The Lola-Drayson B12/69EV.
The Lola-Drayson B12/69EV.
Use of composites under the engine cover of the Lola-Drayson B12/69EV. (Picture © Lola Cars International Ltd.)
Use of composites under the engine cover of the Lola-Drayson B12/69EV. (Picture © Lola Cars International Ltd.)

The Lola-Drayson B12/69EV is designed to demonstrate the potential of sustainable ‘green’ technologies in the motorsport industry. The car was jontly developed by Lola Group and Drayson Racing Technologies and is destined to take part in the FIA Formula E World Championship Series for electric race cars in 2013.

Recycled materials

Lola’s use of recycled composite materials follows the completion of a collaborative R&D programme involving Umeco, WMG at the University of Warwick, and ELG Carbon Fibre Ltd.

Carbon fibres from out of life MTM®49 epoxy prepreg were reclaimed by ELG and then re-impregnated with Umeco’s MTM®49 toughened epoxy resin. WMG, Lola and Umeco performed a series of tests to determine the mechanical and impact properties of the material, comparing it with the virgin prepregs. Tests showed minimal loss of strength and similar fibre stiffness to virgin prepreg.

Lola has since manufactured parts for its Lola-Drayson B12/69EV using this product.

Flax composites

The application of flax-reinforced composites is the result of a joint R&D programme involving Umeco, WMG and Composites Evolution Ltd.

In this project, WMG carried out extensive research and testing supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and Warwick Innovative Manufacturing Research Centre (WIMRC), Composites Evolution supplied the woven flax material, and Umeco impregnated the material with its MTM28 and MTM49 epoxy resins.

Dr James Meredith, Research Fellow at WMG, worked with Dr Sophie Cozien-Cazuc, Project Manager at Umeco, and Lola engineers Sam Carter and Ed Collings to develop the flax-reinforced composites.

Development activity focussed around Umeco’s MTM28 and MTM49 toughened epoxy resins, originally developed specifically for the manufacture of components requiring high damage tolerance. Lola was involved from the onset, setting the performance criteria for the structures it planned to manufacture.

Lola has since produced a range of parts for the Lola-Drayson B12/69EV using MTM28/Biotex Flax and MTM49/Biotex Flax.

Lola-Drayson B12/69EV

The B12/69EV, which develops 850 horsepower, aims to be the fastest electric-powered race car to lap a circuit.

“Umeco is mindful of the impact that its operations have on the environment and is keen to promote the application of recycled composites and sustainable bio-composites," says Dr Sophie Cozien-Cazuc.

"Accordingly, we actively engage with organisations seeking to develop cost-effective solutions aimed at reclaiming raw materials from our prepregs.”

"Working with WMG and Umeco on some of the innovative composites and flax solutions proved to be a very productive experience for Lola engineers," reports Sam Smith, Lola Cars International Ltd's Communications Manager.

"The Lola-Drayson B12/69EV is all about the future of racing and ensuring that sustainability can be vibrant and exciting. The consortium of companies involved in this project has shown that cutting-edge technology and responsible material design can go hand in hand and create a sound basis for future generations of engineers."