Layup Process

Aerodynamics, Design, Featured, General / Tuesday, May 23rd, 2023

During the last few months, the team has been working hard on preparing for our carbon fiber layup to construct the car’s aerodynamic shell. With the mold in its final state, we began the layup process. In doing so, we will have a one-piece shell which will allow for better aerodynamics and a smoother surface. The carbon fiber layup is a very exciting time for the team due to the expansive efforts made in preparation for this day.

To begin the layup process, we cleaned the surface of the mold to allow for proper adhesion of our necessary components. Next, we placed our pre-cut sheets of low-temperature pre-impregnated carbon fiber on the surface of the mold. Pre-impregnated composites (prepregs) are a form of composite that is pre-infused with resin; this allows for easier and cleaner application with more control over the ratio of resin to fabric. We used carbon fiber pre-preg for the shell of our car, while the canopy was made with a more traditional “resin infusion.”

To allow for a smooth layup and removal process, we carefully placed a layer of peel ply and a layer of batting material on the entire surface of the mold. Once this is complete, we move forward with our vacuum bagging by sealing the bag around the mold using a rubbery double-sided tape known as butyl and connecting the necessary hoses. After a day of waiting, we are able to remove everything on top of the carbon fiber and we are left with this amazing-looking aero shell.

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