The BLOODHOUND supersonic jet [Pic credit: Siemens NX].
The BLOODHOUND supersonic jet [Pic credit: Siemens NX].

The nose tip for the car will be the very first part to break through any new land speed record and could be subject to forces as high as 12 tonnes per square metre. To cope with such loadings, a prototype tip has been designed in titanium and will be bonded to BLOODHOUND's carbon fibre monocoque body which forms the front-half of the car.

Renishaw is producing the nose tip on its laser melting machines, which use an additive manufacturing process to fuse together very thin layers of fine metallic powders to form highly complex functional components. The prototype will be used by the BLOODHOUND team to evaluate possible manufacturing processes and carry out further engineering analysis.

“We believe that the key benefit of using an additive manufacturing process to produce the nose tip is the ability to create a hollow, but highly rigid titanium structure, and to vary the wall thickness of the tip to minimise weight,” said Dan Johns, lead engineer at BLOODHOUND SSC responsible for materials, process and technologies. “To machine this component conventionally would be extremely challenging, result in design compromises, and waste as much as 95% of the expensive raw material."

Simon Scott, director of Renishaw's additive manufacturing products division, added: “With 3D printing having such a high profile within the media and political circles, it is fantastic that the only UK manufacturer of a metal-based additive manufacturing machine is able to contribute to this iconic British project which aims to inspire a new generation of engineers here and around the world."