14 October 2005
14 October 2005
B3 Technologies Ltd., based at Shalford, Surrey, has been working with former World Cup champion Kristen Bromley to develop a new CFRP Skeleton sled for next year's Winter Olympics.
B3 designed and manufactured the carbon fibre ""tray"" on which Kristen will be lying has he hurtles down the runs at speeds of over 80mph.
The tray uses a 4 ply lay up 0/90/90/0 degrees with local reinforcements. Nominal thickness is 1.75mm. The material is a high strength 410 gsm fibre with a 2x2 twill weave epoxy resin pre-preg.
A feature of the design is the way the tray reacts with the main chassis. Steering is done by distorting the chassis, so the interaction between the tray on which the rider lies and the metal structure is critical. At the same time the tray acts as a form of suspension to isolate the rider from shocks, so there is a design challenge to meet these two seemingly conflicting requirements.
A former World Cup Champion, Bromley is currently ranked fourth in the world, and is optimistic that B3's involvement will help him to a medal position.
B3 is the former Ferrari Design and Development centre set up by composite pioneer John Barnard to help Ferrari understand how to gain the benefits and applications of advanced materials. When Ferrari had duplicated the facilities and working practices in Italy, Barnard acquired the company. <p.Today, the B3 continues to be active in the racing world, undertaking design and manufacture in a number of materials for many of the current top teams. Recently the company has expanded into other areas of business, including the medical and aerospace markets.
The skeleton tray is the first of several non-motor racing sports projects that B3 is currently evaluating.
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