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I Good materials for creating friction?

  1. Apr 19, 2016 #1
    We will be racing a 55g model F1 car on the 28th of April in the F1 in Schools national finals however at the regional finals we came across a problem. The car traveled 24 meters in 1.1 seconds but broke on impact with the towel used to stop the car at the end of the race. We need to find a material that will slow our car down after the finish line where it will travel about six meters until we stop it or a material to stop the car with at the end that will cushion the blow and prevent the front wings from breaking

    We will be testing many materials so all suggestions are welcome :)

    (for the regional finals the whole car was made from balsa wood, for nationals the front and bak wings have been 3-D printed using PLA)
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 19, 2016 #2
    i was looking at the table of coefficient of friction and found aluminium on aluminium have quite a good range -up to 1.35.
    what will be final spped at the tracks in the event?
  4. Apr 19, 2016 #3
    The cars usually travel at about 55mph
  5. Apr 19, 2016 #4
    Is friction what you want here? It sounds like you want softer cushions.
  6. Apr 19, 2016 #5
    Ideally we'd like to put some sort of material on the track at the end to slow it down so that it's not damaged at the end. If we find that too hard to do we were just going to softer cushions.
  7. Apr 19, 2016 #6


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    Can't you just lock the wheels to stop?
  8. Apr 19, 2016 #7
    I doubt a 55g model car will have much in the way of controls, so I assume they are looking for something outside the car itself to stop it. Otherwise I would suggest a parachute.

    I have an idea. Maybe make a sandwich with two carpets, and stuff some cotton balls between them to trap the car. See the attached picture. idea.png
  9. Apr 19, 2016 #8


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    Net and bungee cords .
  10. Apr 19, 2016 #9
    I think a net will be too harsh an impact at 55mph, but perhaps put one at the end, after traversing some cushioning.
  11. Apr 19, 2016 #10


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    Good point. Maybe just a lever that sticks up above the car that catches on something at the finish line that kills the engine and locks the wheels...
    Net and parachutes... :smile:
  12. Apr 19, 2016 #11
    How about an arrester hook, and a spring loaded "trap wire/ cord"? Sort of the upside down configuration of a carrier landing..
  13. Apr 19, 2016 #12
    A sand pit makes a good trap for the tractor-trailers that lose their brakes coming down a mountain.

    If that's a little too harsh for you how about sprinkling some corn flakes or oatmeal on the track. (Also feeds the birds after the race:biggrin:) Peanut butter could also work but would be a hassle to clean up.
  14. Apr 19, 2016 #13
    A wall/pit of bubble wrap? - the stuff used to package delicate items for transport.
  15. Apr 19, 2016 #14
    Sponges might work.... Or sandpaper.
  16. Apr 19, 2016 #15


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    Friction + balsa wood = very light streak of flaming sawdust.
  17. Apr 20, 2016 #16
    Why not an inflatable inner from a gutted sport ball...air bag effect.
  18. Apr 20, 2016 #17
    The reason I suggested putting carpets above and below the car is to avoid a fast frontal impact. The cotton balls were chosen because they are much lighter than 55g so the car will push them rather than slam into them.
  19. Apr 20, 2016 #18


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    A pool of Uranium hexafluoride [gas]?
  20. Apr 20, 2016 #19
    Use a glue strip under the wheels at the end of the race.
  21. Apr 20, 2016 #20
    Some crumpled up newspaper.
    Partially inflated trash bag.
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