Jonathan Heal, McLaren Racing

Formula one is a fast paced sport where a small advantage can mean the difference between winning and losing. There is a desire to get models from Aerodynamics to the track as quick as possible, which makes optimisation tools essential to generate tailored structural solutions in compressed timescales. Since 2003 we have found that composite optimisation tools are essential in this process and without them it would be much more time consuming to tailor the performance of composite structures. This paper looks at the optimisation process involved in developing a composite laminate for the front wing of a Formula One car. For this work OptiStruct 11.0 is used along with and a newly developed HyperMesh Composite Optimisation Setup tool, developed in close association between McLaren and Altair, to reduce the burden of setting up composite optimisation studies. This study uses Free Sizing optimisation to identify potentially efficient ply shapes. The detailed sizing section uses a PCOMPG(P) definition of a laminate, which includes material draping. The optimisation process is performed with both thickness and orientation as design variables.

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