Laying Up a Carbon-Fiber Honeycomb Front Impact Attenuator

Impact attenuator

Nose in place while epoxying aluminum hard points into correct positions

SCCA FB rules require a metallic or composite front impact attenuator. Can’t have cars running around on the track with a battering ram on the front… My impact attenuation structure, or crash box, consists of a carbon-fiber and honeycomb sandwich laid up directly on the inside of the fiberglass nose. The carbon fiber varies from four layers at the front to eight layers around the rear attachment points so that it will crush progressively from the front to the back. Cylindrical aluminum inserts are used in the honeycomb as hard mounting points for the wing to the nose and for the nose to the chassis. This area is designed to be strong enough not just to absorb impacts but to allow lifting the front of the car by the front wing.

Carbon-Fiber Honeycomb Vacuum-Bagged Test Panel

Clicky Thingy

Click to watch the video on Youtube.

Inside the nose of the race car will be a carbon-fiber and honeycomb sandwich impact attenuator. So now’s the time to learn how to do vacuum bagging and sandwich layup. Also epoxy. So many new skills…