According to a recent report from Autocar, the Bloodhound SSC, Britain’s world land speed record challenger, will begin initial speed tests in the UK on October 26. The team plans to run the jet- and rocket-powered car at up to 200 mph, using its EJ200 Eurofighter engine on the main runway at Newquay Airport in Cornwall. Next year, the team intends to break the world record, reaching speeds over 1000 mph.
Back in 2013, Conor La Grue, the engineering lead for the Bloodhound SSC, originally told Composites Manufacturing the team would choose aluminum and steel for areas near high-temperature components, such as the engines. Engineers of the car have since found that composites, combined with a unique coating system, are a better solution for the car.
In order to protect the composite structure from high temperatures, Bloodhound’s engineers used a Formula-1 derived, zirconia-based coating called ThermoHold® for Composites. The coating, created by thermal barrier specialist Zircotec, can be applied at temperatures exceeding 10,000°C without affecting the composite substrate.
“We have used the coating on the composite upper chassis hoop, offering lightweight resistance that lowers surface temperatures by 100°C,” said Tony Parraman of the Bloodhound SSC sponsorship liaison team.
Composites also offer the Bloodhound SSC a high strength-to-weight ratio as well as increased safety compared to other materials. The front section of the car features a carbon fiber monocoque. This provides the driver with a very secure, rigid safety cell. It is also the most efficient way to create the curvature at the front of the car.
To learn more about the design of the car, check out the video below: