The invention of the automobile in the late 19th century was the catalyst for the automotive sector, which has transformed the way we live, work and travel. The endless race for safer, more efficient and environmentally responsible transport is driving rapid technological advancements in the highly competitive industry. The multitude of challenges facing this sector, including environmental and resource, alongside ever-changing consumer preferences, safety regulations and cutting-edge technologies, means innovative advanced materials are more critical than ever. Goodfellow, a trusted global supplier of high-quality advanced materials and expert technical advice and services, is the ideal partner to support the constantly evolving automotive sector.
Automotive applications pose an incredibly challenging case for materials scientists and materials suppliers. A single automotive vehicle has a range of widely different materials, demands, and needs, all with very different technical specifications.
One example is the creation of a Formula One test car by a student team from the Instituto Technico at the University of Lisbon. The student team faced issues to do with grounding and electrical interference in their electric vehicle due to the high operating voltage. Another problem was in the form of the bespoke electric motors that were not sufficiently lightweight or high-performance enough for the application.
Goodfellow – a specialist supplier of high-quality materials and experts in materials science – was able to support the student team by finding material solutions to the problems they were facing.
By implementing a highly lightweight and flexible copper mesh around the cockpit, Goodfellow was able to help the team achieve the creation of essentially a Faraday cage preventing any interferences. The mesh was an innovative solution for enabling the grounding without the introduction of a bulky and cumbersome wire network.
For the motor, Goodfellow provided a titanium solution in the form of a 50 mm, 1-meter-long circular bar. Capable of withstanding forces up to 20,000 rpm and being magnetically inert, the bar was an ideal solution for an electric car preventing interference with the magnetic field in the motor while ensuring the necessary tensile performance.
Together, these innovations, with the provision of materials that had passed the most stringent quality control tests, meant that the University of Lisbon team went on to create an electrically driven motor capable of operating reliability at 150 hp.