Blog Posts

Cal Poly: Racing into the Future

23 August 2022

Toray Advanced Composites are excited to announce our continued support to Cal Poly Racing for 2022, continuing our long-standing relationship with the University race team as sponsors and suppliers of advanced composite materials. Our materials will be used for a number of applications on their vehicles in both the Formula SAE and Baja SAE race categories.

Cal Poly Racing

Cal Poly Racing are a SAE Collegiate Design Series (CDS) team of engineers, technicians, and designers studying at California Polytechnic State University. They are all incredibly passionate about creating fast and innovative vehicles for competition, investing countless hours of their own time in the project to ensure they cars are ready for race day.

The team is split into two sections to design vehicles for different classes of competition; Baja SAE and Formula SAE.

Baja SAE

The Baja SAE races are competitions for off-road type vehicles, typically taking place in desert and mountainous areas. These races are named after the original competition of this type, the Baja 1000, which takes place in Mexico's Baja California Peninsula.

Due to the challenging conditions, Baja vehicles need to be designed for much more than just speed. They must be highly robust and manoeuvrable, being able to withstand the searing desert heat and navigate uneven, rocky, and mountainous terrain. The car needs to be reliable and durable in order to perform continuously for the full 4 hours of these punishing races.

Formula SAE

Compared to Baja, the Formula SAE event is a more traditional competition, taking place on racing tracks. This means vehicles can be optimized more for speed than durability, whilst also ensuring they are  reliable, safe, and efficient, to be successful in the competition.

The Formula team is broken down into two separate vehicles; combustion and electric. These two cars will compete in different races depending on the specific race criteria, but for the most part share the same design and components. Minor are changes to the chassis are made to support the different engines and fuelling systems, with Toray material implemented as part of these changes.

Toray material

Toray has sponsored and supplied material to the team for many years and are delighted to continue our relationship with the University as they prepare for their first competitive races since 2019. To aid the development of both of this year’s vehicles, we donated a variety of aerospace grade carbon fiber epoxy prepregs and adhesives films.

The materials are processed by the student teams through hand-layup processing, followed by a cost-effective out of autoclave cure at temperatures between 250°F & 350°F in vacuum bags. The materials supplied by Toray are incredibly tough and resilient, while remaining lightweight enough to ensure high speeds can still be reached.

This material has been used throughout both vehicles, predominantly custom molded seats and panels for the Baja vehicle, and the monocoque chassis and repurposed for the Formula team. Speaking about the partnership, the team said that Toray’s “expertise and quality materials has allowed Cal Poly Racing to excel in production…without their support competing would not be possible!”

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