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How the Corvette Team Made a Safer C7.R

Posted By ASC, Tuesday, July 28, 2015

This year at the 24 Hours of Le Mans, the Corvette C7.R is getting a lot of attention for winning the GTE-Pro Class and for a crash during qualifying. Jan Magnussen walked away from a nasty crash in the number 63 car. Pratt and Miller, the company running GM’s Corvette and Cadillac racing, has an ongoing dedication to improve safety in all of their racing cars. In the Corvette C7.R, they accomplished this with an aluminum frame and a steel roll cage with an adhesive bond that avoids corrosion. Racing program manager—Doug Fehan— commented, “We use a chromoly steel riser, welded to a tapered plug with a threaded body. Next, we match that taper in the aluminum hydroformed rail and insert it to be bonded. But they’re dissimilar metals, and we don’t want galvanic corrosion. The solution was to use an adhesive to bond them together.” It was essential that the adhesive bond was centered and this was accomplished with silicone beads in the adhesive that ensured the bond width was the diameter of one bead. In the future, they plan to move to an even lighter and stronger roll cage.


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