FS, which has existed for over 20 years and is run in the UK by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE), is Europe's most established educational motorsport competition. Prior to working with Renishaw, the Brunel Racing team had produced carbon fibre and aluminium fabricated manifolds, but this method had 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 activity included splitting the part into smaller assemblies and looking at how to eliminate overhangs where possible.
“Renishaw’s expertise and advice on how to design a part for the additive manufacturing process was invaluable,” explains Matthew Crouch, a mechanical engineering student and one of the managers of the Brunel Racing team. “To design for AM, both overhangs could not be more than 55° from the vertical axis, and each part required smooth transitions of cross sectional thickness.
“Additive manufacturing proved itself to be a much more suitable manufacturing method than a traditional approach,” adds Crouch. “The final part performs better in the car due to its increased strength, and we also had the benefit of reduced post processing.”
Joshua Whitmore, applications engineer at Renishaw, says: “The applications of AM are broadening into ever more industries. 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. In fact, the company is currently working with Ineos Team UK in its bid to bring the America’s Cup to Britain. Renishaw is also supporting Atherton Bikes, a new mountain bike brand, set up by the World-Championship winning Atherton family.