The Cars > GT40 - Original/Mk V

Aluminum Honeycomb

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During a discussion with a material engineer at work,
(we're a class 6~8 truck axle manufacturer formerly Rockwell, so "car" stuff doesn't often surface !)

he pulled out of a drawer a sample block of "laminated aluminum" panel,
as I've never handled a sample of the material, took photos and thought I'd share.

jim p

98SVT - was 06GT:
Yes - it's interesting stuff. Very experimental when the J Car crashed. Lots of different methods to fasten have been developed over the years.  A friend built the BD-10 Jet prototypes in Nevada using this material. After the crash of the first Fox prototype they had another aeronautical engineer look at it On PJ-2 they changed the angle of the tails a couple degrees to reduce the stress and crossflow problems and that fixed it (they had done several test flights on the fix) . There had been comments that the honeycomb wasn't strong enough to handle the stress - due to the wrinkles on the first plane. It was a design problem not a material or build problem. My friend oversaw these builds too They were done with newer composites that testing showed would handle the stress but .gov wanted more "proof".
On the J chassis they added a steel roll cage and more mechanical fasteners. The original had been mainly epoxied together which at the time was a very delicate process requiring exact pressures and temps - almost lab conditions. I'm pretty sure the J car used all flat panels. Now you can even have curved panels made but it has mostly fallen to the wayside with the carbon composites being much cheaper to build stronger complex shapes with.

I can't remember which Car Company but one was using that stuff for their Chassis because it made very easy to adjust the same Chassis to fit other Models unlike standard Unibody or Full Frame Vehicles.  I want to say it was Ford who did it first.

Royce Peterson:
It's been used on production aircraft since around 1958. Maybe it's revolutionary for use in a car but bonded honeycomb sheet has been around forever.

Honeycomb building panels have been used for building facades since the 1960's or possibly the late 1950's. HH Robertson made honeycomb panels that would fit into curtainwall and storefront framing systems.



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