Published on 24 January 2013
Benetton Formula 1 wanted to use a new design of rear upright in their car. This change would make a large weight saving and simplify fabrication so TWI was asked to advise on how to achieve this.
The original component was in Cr-Mo steel, manually TIG welded and then heat treated. For the new design, distortion was critical and so an alternative welding technique was needed. TWI suggested laser welding, as it is fast, can be automated and gives much lower distortion than TIG welding.
TWI fabricated test pieces and developed welding procedures before supplying Benetton with a number of rear uprights throughout the Formula One racing season. After fabrication The Test House non-destructively tested all the parts.
All the laser welded parts gave improved performance over the previous design and, at the end of the season, Benetton finished third in the Constructors Championship, with weight saving contributing to this success.
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