GRM has a passion for motorsport both in and out of the office and is at the forefront of composite design. We’re driven by the experience of our engineering team and provide software and support to many of the top F1 teams. This takes the form of VR&D’s analysis and optimisation solver Genesis plus GRM’s OptiAssist and we have provided this to the team which has won the driver’s championship for 10 of the past 11 years. The combination of our consulting skills and software plus an extensive understanding of Genesis provides our clients with the ultimate winning formula.
A truly excellent overview of how we support F1 teams was provided by the Caterham F1 team in a presentation covering chassis optimisation methods. We repeatedly find that the competitive world of motorsport is a great proving ground for our software and techniques and the aggressive weight saving needs highlight our expertise. The ability to use composite optimisation software alongside our more traditional topology methods provides an all-round benefit to design teams. Our software enables engineers to optimise a part to save weight while using stress analysis to ensure that the part is able to take on the loads it will encounter during a race.
Recent work by Pratt and Miller proved how engaging optimisation throughout the design process can deliver the ultimate lightweight design. Their approach is an example to all design engineers, in and out of the motorsport arena, and they presented their results very clearly in RaceCar Engineering.
The application of composite materials in the motorsport arena has a natural cross-over to the volume manufacture of road vehicles. Our exploration of composites has therefore extended to different production volumes and loading regimes, enabling us to support many different types of application. These are very clearly discussed in a paper we released at the LS-Dyna European conference where high-rate loading of composites was explored to establish the capability and data requirements, giving us the very best skills in this area.
Away from the main area of vehicle development, we’ve also found ourselves looking at track construction and safety. Our work has used the Design of Experiments (DOE) technique to understand the controlling factors when a vehicle interacts with a safety fence. We were privileged enough to be able to present our results to an invited audience and our paper is available at this link.