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2005 Composite Catapult Competition Gets Go-Ahead

  • Friday, 5th November 2004
  • Reading time: about 2 minutes

The Board of EPTA is pleased to announce the 2nd Composite Catapult Competition to be held between the 6th and 8th of July 2005 in the Netherlands.

This event is sponsored by several EPTA Members, with the primary sponsors being PPG Industries, Johns Manville and Fibreforce Composites.

Teams of students are invited to design and build a catapult of composite materials and beat the winning team of 2003 which was the Helsinki University of Technology, who shot a 6 kg bowling ball over 198 metres with a “”plastic”” catapult.

By organising this exciting competition EPTA sets out to:
1. Educate the academic world more on the use of composite profiles
2. Be of promotional value within and outside the composite industry
3. Organize a fun event for all those who participate

Six teams participated and showed great craftmanship when presenting their own build catapults. EPTA’s members sponsored the valuable prizes the students could win.

Objective of competition:
Teams consisting of 4 students and one tutor are to design and build a catapult by undertaking the following actions:
Research how catapults were designed and build in the past (use Internet)
Research the options for pultruded composite materials to use and how to design and build a working model catapult.
Design a prototype in 2D.
Transfer a 2D-working model into a 3D drawing and complete a materials list .
Take the drawings and materials list and try to find the right pultruded profile materials from EPTA Members or other sources. (
Cut and drill the materials in a suitable environ ment.
Build and shoot the catapult.
Test the catapult, with safety precautions.

All participating teams will design and build their own catapult. These catapults are to be built of pultruded reinforced standard off-the-shelf composite profiles. The engineering design should be based on known material properties, such as strength and stiffness, based on manufacturers data. These data will be supplied by the various pultrusion Member companies of EPTA. There is a special Rule Book for the teams.

A successful design will launch a projectile (a hard rubber bowling ball of 6 kg.) which will impact a designated target with a high degree of accuracy. The catapult design should include provisions for adjusting the range of the impact point. Each team should develop their operating rules, including rules of conduct, roles and responsibilities, decision-making, conflict resolution, peer reviews, and record keeping.

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