A member of the pack
Over the past three years we’ve been working with the Bloodhound LSR team to balance the record-breaking car’s 98kg aluminum wheels to a grade G1.0 spec. The car aims to reach speeds of 1,000mph, with its wheels turning at a max operational speed of 10,200 RPM. In order to ensure the wheels are able to withstand this speed without any vibration, they had to be dynamically balanced to very tight tolerances.
The Bloodhound LSR team came to us at WDB Ltd to balance the wheels of the car, on the basis of our expertise in the aerospace industry.
Adapting, testing, refining
In order to accommodate the Bloodhound’s requirements, we designed and adapted our in-house tooling which acted as a mandrel to serve as the interface between the balancing machine and the wheels. The wheels’ unbalance was then corrected by removing material from the outer rim using hand tools, and were balanced to less than 1 micron eccentricity.
We attended design meetings with the team, and provided considered feedback for improvement from our balancing work. As a result, the wheel profile was redesigned to better suit the surface of the dry lake track it will be running on – the wheels are now narrower than before in order to cut aerodynamic drag.
The ideal solution for strength and quality
The 98kg wheels are machined from a forged single bilet – a solid chunk of material, in this case aluminium – to resist the 50000 g centrifugal forces. Forging the wheels is suitable for a bespoke project like this, as it produces a high-strength and high-quality end product.
Destination: South Africa
The high speed testing will take part in South Africa this month on a specially-prepared 12.4 mile track at Hakskeen Pan in the Kalahari Desert.
The team are planning to carry out 13 runs to test the aerodynamics and stability of the car. In addition, testing of a 400mph+ transition phase where the front wheels’ grip on the track surface changes, and the front wheels become rudder-like aero devices will be carried out.