1000 miles per hour – TWI plays its part in the World Land Speed Record attempt


Cambridge based technology engineering company TWI is working with the Bloodhound SuperSonic Car design team to provide expertise in adhesive bonding. TWI’s role is to identify and test the perfect materials joining technique for the lower chassis structure of the car designed to inspire the next generation of scientists, engineers and mathematicians and set the new 1000 mph World Land Speed Record.

TWI is undertaking a 12-week study, which has identified suitable adhesives and surface preparation techniques for bonding together aluminium and steel parts of the chassis structure. The project team is currently testing an adhesive/rivet combination. The bonding system (adhesive/surface preparation/curing approach) has been developed out of the needs of the car design specifications where a structural adhesive bond has to be achieved and maintained over a range of temperatures up to 150°C and the high vibration loads which will be seen within the chassis. Additionally, the adhesive bond has to retain its strength characteristics for the duration of the challenge and this can only be achieved with any level of confidence if the correct surface preparation processes are applied from the outset. 

Final construction of the chassis and the body of Bloodhound SSC will be undertaken by Hampson Aerospace, and TWI will provide support and training to the Hampson engineering team.

The build of the car is planned for December 2012 and trials for the record attempt will begin in 2013 on Hakskeen Pan in South Africa.

Bloodhound SSC will be driven by Royal Air Force fighter pilot Andy Green and powered by a Eurofighter Typhoon jet engine and a Falcon hybrid rocket with a pump driven by a Cosworth Formula 1 engine. The car will be 12.8 metres long, weigh 6.5 tonnes empty (7.5 tonnes fully fuelled) and will accelerate from rest to 1000 mph and back to rest again in 100 seconds, covering 10 miles across the South African desert. With the current World Land Speed Record at 763 mph, set by Thrust SSC in 1997, also driven by Wing Commander Andy Green, this exceptional challenge is being led by former World Land Speed Record holder Richard Noble.

The project has attracted a world-class team of experts, with companies and individuals contributing their time and expertise to play a part in this extraordinary test of engineering.

Bloodhound SSC is also a significant educational initiative to showcase engineering and science, which is currently involving 4900 schools, 44 universities and 260 further educational colleges. 1.5 million primary and secondary students have access to Bloodhound SSC in their classrooms to learn about Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths.

TWI will be visiting several schools in the Cambridge region to talk about its involvement in the Bloodhound Project and to encourage schools to register with the Bloodhound Educational programme.

For more information about the TWI project, please contact Paul Burling, paul.burling@twi.co.uk or Ewen Kellar, ewen.kellar@twi.co.uk

For further information about the Bloodhound SSC World Land Speed Record attempt and educational programme, visit www.BLOODHOUNDSSC.com and http://www.bloodhoundssc.com/education.cfm


About TWI

TWI is one of the world’s foremost independent research and technology organisations, with expertise in solving problems in all aspects of manufacturing, fabrication and whole-life integrity management technologies.

Established at Abington, Cambridge, UK in 1946 and with several facilities across the globe, the company has a first class reputation for service though its teams of internationally respected consultants, scientists, engineers and support staff, whose knowledge and expertise are available to its Members as and when they require.

The company employs over 700 staff, serving 700 Member companies across 4500 sites in 80 countries.

With a long history of invention, innovation and knowledge transfer, TWI continues to develop its technical knowhow in engineering, materials and joining technologies, and assists in the production of international, American, European and British Standards and Codes of Practice. It also provides training, examination and certification programmes in welding, engineering and materials joining technologies with over 15,000 participants per year.

TWI houses a professional institution, The Welding Institute, with a separate membership of 6000 individuals.


TWI, Granta Park, Abington, Cambridge CB21 6AL. Tel: 01223 899000.  Fax: 01223 892588.  E-mail: twi@twi.co.uk. Web: www.twi.co.uk    Twitter: @TWI_Ltd


5 April 2012. catherine.condie@twi.co.uk        





TWI is a world leading research and technology organisation with a focus on materials, engineering and manufacturing.