A new Firewall
With SHU Racing developing an electric vehicle, the requirements of the firewall have changed. The primary function of the firewall is that it must separate the driver from the battery and all fluids in the powertrain. When running an internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicle, only a single layer of a non-permeable material is required. In previous SHU Racing cars, the team has made use of 7000 series aluminium. With the move towards an electric vehicle, an additional layer is required which is both electrically insulating and fire retardant. For this, SHU Racing has decided to use a layer of Nomex Pressboard which is both resistant to fire and electricity as well as possessing good material strength. Some other uses of Nomex include the suits of firefighters and racing drivers.
In 2020, the team moved from a single main panel towards a multi-panelled design of firewall. This had many benefits including easier access to the powertrain. Previously, when access to the engine or ECU was needed, the entire firewall had to be removed. This was both time consuming and damaging to the finish of the cars paint work. By producing the firewall from three separate pieces, the side panels can remain in position and only the centre panel be removed when access is needed.
The 2021 design also utilises the Sheet metal CAD function that is part of Solidworks. This allows a pattern of the firewall to be automatically generated and make the appropriate allowances for any bends in the panels.
Meet the Team
Meet the Team is an opportunity for us to give you a chance to learn a little more about the people who make up SHU Racing. This week, we welcome a member of our driver’s environment team, Mohamad Yagan.
Name: Mohamad Yagan
Course: BEng Aerospace Engineering
Role: Member of the ICE Powertrain department
Number of years with the Team: 1
Hobbies and Interests: F1, drawing and fight simming
Favourite Car: ’72 Porsche 911
Dream Job: Commercial pilot
Reasons for Joining SHU Racing: I joined the team for the opportunity to be able to work on a group engineering project, which was something that would help me develop my own skills as well as being a great learning process. Being a competitive person, it's a lot of fun having the chance to go up against universities from all over the world.