In 2008 Polestar Racing, Volvo’s official racing and performance partner since 1996, teamed up with Oxeon AB and Elitkomposit AB to create lighter, and therefore performance enhancing, parts for the Volvo C30 racing car using a combination of Oxeon’s TeXtreme and Elitkomposit’s knowledge and skills on production methods for composite materials. The fact that the Volvo Polestar team won the team championship in the Swedish Touring Car Championship (STCC) in 2009 and 2010 provides convincing proof of the success of this on-going collaborative development. This case study particularly focuses on the specific benefits Polestar derived from using TeXtreme.
The only restrictions placed on the team’s technical creativity were the FIA regulations governing the minimum allowable weight of racing cars as well the range of parts that are allowed to be modified in, or added to, a production vehicle to prepare it for racing. Working within these limitations, Polestar Racing and Elitkomposit pooled their knowledge to decide which parts to construct using TeXtreme and to come up with the best layout and construction methods.
Polestar Racing is currently responsible for all of Volvo’s major undertakings in motorsport and have been competing in various championships with drivers such as Rickard Rydell and Mattias Ekström. Another area of the business, Polestar Performance, develops and markets performance enhancing products for Volvo road cars, which are distributed by the Volvo dealer network in a growing number of markets.
Elitkomposit manufactures epoxy-based products primarily reinforced with carbon and glass fibers but also with Kevlar and other synthetic fibers. With its expertise in various production methods ranging from resin transfer molding (RTM) and vacuum infusion to Autoclaving. All processes are used to produce the different parts in the best possible way. What is best for each product depends on complexity of geometry, fiber architecture, serial length etc.
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