F1 in Schools - Bearing and Wheel Design

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F1 in Schools - Bearing and Wheel Design

Apr 27, 2018

Cory Oliver


Nam Phong Racing is an F1 in Schools 2018 World Finalist, representing Vietnam and the British International School Ho Chi Minh City. Their wheels depend heavily on the functionality of bearings; it is the most important element of our design that allows wheels to rotate seamlessly on fixed axles. Hence, choosing the right bearings were of paramount importance - this is why we chose Boca Bearings, a company specialised in manufacturing ceramic bearings. The Silicon Nitride bearings of our choice allow for minimal rolling resistance and are virtually frictionless - essential qualities for F1 in Schools racing cars. These CO2-powered cars reach speeds of up to 95 km/h; hence, these bearings which are particularly suitable for high speeds and high temperatures were the optimal choice. 

 

Design 1:

 

Material: PLA polylactic acid and Photopolymer Resin

Wheels included two layers, with one empty section filled with air, and an open end. The separating material was placed at the very centre of the wheel (8.5cm) in order to maintain balance whilst rotating. However, we soon realised that the 3D-printer was unable to produce our initial design with a fully empty air layer. This is when we realised that we needed to make modifications, leading to the development of our second design.

 

f1 in schools

 

Design 2:

 

In order to create a more 3D-printer friendly design, we decided to make a challenging decision of removing the air space. Instead, we incorporated slanted supports inside the wheel from four different directions. The slanted supports formed a cross connecting the centre hole with a diameter of 7.2mm. The silicon nitride radial full ceramic bearings that we were sponsored with had diameter of 7mm; however, in order to ensure smooth insert of bearings, we increased the diameter by 0.5mm. This was based on our experience of having to file large amounts of the material when a hole with a diameter of 7mm was printed. The cylindrical support helped keep the bearing stable and was extended in order to ensure a tight connection between the bearing and axle. After a few trials, we decided to shorten the cylindrical axle support on the wheel and lengthen it on the car attachment. This was due to the fact that weak attachment of axles is often the source of instability, not the bearings.

 

f1 in schools

 

If you are looking to destroy the competition in your next F1 in Schools or CO2 powered race, then Boca Bearings F1 in Schools bearings are just what you need. When used with your wheels, these bearings will provide superior performance. CO2 powered racing requires the bearings to be as friction free as possible, and ceramic is the best way to achieve that end. Be sure to keep a few extra spare bearings on hand for that all important competition day!

 

f1 in schools