The performance engineering sector of the UK has always been personified by the high performance technologies applied to Formula One motor racing where the structural performance of components is critical to racing success. TWI has been involved with supporting the materials validation, inspection and joining requirements for several race teams over the years, and 2007 has seen an increase in the volume of R&D support provided to this sector.
One recent example where TWI has provided support is in the application of its advanced electron beam welding technologies. This particular example related to the fabrication of small pressure vessels manufactured from thin wall titanium. The EB process was used to weld two dome ends to these assemblies. The thin walls of the structure and the predicted in-service conditions meant that the highest degree of quality and joint integrity was required.
Due to the range of specialised equipment and staff on hand, TWI was able to provide a specific technical solution for the fabrication of these critical components which were raced on Formula One cars during the 2007 FIA Formula One World Championship.