UH Racing, the University of Hertfordshire’s highly competitive Formula Student team, is targeting a top finish at this year’s event, which will take place at Silverstone on 6-10 July. The team will once again have support from principal sponsor Henkel and its industry-leading LOCTITE products, a broad range of which are proving central to the build of this year’s car.
The most notable change to the team’s 2022 race car is the switch to electric transmission. An electric powertrain was first planned for 2020, but the move was heavily Covid-affected, so UH Racing was unable to produce the car. In 2021, the team completed around 80% of the build but suffered a setback with the battery pack, which ended its chances of competing. This year, however, the team is bang on schedule and feeling bullish about its prospects.
UH Racing’s new car features all-wheel drive – custom 33kW motors in each wheel assembly – along with custom gearboxes, all of which amounts to quite a technical challenge for the students. However, the rewards could potentially prove plentiful.
“The car will definitely be faster this year,” states Aaron Haley, Deputy Team Lead, outlining one of the principle benefits. “We’ve done some points analysis to determine how we can boost our chances at Formula Student. We think we can corner quicker and accelerate faster with our aerodynamic developments and instant electric torque.”
To win Formula Student, teams have to excel in both dynamic and static events. So while disciplines such as sprint, acceleration, skid pad (figure of 8), endurance and fuel efficiency are key, the team also has to demonstrate its credentials in events that include ‘design, cost, sustainability and business presentation’, as well as ‘technical and safety scrutineering’.
Along with competing at Formula Student UK, UH Racing has qualified for Formula Student Italy, which takes place the following week (13-17 July) at the Riccardo Paletti Autodromenear Parma. The schedule means there is a very tight turnaround (just two days) between events to fix any issues that may arise from Formula Student UK. It could be that LOCTITE products have a critical role to play, as they have during throughout the car’s build cycle.
“We use a lot of LOCTITE 770-NC Freekote as the mould release agent for our composite components, all of which we make in-house except the floor,” explains Mr Haley, who is studying Aerospace Engineering at the University of Hertfordshire. “We also use TEROSON Teromix 6700, a polyurethane-based two-part adhesive, for bonding composite structure panels to the chassis, as well as for bonding the wings together. Another important product for us is LOCTITE HY 4070, a fast fixturing cyanoacrylate/acrylic hybrid adhesive that we use to bond rubber around sharp composite edges.”
In addition, UK Racing takes advantage of LOCTITE 270 high-strength and LOCTITE 243 medium-strength threadlocking adhesives, which are vital to ensure assembled components retain their integrity during the various Formula Student tests. LOCTITE SI 5910 gasket sealant is also put to good use sealing the car’s water jackets around its motors, while LOCTITE 648 retaining compound secures spherical bearings into wishbones.
Anything on the car that needs “a quick fix” benefits from LOCTITE 406 and 4061 instant adhesives. These products also found use bonding together an acrylic jig for assembling the battery pack. The jig helps to isolate the terminals from the surrounding area to minimise any short-circuit potential.
With the support of so many high-performance LOCTITE products, hopes are high for UH Racing’s chances at Formula Student 2022.
“Our aim is to finish top 3, perhaps even top UK team at the Silverstone event,” says Mr Haley. “We definitely have a good package this year, both on the static and dynamic side, so anything less than top 3 would be a little disappointing. However, we’re feeling confident.”