Published on March 18th, 2015 | By: April Gocha, PhD0
Glass fibers weave supersonic strength into ballistic panels for world’s fastest vehiclePublished on March 18th, 2015 | By: April Gocha, PhD
[Image above] The Bloodhound supersonic vehicle hopes to eventually reach a new land speed record of 1,000 mph. Credit: Flock and Siemens
The team of United Kingdom-based engineers is working on a new supersonic rocket-powered car they hope will obliterate the world record by rocketing to 1,000 mph.
According to the website, Bloodhound can accelerate from 0–1000 in a mere 55 seconds thanks to its whopping 135,000 hp—the equivalent hp of more than 84 of the most powerful Lamborghinis. At those speeds, the car will experience 20 tons of drag, and, if it were fired directly into the air, the car would reach an altitude of 25,000 ft.
The Bloodhound team says that the car uses solid aluminum wheels because standard rubber tires would peel off at speeds of only about 400 mph.
Engineers forged Bloodhound’s solid aluminum wheels so that the aluminum grains “radiate out like the spokes of a wheel.” But rotating at up to 10,200 rpm, or 170 rotations per second, and experiencing 50,000 radial g of force at the rim, the wheels still could fail.
So, to protect vehicle and driver hurtling thought the Kalahari dessert at those ridiculously fast speeds, Morgan Advanced Materials has engineered glass composite ballistic panels that will protect the car’s carbon composite cockpit sides from all assaults.
The panels are composed of millions of glass fibers woven together into an über strong mat that can absorb the energy of projectiles bombarding the cockpit at speeds of up to 980 m/s.
To test the ballistic panels, Morgan’s engineers blast a simulated piece of Bloodhound’s wheel at the panels. That piece is the largest size they say could break off from the solid aluminum wheels.
How did the glass hold up? Watch this video and see for yourself.
Credit: BLOODHOUND SSC – 1,000 mph car; YouTube
For more about Bloodhound, check out the website here.
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