to win the America’s Cup sailing competition in 2021. 

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