Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 7 October 2015

World's first racing car made from cashew nuts

Published 03/09/2009

Going well with shells: the innovative Formula 3 car made from cashews with Ulster scientific help
Going well with shells: the innovative Formula 3 car made from cashews with Ulster scientific help

The world's first racing car made from cashew nut shells has been assembled with the help of Northern Ireland researchers.

Potato starch and recycled bottles were also used in the construction of the Formula 3 vehicle. It can reach speeds of 130mph.

Dr Julie Soden, researcher at the University of Ulster (UU), helped make a barge board which is positioned behind the front wheels.

"It is exciting and refreshing to see an actual product coming out of the research lab," Dr Soden said.

"The next step in the process is the testing and improvement of the first design, so the initial work will be built upon to show the full potential and the scope of the research.

"While the safety critical parts are not made from sustainable materials, the racing car is evidence of the significant advances made by researchers into what is readily achievable in the sustainable composites field."

The project was undertaken in collaboration with the University of Warwick's Innovative Manufacturing Research Centre.

The car will run on biodiesel. The unique design of the barge board, used to improve airflow around the vehicle, is reinforced by high-strength flax fibres woven into a multiple layer fabric at the Belfast campus of the UU.

The Formula 3 racing car is the first full-scale demonstrator model manufactured using some sustainable and renewable materials.

It appeared at this year's Goodwood's Festival of Speed and was driven by A1 Grand Prix champion racing driver Adam Carroll.

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