Spring break came and went much too quickly, midterm exams are back in full swing, and the competition in Rochester is rapidly approaching! Although we had a small supply issue over spring break which set us back a few days, we are nearing completion of our composite seat.
Constructed primarily of fiberglass, the new seat provides the driver with a much more comfortable seating position over the car seat that was in the vehicle last year. There was a bit of a learning curve to working with the fiberglass, but we quickly got the hang of it. Using various types of fiberglass mat, we laid up the head rest and base piece on acrylic molds. Despite using many layers of mold release wax, the polyester resin that we initially used bonded with our acrylic molds, so epoxy was used for the final pieces. This switch to epoxy also added to the strength and rigidity of our seat.
Unfortunately, due to cost, we could not make the seat entirely out of carbon fiber as we had originally planned. However, adequate strength was achieved using fiberglass, and the fiberglass was sandwiched between two single layers of carbon, for a little bit of race car style! It will almost be a shame to cover up that nice carbon fiber with padding come race time!
-Angelo and Jonathan