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26 April, 2006 - 18:22 By Staff Reporter

Sir Jackie says Formula One aces will welcome new Cranfield labs

Safety in Formula 1 motor racing could be significantly enhanced through a new initiative at Cranfield University.

A new, £2.5 million facility, the Lightweight Structures Laboratories, has just been opened at the University’s Bedfordshire campus.

The labs comprise composites manufacturing, polymer and ceramics processing and an extended motorsport research area.

Facilities dedicated to imp-act testing have been enhanced with the installation of a new state-of-the-art impact sled.

This supports the structural integrity testing of Formula 1 cars. The laboratories also feature rigs for occupant safety and material testing.

Cranfield University and the Cranfield Impact Centre have an international reputation for work in relation to motorsport impact and safety.

The new facilities have been funded by the University with Government and UK sponsorship.

This will significantly enhance research capability in developing lightweight structures that are safer and more reliable.

Potential applications are not just in motorsport but also in general automotive, aerospace and even marine sectors.

Cranfield is well respected by the sector for both its testing and research work in the motorsport field and its unique MSc in motorsport engineering and management.

The Cranfield Impact Centre is approved by the FIA for testing and is used by the majority of F1 teams and leading motorsport vehicle constructors.

Sir Jackie Stewart OBE, who opened the laboratories, said: “Throughout my career, I have dedicated myself to the cause of safety in motorsport.

“Today’s safety standards have evolved because of the work carried out by organisations such as Cranfield.

“The Cranfield Impact Centre has been at the forefront of impact testing and the new facilities reinforce the centre’s position as the leading testing facility for the motorsport community.

“The combination of a dedicated team and first class facilities, plus an understanding of the top teams’ requirements, reinforce this.”

 

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