Composites have been around since ancient civilisations began making bricks from clay and straw. Glass fibre, carbon fibre and aramid fibres - to name but three - are recent invations, yet today there are few competition cars that don't have at least some components made out of one or more of these materials. However, while it is well kwn that glass fibre techlogy can be used in the home workshop, what may t be so widely realised is that more advanced fibres also lend themselves to DIY methods.This revised edition of Competition Car Composites starts by examining the materials and methods that can be used, explaining basic 'wet' and 'dry' laminating techniques, pattern making and mould construction, and the design and manufacture of components. It then goes on to cover material and techlogy upgrades, and how more advanced materials can be exploited to achieve improved properties and reduced weight. The use of thermoplastic materials, resin infusion methods, and, especially, 'pre-pregs' in the home workshop, are also discussed, as are the composite techniques used by top racecar constructors.
Simon McBeath is a life-long motorsport enthusiast, a competitor for over 30 years, Press Officer for Gurston Down Speed hillclimb, where he is also a hillclimb school instructor, and a freelance writer who contributes regularly to Racecar Engineering and other magazines.During more than three decades of involvement in UK hillclimbs and sprints, he has prepared, raced, and made composite components for a number of single seaters, and also for other competitors in other competition categories.His books include Competition Car Aerodynamics, and he provides an aerodynamics advisory service, SM AeRo Techniques.