Tufnol provide materials for University of Liverpool motorsport team.

Tufnol provide materials for University of Liverpool motorsport team.

At the request of the University of Liverpool motorsport team, Tufnol provided their Kite material, to be used within the battery of their electric car, for the Formula Student event at Silverstone in July.

High electrical insulation


Mechanical strength

The Context

Within the Formula Student competition, Europe’s most established educational engineering competition, many teams have been moving from Internal combustion to Electric Vehicles. From an educational standpoint, the relevant knowledge on this is taught and learnt at university, in line with the growing trend within a lot of companies in the automotive industry.

As a result of this, many Formula student teams have realised that the best way to create the best High-voltage Battery they can is to ensure it is custom made, to suit the setup of the FS Car, the packaging and overall safety. 

How does the battery work?

The main setup of the University of Liverpool car’s High-voltage Battery is multiple modules which are monitored and charged through various electrical components so the measurements and safety of what is going on can be seen, to ensure the system is running as it is meant to. The main electrical components include a BMS (Battery Management System) and IMD which help to manage and monitor the electrical flow in the system. This monitoring includes Voltage and Temperature.

As the modules contain the cells, the main electrical capacity and mass of the battery, they must be electrically and structurally effective.


Where does Tufnol come in?

This is where the use of Tufnol kite is very effective! Due to its high electrical insulation properties, it means that the main structure of the module can be safe to handle. The mechanical strength properties it has, ensures it can sustain large loads and mechanical stress. Finally, as it is lightweight, it is the perfect material for a race car, whilst remaining cost efficient.

Within the Liverpool FS car system, the Tufnol Kite is the main structure which holds various components together. The Tufnol Kite acts as 2 walls either side which are 3 and 4mm thick, the 4mm thick material is machined to hold the cylindrical cells, the nickel which helps to connect the cells together electrically and the nylon cap ends. The 3mm wall is machined to fit on top of the wall and fully insulate the electrical system away to make the module fully safe to handle while holding the cells into position.

The experience that we had with the Tufnol kite is that it is very easy to machine and produce an accurate shape to what needs to be produced and now we feel we're ready to get a fully finished powertrain from the use of your sponsorship and help!

Overall, on the day of the Formula Student event, the judges were impressed with the teams designs and the current look of the car. This helped the team to win the ‘Learn and Compete’ award at the competition, which the university themselves were very impressed with!

Tufnol would like to send our congratulations to the team, and the best of luck going forward in what is an exciting project!

Speak to the team